Music for Change: The Banned Countries
As a direct protest to the 2017 Executive Orders limiting travel to the US by people from largely Muslim-majority countries, San Francisco’s Grammy Award–winning Kronos Quartet premieres a new program featuring music from the original seven “banned” countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—among others. Kronos’ Music for Change: The Banned Countries highlights a rich diversity of artistic voices, including works composed specifically for the performance, new collaborations, and signature works from Kronos’ extensive repertoire.
The Routes of Slavery
The distinguished Catalan composer, viola da gambist, and musical historian Jordi Savall gathers a global array of dancers, singers, and musicians to pay homage to the music of Europe, Africa, and the Americas in a stunning exploration of humanity, spiritual resistance, and community in the face of slavery's unimaginable cruelty.
Barber Shop Chronicles
A play presented by the London-based Fuel with the National Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse, Barber Shop Chronicles traverses African barbershops in Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, Accra, and London, where, besides haircuts, customers and barbers take in and share confessions, wisdom, advice, and stories. Told by writer Inua Ellams, who emigrated from Nigeria to London as a teenager, this work captures the way community and culture come to life in everyday gathering spaces.
Both Native American music and African American spirituals influenced Anton Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony No. 9, performed by the composer’s national orchestra. In its maiden Bing outing, the Czech Philharmonic rounds out the program with the beyond-popular Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. Guest pianist Kirill Gerstein has ties to old world and new, having left Russia at age 14. Now a U.S. citizen, he’s based in Berlin. Music Director Semyon Bychkov, successor to the late Jiří Bělohlávek, conducts.
Old Stock, A Refugee Love Story
2b Theatre Company presents a love story about Romanian Jewish refugees arriving in Canada in 1908. Old Stock, a Refugee Love Story might apply to any time, to any person who has ever sought refuge from oppression. A music-theater work starring rising actor Ben Caplan and laced with the klezmer music of the Eastern European shtetl, Old Stock illuminates the ability to love even after the horrors of war.
Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Philharmonia Orchestra, London in celebrating immigrants old and new. From collaborators Jimmy Lopez and Nilo Cruz comes Dreamers, featuring soprano Ana Mariá Martinez. Co-commissioned by Stanford University and Cal Performances, the piece explores the experience of undocumented individuals brought to this country as children—and what it means for cities to provide sanctuary. From the Russian-born Igor Stravinsky comes The Firebird, created in 1910 for the Ballets Russes.