Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma 2009 Tour Begins March 6

03.03.09
Yo-Yo Ma, Silk Road Ensemble

RENOWNED SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE WITH YO-YO MA TO EMBARK ON A
SIX-CITY NORTH AMERICAN TOUR AS PART OF
THE SILK ROAD PROJECT’S 10TH-ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

Program to Feature North American Premiere of a Multimedia Performance of
Classic Arabian Love Story
Layla and Majnun

As it celebrates ten years of connecting the world’s neighborhoods, the Silk Road Project will present the North American tour of the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma from March 6-20, 2009, with concerts in Providence, RI; Boston, MA; North Bethesda, MD; Ann Arbor, MI; Minneapolis, MN; and Toronto, Ontario. The Silk Road Project, a not-for-profit artistic, cultural and educational organization, was founded by renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998 as a catalyst to promote innovation and learning through the arts.

“During the past ten years, the Silk Road Ensemble has explored connections from ancient times to the present, joining beloved traditions with new knowledge and innovation,” commented Yo-Yo Ma. “As we celebrate the Silk Road Project’s 10th anniversary, we look forward to sharing with North American audiences some of the wonderful music that has resulted from our exploration of cultural intersections.” The virtuoso musicians of the Silk Road Ensemble, with Yo-Yo Ma, will perform two programs during the six-city tour, each reflecting the diversity of the artists’ backgrounds and the cultures of the countries linked by the historical Silk Road. The repertoire will include traditional music arranged by and for members of the Ensemble, as well as newly commissioned works, many of which combine non-Western and Western instruments to create a unique genre that transcends customary musical classification.

A highlight of the tour will be the North American premiere of Layla and Majnun, adapted from a beloved Central Asian opera, which is itself based on a series of ancient Arabian and Persian tales of ill-fated love often likened to Romeo and Juliet. The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma has created a multimedia chamber arrangement of the opera incorporating mugham, a complex form of vocal expression from Azerbaijan, and instrumentation from Asian and Western traditions. The performances of Layla and Majnun will feature Alim Qasimov, the leading performer of Layla and Majnun in Azerbaijan for the past two decades, who has been designated an Azerbaijani Living Two educational workshops will also be held during the tour.

The tour of North America is one of a series of performances, premieres and innovative educational programs that mark the Silk Road Project’s 10th anniversary, which launched in October 2008 with a special performance at the United Nations for U.N. Day. Other concert highlights of the anniversary season include a European tour with festival concerts in England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Romania and a series of performances at Lincoln Center, marking the first performance by the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma at the New York performing arts campus, including a free outdoor concert in Damrosch Park that will be telecast on Live From Lincoln Center.

North America Tour 2009
March 6-20, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009, at 8:00 p.m.: Providence Performing Arts Center, Providence, RI
Sunday, March 8, 2009, at 3:00 p.m.: Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
Monday, March 9, 2009, at 8:00 p.m.: Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at 8:00 p.m.: Strathmore Hall, North Bethesda, MD
Friday, March 13, 2009, at 8:00 p.m.: Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, MI
Saturday, March 14, 2009, at 8:00 p.m.: Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, MI
Monday, March 16, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.: Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN
Tuesday, March 17, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.: Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN
Thursday, March 19, 2009, at 8:00 p.m.: Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Friday, March 20, 2009, at 8:00 p.m.: Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada