Intercultural Journeys: The Artistry of Identity and Transformation

Kinan Azmeh and Kevork Mourad: Home Within

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Tuesday 2/2
7:00 pm
$15 General Admission
$10 IHP Member
$8 Student

FOR FILMS AND EVENTS PRESENTED BY IHP, Tickets ARE Also Available From the IHP Box Office, which is generally open from one hour before until one hour after the starting time of a ticketed event.  (For double-features, it will remain open until the second feature starts.) It will typically not be open during free admission events.  

Silk Road Ensemble members Syrian composer and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and Syrian-Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad bring us Home Within, a 60-minute audio-visual performance. The duo offer an impressionistic reflection on the Syrian revolution and its aftermath, artfully documenting poignant moments in Syria’s recent history by interweaving live illustrations, visuals, and original compositions. Home Within has toured through North America and Europe in efforts to raise awareness and funds for Syrian Refugees through a number of charitable organizations.

This performance will be immediately followed by a moderated discussion with the artists.

Join us before the performance for an informal conversation with a special guest who will speak on the Syrian revolution, the current Syrian refugee crisis and its policy implications. We'll provide beverages and guests are encouraged to bring a food item to share potluck-style. This event is free to attend, but please RSVP in advance.

Hailed as a “virtuoso” and "Intensely Soulful" by the New York Times and "Spellbinding" by the New Yorker, and "Incredibly Rich Sound" by the CBC, Kinan Azmeh is one of Syria’s rising stars. His utterly distinctive sound across different musical genres is now fast gaining international recognition.

Born in Damascus, Kinan was the first Arab to win the premier prize at the 1997 Nicolai Rubinstein International Competition, Moscow. A graduate of New York's Juilliard school as a student of Charles Neidich, and of both the Damascus High institute of Music where he studied with Shukry Sahwki, Nicolay Viovanof and Anatoly Moratof, and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering. Kinan earned his doctorate degree in music from the City University of New York in 2013.

Kinan has appeared worldwide as a soloist, composer and improviser. Notable appearances include: Opera Bastille, Paris; Tchaikovsky Grand Hall, Moscow; Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the UN's general assembly, New York; the Royal Albert hall, London; Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires; der Philharmonie; Berlin; the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Washington DC; the Mozarteum, Salzburg and the Damascus opera house for its opening concert in his native Syria. 

He has appeared as soloist with the Bavarian radio orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the NDR big-band, the Kiev Camerata, the Knights Orchestra, the Izmir State Opera Orchestra, the Corasara Orchestra, the Osnabruck Symphony, the Morgenland Festival Orchestra, the Qatar Philharmonic , the New Juilliard Ensemble and the Syrian Symphony Orchestra among others.; and has shared the stage with Yo-Yo Ma, Marcel Khalife, Aynur, Daniel Barenboim, Jivan Gasparian, Zakir Hussein Francois Rabbath, Simon Shaheen, Solhi-al-Wadi, Calefax Reed Quintet, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

His compositions include several works for solo, orchestra, and chamber music; film, live illustration, and electronics. His discography include three albums with his ensemble HEWAR, several soundtracks for film and dance, a duo album with pianist Dinuk Wijeratne and a recent album with his New York Arabic/Jazz quartet. He serves as artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Music Ensemble, with whom he released an album of new contemporary Syrian chamber music written especially for the ensemble by various composers and is also a frequent guest faculty at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music and is on the advisory board of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. He is also a member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble.

Kevork Mourad was born in 1970 in Syria. Of Armenian origin, he received his MFA from the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts in Armenia, and he now lives and works in New York. 

Six of his pieces are in permanent residency at the Gyumri Museum in Armenia, and several more at the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, Massachusetts.  As part of group shows, his pieces were exhibited at the NYU Small Works Gallery in 2005 and 2007, and his digital piece, The Map of Future Movements, toured as part of a group exhibition in Jerusalem and Ramallah, and was in the 2010 Liverpool Biennial.

He has had solo exhibitions at Gallery Z in Providence, RI and at JK Gallery in Los Angeles.  He is represented in the Middle East by Rafia Gallery in Damascus, Syria, where he exhibited in 2009.  His solo exhibition was also shown at the Courtyard Gallery in Dubai in 2010. Five of his pieces are in the permanent collection on the 70th floor of the Bourj Khalife in Dubai.  He has had work auctioned twice at Christie’s Dubai.

With his technique of spontaneous painting, where he shares the stage with musicians—a collaboration in which art and music develop in counterpoint to each other—he has worked with many world class musicians. Among them are Kinan Azmeh, Ezequiel Viñao, Tambuco, Brooklyn Rider, Mari Kimura, Ken Ueno, Liubo Borissov, Eve Beglarian, Rami Khalife, Maya Trio, SYOTOS, Song Fusion, and Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, of which he is a member as a visual artist. He has performed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Chelsea Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Chess Festival of Mexico City, The Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art in Yerevan, Le Festival du Monde Arabe in Montreal, the Stillwater Festival, the Nara Museum in Japan, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Rubin Museum of Art, Harvard University, the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Central Park’s Summerstage with the Silk Road Ensemble and Bobby McFerrin.

As a teaching artist with the Silk Road, he has worked with public school students throughout the five boroughs of New York, and has been called back many times as a favorite visiting artist. In 2010 and 2011, with actress/singer Anaïs Tekerian of Zulal, he co-produced and created two plays, Tangled Yarn and Waterlogged, which premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival and toured San Francisco and the Berkshires. His most recent show was in the Lincoln Center Atrium in NYC, with composer Ezequiel Viñao.