Composer Mohammed Fairouz will talk about his composition, Sumeida’s Song, which will be performed by the Pittsburgh Opera on February 21, 24, 27, and March 1, 2015.
“It is convenient to represent cultures as monolithic entities especially if they are to be seen as a threat to ‘our’ way of life. It is clear from the poetry, music and voices in general that the Arab culture is not such an entity. There is much diversity and counterpoint within the culture itself. In this age of musical and political cosmopolitanism, as opposed to alienating exclusivism or anything-goes pluralism, I hope for a celebration of every viable strand in our tapestry.” – Mohammed Fairouz
Mohammed Fairouz, born in 1985, is one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers of his generation. Hailed by The New York Times as “an important new artistic voice” and by BBC World News as “one of the most talented composers of his generation,” Fairouz integrates Middle-Eastern modes into Western structures, to deeply expressive effect. His large-scale works, including four symphonies and an opera, engage major geopolitical and philosophical themes with persuasive craft and a marked seriousness of purpose. His most recent symphony, In the Shadow of No Towers for wind ensemble, was described by Steve Smith of The New York Times as “technically impressive, consistently imaginative and in its finest stretches deeply moving.” His solo and chamber music attains an “intoxicating intimacy,” according to New York’s WQXR.