World Music at Macalester: Gao Hong and Issam Rafea Duo

7:30 PM  - 9:00 PM
Saturday Oct 20, 2018
Mairs Concert Hall, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Music Building

Internationally renowned musicians Gao Hong (on the pipa) and Issam Rafea (on the oud) will give a concert at Macalester College featuring traditional, composed, and improvised music from the Chinese and Arab/Syrian traditions. The bond between the two master musicians is informed by the ancient Persian origin of the pipa and the oud. The music they play sounds at once ancient and strikingly modern. Their latest album, Life as is (2018), explores “the blending of ancient souls from Syria and China” and has received acclaim from all around the world and was included on the top ten lists in three different genres (world, classical, and jazz).

Issam Rafea was the Chair of the Arabic Music Department at the High Institute of Music in Damascus and the principal conductor of the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music. He was the winner of the 2010 “Best Composer Award” in the Dubai International Film Festival (Muhr Arab) for the film Matar Ayloul (September Rain). He currently resides in Illinois and continues to perform, compose and teach. 

Gao Hong is a master of the Chinese lute pipa. She has received numerous top awards and honors: she was the first traditional musician to be awarded the prestigious Bush Artist Fellowship in 2005 and became the only musician in any genre to win four McKnight Artist Fellowships for Performing Musicians in 2012. Her album Pipa Potluck is winner of the 2016 Global Music Award—Outstanding Album Award, and was an Independent Music Awards Nominee for Best Album. 

The duo will be joined by students in the Macalester Asian Music Ensemble at the concert.

This event is for: Students, Staff, Faculty and Public

Admission: Pre-concert Talk starts at 6:30pm; concert starts at 7:30pm. Free

Sponsored By: Music

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