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Berklee Middle Eastern Festival: The Music of Armenia
(Published: February 20, 2014)

Date: Monday, March 3
Price: $8 in advance, $12 day of show
Start time: 8:15 pm
End time: 10:15 pm
Venue: Berklee Performance Center
Phone: 617-747-2261
More info: http://www.berklee.edu/bpc

The Signature Music Series continues with Berklee's sixth annual Middle Eastern Festival: The Music of Armenia. The program will feature Perspectives Ensemble directed by flutist Sato Moughalian, presenting Dark Eyes/New Eyes, with a cappella folk trio Zulal and live painting by Kevork Mourad. Special guests include Ludo Mlado and acclaimed Armenian folk singer Aleksan Harutyunyan.

The concert will also feature music from neighboring regions, including a set of Bulgarian music with Berklee's Pletenitsa Choir, the Ludo Mlado Dance Ensemble, the Sayat Nova Folk Dance Ensemble, and the Berklee World Strings directed by Eugene Friesen.

The festival brings visiting artists from The Middle East, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean together with students to experience the musical traditions of the regions. Festival founder and director Christiane Karam, assistant professor of voice, chose Armenia this time because she is part Armenian. "My grandparents were exiled in 1915 and my mother was born in Beirut," said Karam. "It was important to me to go back to my roots and tell the story of the people and the culture through their music."

Perspectives Ensemble was founded in 1993 by its artistic director Moughalian. The ensemble presents the works of composers in cultural context with thematic programs on subjects that bridge the visual, musical, and literary arts. Dark Eyes/New Eyes incorporates a wide range of Armenian music. The program traces the arc of a life, from beginnings in a mountainous Armenian village, spending youth in a city learning an ancient art form, desolation, recovery and regenerating in a new place.

Syrian-born artist Kevork Mourad will paint live on-stage during Dark Eyes/New Eyes. After getting his master's degree, Mourad got the idea to combine visual art with his love of music. He has worked with many world-class musicians using his technique of spontaneous painting.

More Information: http://www.berklee.edu/bpc

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