Tuesday, July 18, 2006

INSO E-Newsletters Episodes 7-10

Monthly Newsletter
Of the
IRAQI National Symphony Orchestra (INSO)
Episode 10
July/August 2002Distributed by Al-Wafaa News
Website: http://www.INEAS.org/al-wafaanews


(*_*) (*_*) (*_*) (*_*) (*_*)



In this episode:
1. NEWS
2. Subscribers' Profile
3. The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra--Facing the Challenges by Munther J. Hafeth
4. The Sulaimaniya Musical Summer Camp: July 1947
by Bassim H. Petros and Munir Allahwerdi



1. News:
^^^ This summer, the INSO has published a new book entitled, "The School of Violin" written by Fuad Ridha and a CD consisting of selections from previous performances by the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. We await receiving a copy of each of the book and CD for this list's information and for the press.

^^^ 1001 Nights Orchestra's new CD has been released on August 24th
The long-awaited CD of 1001 Nights Orchestra entitled "Music from the Middle East and Beyond" has been released on August 24th at the Paramount Theater. The 1001 Nights Orchestra performed the "Thief of Baghdad" at the Paramount Theater, where the film was first screened in 1924!

The 17-song, 62-minute CD produced by the local indie label Kamooli Recordings is a compilation of the best of the orchestra's repertoire including themes used in their alternative soundtrack to the Thief of Baghdad. The all-instrumental CD includes folk, traditional and original tunes from Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Russia, Macedonia, Greece, Afghanistan, Spain, Bulgaria and the Arab world, with music ranging from contemplative to dance. The CD will be available online as well as in local stores in Austin.

For more info. about 1001 Nights Orchestra, go to:
http://www.1001nightsorchestra.com

****************************


2. Subscribers' Profiles:

** Katya: I am an American, who due to world events, developed an interest in the Middle East and in Arabic music, particularly the classic composers. I really love Um Kulthoum; it meant so much to hear her songs while within her country. I read the Qur'an out of wanting to know what it said for myself rather than to base what I thought on hearsay, and it's meant a lot to me to do what I could over the years to make what little difference I could in the lives of the Palestinians who are suffering.

I had said to Wafaa', whom I've had the pleasure of meeting, that I could make a donation to the visit of the tour. We had talked about this while discussing possibly procuring for me a cassette copy of the martyr symphony, which the orchestra had recorded and which had been written about in a previous issue of your newsletter.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.


** Denis Halliday: My interest in the Baghdad orchestra goes back to the John Pilger video which he made with me for Carlton TV in London and his wonderful segment on the orchestra and its leader who had lost his wife and was severely burned as a result. I would be happy to provide very modest financial support if you are going in that direction.

As a UN Assistant Secretary-General I volunteered for the assignment to head up the UN presence in Iraq and to be coordinator for the Oil for Food Program. I resigned after one year, having doubled the size of the Program, in protest at UN genocide via the work of the Security Council led and corrupted by the USA. I went public worldwide and used the media, and parliamentarians and other opportunities to bring the attention of others to the double standards of the UN/SC and the killing of innocent Iraqis due to the unending Sanctions regime. Inter Alia, the abuse of the UN, its reform, the misapplication of international law, US bombing and desire for war, not to mention breech of Human Rights by the UN itself, and the unjust punishment of the people of Iraq all remain my concerns.
Sincerely,
Denis J. Halliday


** Fawzi Habboosh: I was born in Iraq, studied medicine at the college of medicine in Iraq, did my tour of military duties for 2 and half years, and then residency in surgery in Kadhumain General Hospital. In 1965, I came to the States and did an internship in Washington DC, then a prolonged double residency with the graduate school of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in general surgery and in thoracic surgery. I served as a senior registrar at Hawkmoor IN Devon to Mr. Jack Lloyd Griffith in chest surgery. In 1973, I simultaneously entered Temple University Esther Boyar College of Music to study music and advanced conducting, while working in emergency medicine setting up a department of emergency medicine at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia. I was the director for ten years while completing my musical studies.

During my medical practice, I founded the Philadelphia Doctors Chamber Orchestra and have been its music director and conductor for the past twenty years. We have performed in many venues over the tristate area as well as in Washington DC for the Iraqi medical alumni Society in 2000. I have been a guest conductor of the Baghdad philharmonic in 1989, of the Wayne Coterie ensemble in the states and Temple university ensembles. I have participated in workshops in Europe with the West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra for three seasons and with the Karlsbad Symphony Orchestra for one season. I am happy to assist in what I can in the Baghdad Orchestra visit.


** Ghazi Mustafa Bahjat: I performed with the Fine Arts Institute Orchestra from 1954 to 1957 under the Romanian conductor Sando Albo then there were some missing years from 1957 to 1964 that is when I went to W. Germany to further my studies in the oboe instrument. On my return on 1964, I joined the INSO until 1994 when I left Iraq to Jordan where I joined the National Music Conservatory in Amman /Jordan as an oboe player and tutor from 1994 to 1997 when I left for New Zealand. From then to now I am a member of Auckland Symphony Orchestra in New Zealand. As to teaching I was the oboe tutor for the School of Ballet and Music from 1981 to 1994.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

3. The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra --Facing the Challenges
by Munther J. Hafeth
First of all the conductor had to choose the players and to rehears the orchestra in a limited time, which was usually seventeen hours of total rehearsal; three hours each time, which were enough for one concert per month. That was the standard of this orchestra, but how to keep up with its aspiration? Trained players give that weight of sound, but how to get a good trained players in Baghdad at that time was another challenge for the orchestra to face and solve.

The conductor, Mr. Mommer (who conducted from January 1971 to June 1972), was faithful, and hard working. He knew the way to achieve a good result in that particular three-hour period. He threw himself into the music with unbridled joy and abandon of rehearsal.

Another problem the orchestra faced was to search for a proper concert hall, and a place for rehearsal and administrative center. It was difficult to find a large place to accommodate more than seventy players with good acoustics. The orchestra had to change its place every now and then in order to settle down in a proper location that meets the standards of a symphony orchestra.

Additionally, the orchestra had to deal with the lack of instruments needed to fulfill an orchestra standard. Purchasing good quality instruments from abroad solved this problem.

The other challenge was how to build a music library for the orchestra. A great deal of music literature had been collected since the beginning of Baghdad Philharmonic Society during the fifties. The conductor argued that the members of the orchestra were committed, hard working and compassionate.

The orchestra was almost in a suitable stage to give a good concert, ready to exhilarate the audience, and to prove that it was very possible to establish a symphony orchestra in Baghdad at that time.

In this article, I focus on the period in which the INSO has maintained its status as an official and paid orchestra till the present without interruption despite the wars and the embargo. So the first administrative office for the orchestra was established at the ministry of information in Baghdad in 1971. All the preparations of the orchestra were completed during the summer of that year. As'ad M. Ali, Ihsan Adham, Basim H. Petros and myself were the first officially appointed at the ministry to run the office of the orchestra. In January 1971, the rehearsal time for the orchestra was set in the evening from 6 to 9 PM. The poster of the concert was printed and distributed on walls and public places, tickets were sold and the first concert became a reality, the fruit of the great labor of the committed Iraqi musicians.
____________________________


4. Sulaimaniya Musical Summer Camp: July 1947By Bassim H. Petros and Munir Allahwerdi

The latest round of fighting between the Iraqi Government forces and the Barazani rebels had just ended with Mustafa Barazani fleeing with his men to the USSR. In a celebrating mood, it was decided that the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad mobilizes a force of artists, mainly musicians to go to Sulaimaniya to entertain the people with live music and courses in music and arts.

The mission was arranged and headed by Hanna Petros and included the Director of the Institute and instructor for woodwind instruments, Walter Jenke. Both Mr. Jenke and Mr. Petros brought along their families. Among the members of the mission were Munir Allahwerdi (Clarinet), Jameel Bashir (Violin), Dr. Sami Sheikh Qassim (Violin), Petros H. Petros (Trumpet), Sabah H. Petros (Clarinet), Shaheem (Trombone), Ghanim Haddad (percussion and violin), Salim Hussein (Qanoon), Yaqoub Youssif (Oud) in addition to other musicians. We performed Chamber music (played by Jenke, Munir and Hanna). We also played Band music composed and conducted by Hanna Petros.

Jameel Bashir and others played Arabic and Kurdish music on the violin, Oud and Qanoon. Ismaeel El Shaikhly gave lessons in visual arts.

Aside from that episode, the most pleasant experience which I remember was our being invited to a resort near the Iranian borders at the Goyszah Mountain area which flanks the city of Sulaimaniya. There, near the top of the mountain (we were driven by cars provided for us by the hosts which included Sheikh Latif the son of Sheikh Mahmood Al-Hafeeth), the view was boundless and the air was so fresh and crispy cool under the bright sun. All of us were sitting under a sort of a cover made of tree branches they call, "Cuprah" which provided shade. A barbecued sheep with rice was prepared and to my surprise several kinds of imported beer cooled with natural condensed snow preserved in pits in the ground from the last winter. It was the tastiest beer I had in my life.

With us were Mrs. Petros and Mrs. Jenke and her two young daughters, who kept themselves busy with their favorite sports and games.

Many performances were presented at Sulaimaniya. There were twenty Kurdish students who attended musical workshops, among them were Prof. Shamal Sayib (famous Kurdish singer, Oud player and a university lecturer), Qadir Dylan (studied Clarinet under Munir Allahwerdi), who worked for twenty years at Prague Radio Station, and William Hanna (a leading musician in Sulaimaniya) and others.

At the end of the summer camp, Hanna Petros composed the music for a Kurdish national song, although he did not know any bit of this language. The song was presented in a public performance, with the Band's accompaniment.

(*_*)______(*_*)

The INSO Writing/Editing Team:
Munir Allahwerdi, Clarinet Player (INSO) [Austria]
Munther J. Hafeth, Composer, Musician (INSO) [IRAQ]
Nahla Jajo, Violinist, Architect (INSO) [IRAQ]
Andrew Jones, Violinist, Journalist [South Africa]
Beatrice Ohanessian, Composer, Pianist (INSO) [USA]
Bassim H. Petros, Cellist, Music Critic (INSO) [New Zealand]
Wafaa' Al-Natheema, List Moderator & Concert Tour Organizer [USA]


******************************************


Monthly Newsletter
Of the
IRAQI National Symphony Orchestra (INSO)
Episode 9
June 2002Distributed by Al-Wafaa News
Website: http://www.INEAS.org/al-wafaanews

(*_*) (*_*) (*_*) (*_*) (*_*)


We would like to inform you that during the summer, the INSO newsletter will be produced once and emailed in the end of August. The first anniversary episode will be emailed in the end of September. We encourage this list's subscribers to send their profiles (as done in this issue) by August 10, so that they will be included in the summer issue.

Have a pleasant and a relaxing summer.

(*_*)*********(*_*)*********(*_*)

In this episode:

1. INSO Bits & Pieces by Salem Abdul Kareem
2. Subscribers' Profile
3. The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra--A Personal Account by Beatrice Ohanessian

****************************************************************

1. INSO Bits and Pieces
by Salem Abdul Kareem

My experience with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra (INSO), as a listener, performer, composer and conductor extends to 20 years. In 1976, I was a student at the Center for Musical Studies. Part of the curriculum was a course on western theories, which was taught by a great teacher, Mr. Munther J. Hafeth. He had written a composition for Oud and Orchestra in the form of concerto. When Mr. Hafeth shared his desire with the students to have his composition performed with the accompaniment of the Oud, I was very interested in the project and joined the orchestra to play Hafeth's piece on the Oud. That was my first involvement with the INSO. . . . .


2. Subscribers' Profile
**Evelyn Alsultany is a Ph.D. candidate in the Modern Thought Program and Literature at Stanford University. Her work focuses on Arab-Americans, particularly increasing the visibility of Arab-Americans within the US Ethnic Studies Departments. Her father is Iraqi and she is on the INEAS e-mail list to keep him informed of the Iraqi and other Arab musicians and artists that come to the US.

**Nabil Azzam is the director of Mesto (Multi Ethnic Star Orchestra). He is a violinist, Oud player, composer and conductor. Received his Ph.D. from UCLA. His dissertation was on Muhammad 'Abdul Wahhab's music and life.

Mesto was founded in Los Angeles in order to provide different aspect of world music (based on ethnic music themes) in a symphonic format. Without any regards to the classic norms of the Western classical repertoire, Mesto started to play ethnic music of the Middle East and other areas arranged and reinterpreted to fit the 40-musician Orchestra. Mesto was able to perform three successful concerts and is preparing for the fourth one this summer. It can be accessed at  http://www.mesto.org

The aim of joining the INSO list was to "look around" and see what is being done in the field. I really believe that music can do miracles. I admire the Iraqi ethnic music (classical and folk alike) and I also think that the Iraqi audience appreciates Western classical music. "Music is not part of my life; Music IS my life"


** Laith Al-Attar was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1978. Currently a student at the University of Michigan, College of Literature, Science and the Arts specializing in Psychology (BS) program and the University of Michigan School of Music Composition (BM) program. He studied Arabic music theory, Oud, and voice with a number of acclaimed Arab musicians, including Karim Bader, Ali Jihad Racy, and Rima Khcheich. His latest composition is Mobile (2002) for solo clarinet. Laith is currently working on a string quartet piece.

He joined the INSO list to learn about the INSO musicians, history and news and hopes to collaborate with the INSO in the future.


3. The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra--
A Personal Account

by Beatrice Ohanessian

The year was 1961, I had just returned to Baghdad, my hometown, after having completed my music studies at the Julliard School of Music in New York. That same year I was invited to perform Johann Christian Bach's piano concerto with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra (INSO) for brief, conducted by Siegfried Stolte.

Considering the size of the Orchestra then, which included mainly Iraqi musicians, who are graduates from different music schools in Europe and were back home teaching and developing the artistic movement in the field of 'western' classical music performance.

Each had his specialty; his or her chosen instrument and each member was a vital presence in the Orchestra; a medium which demands great sacrifice, cooperation, flexibility, discipline, hard work and perseverance.
To my delight that first concert was a great success. I had performed as soloist in piano concertos with other orchestras in England and the USA, such as the Royal Academy of Music first orchestra; The Orpheum Symphony Orchestra in New York, Julliard School of Music Orchestra New York; the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (which is called now the Minnesota Orchestra) and other large Chamber Orchestras.

So I felt proud that such venue was also possible in my own hometown Baghdad.

Here I should like to mention an important fact, which is that the Orchestra actually existed long before 1961. I recall its existence since my student days at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad. It grew in the hands of various conductors both local and foreign. It also expanded in number over the years from being almost a chamber orchestra size to a fully fledged sixty member orchestra to which musicians from various foreign countries were invited to join while they were also teaching at music schools in addition to the existing large number of Iraqi musicians.

My collaboration with the Orchestra continued from 1961 to 1994 except for a number of years which I spent abroad working in my field of teaching and concertizing in the United States from 1968 to 1972 and then in Geneva Switzerland from 1972 to 1974.

My post with the Orchestra was that of a permanent member who carried through my piano parts in symphonic works and as a soloist performing numerous concertos from different composers with different conductors. There have been memorable performances throughout the concert seasons with brilliant successes.

Between 1980 up to 1994 I composed several pieces which included solo piano works as well as orchestrated versions of number of them. These works were performed both during our concert season televised and also at the annual Babylon Festivals. Also televised as the first Iraqi-born female composer, my work met with great support from the Orchestra as well as the Ministry of Culture and Information. I had encouragement and appreciation and every cooperation for their presentation a fact, which is very precious and dear to me.

From the mid seventies up to the present time, female musicians joined the Orchestra as permanent members.

They came from different backgrounds, music schools in Baghdad such as the Institute of Fine Arts and the School of Music and Ballet, playing different instruments. Also in the past, several foreign female musicians have worked with the Orchestra.

As for my own repertoire performed over that period of time, I was fortunate to present several challenging concertos with the Orchestra by the following composers: J.S. Bach, J.C. Bach; Beethoven; Saint-Saens; Edward Grieg; Aram Khatchaturian; Bela Bartok; two concertos by Mozart; Amiroff; Chopin; besides my own compositions and others. Those were presented with different conductors from Iraq and other countries to name a few - Hans Gunther Mommer; Siegried Stolte; Hans Graf; Yuri Aliev; Akoka; Abdul Razzak Al-Azzawi; Van Karoly; Mohammed Othman and others.

There were also opportunities to perform with the Orchestra abroad. Some of these events took place in Lebanon in 1974, Jordan also in 1985 and in Moscow, Azerbaijan and St. Petersburg in 1989.

My colleagues have been:

Munther Jamil Hafeth, Assad Mohammed Ali, Bassim Hanna Petros, Fuad Mashta, Nubar Pashtikian, Munir Allahwerdi, Agnes Bashir, Bahija Hafidh, Abdul Razzak Al Azzawi, Mehdi Abed Ali, Moammed Othman, Leith Abdul Ghani.



The INSO Writing/Editing Team:
Munir Allahwerdi, Clarinet Player (INSO) [Austria]
Jason Carter, Guitarist [UK]
Munther J. Hafeth, Composer, Musician (INSO) [IRAQ]
Yaacoub Hallak, Educator, Musicologist [USA]
Nahla Jajo, Violinist, Architect (INSO) [IRAQ]
Andrew Jones, Violinist, Journalist [South Africa]
Salem A. Kareem, Composer & Oud player [UAE]
Beatrice Ohanessian, Composer, Pianist (INSO) [USA]
Bassim H. Petros, Cellist, Music Critic (INSO) [New Zealand]
Wafaa' Al-Natheema, List Moderator & Concert Tour Organizer [USA]



----------------------------------------------
Monthly Newsletter
Of the
IRAQI National Symphony Orchestra (INSO)
Episode 8
May, 2002
Distributed by Al-Wafaa News
Website: http://www.INEAS.org/al-wafaanews
(*_*) (*_*) (*_*) (*_*) (*_*)

In this episode:
1. News
2. From Subscribers
3. Series: Honoring Women Composers (Part 1)
by Wafaa' Al-Natheema
****************************************************************

1. News

**In April, we received words that the father of Mr. Salem Abdul Kareem, renowned composer and oud player, had passed away. May his father rest in peace. Salem has composed and arranged several pieces for the INSO and has been part of the editing/writing team of this monthly newsletter. Currently, he is living in the United Arab Emirates. As a result of his involvement in arranging some of Kathum Al-Saher's new CD, constant travel since January and recent loss of his father, he has not been able to participate in the writing of the INSO newsletter. We send him our condolences and wish him peace of mind.

** In Germany, one million people protested the George Bush's "war on terrorism" carrying anti-war slogans during Bush's recent visit to Germany. Being the backbone of the European Union, Germany's unprecedented reaction to the current US policy has challenged the possibility of attacking IRAQ.

** Dr. Yaacoub Hallak will join the writing/editing team of this INSO newsletter. Dr. Hallak, educator and musicologist, earned his Ph.D. in musicology and culture from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has been teaching graduate courses at Cambridge College on
"The Universal Language of Music in Education and Culture," and on "Shakespeare in Love, Music, and Film." He also teaches at North Shore Community College and Quincy College. In the 1970s and 80s, Hallak worked as a flight engineer, airline transport pilot and commercial pilot for the Middle East Airlines and Royal Saudi airlines. Welcome to Dr. Hallak.

2. From Subscribers

"Wafaa': Through people like you, reporters such as myself are introduced to a colorful, miraculous side of Arab culture we never knew existed. Your tireless work deserves a big salute--and you deserve a rest. Here's to a speedy and complete recovery.
Warm regards,
Lou Carlozo,
Chicago Tribune"

-------*(**)*-------

"Dear Wafaa´:
I join your other friends and sympathizers in wishing you well and a rapid recovery. I am looking forward to hearing from you again, but give your body and soul time before you go back to work which in your case is very consuming.. Cheer up and chin up.
In Frienship,
Enis Al-Attar"

-------------*(**)*-------------

"Dear Wafaa':
Assalamu Alaikum,
I am so sorry for the news. I had just learned about your eyes situation. I hope you are now better. Wishing you all happiness, health and peace.
With my best regards,
Cordially,
Salem Abdul Kareem"
**********************

3. Honoring Women Composers (Part 1)
by Wafaa' Al-Natheema

In an effort to acknowledge the unknown and forgotten musicians and their slashed-out-of-history work, this series is dedicated to women composers. Its future parts may or may not be written by me. Other musicians and writers are welcome to add to this series. Although it will focus on women composers who have composed classical music, symphonies concertos and other related variations, occasionally it will introduce women composers in other musical genres.

Music history books are littered with references to composers like Mozart, Haydn, Handel, Verdi, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. Musical experts and non-expert listeners alike have recognized and noted the historical emphasis on composers who are near entirely white males.

In part one of this series, I will acknowledge two (deceased) French composers, Lili and Nadia Boulanger; an Iraqi composer and a piano player, Beatrice Ohanessian; and a Georgian-Iraqi composer and piano player, Agnes Bashir-Dzodtsoeva. In part two, I hope to cover the life and accomplishments of women composers such as the Egyptian Baheeja Rasheed, the Palestinian Rima Naser Tarazi and the Iraqi Inaam Wali. Both Rima and Inaam are not classical or symphonic composers. Although I have some information about Inaam Wali, I have little to none about Baheeja Rasheed and Rima N. Tarazi. So, I hope it won't be too long before I find enough references about both of them.

Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979), French music teacher, composer and conductor, born in Paris and educated at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1908, her cantata La Sirene won second place in the Grand Prix de Rome competition. Nadia began teaching at the Paris Conservatoire in 1909 and at the Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris, in 1919. She was so affected by her sister's death in 1918 that made her stop composing as of that year. Among her positions, were becoming the head of the composition department at the Ecole Normale in 1935.

Between 1939 and 1945, she taught in the US., then returned to the Paris Conservatoire. In 1949 she became director of the Conservatoire Americain, Fontainebleau. Ms. Boulanger was guest conductor with the London's Royal Philharmonic Society in 1936 and 1937; with the Boston Symphony in 1938 and 1945; and with the New York Philharmonic in 1939 and 1962.

Ms. Boulanger taught such students as the American composers Roy Harris, Lennox Berekely, Walter Piston, Aaron Copland, Marc Blitzstein, Elliott Carter and virgil Thomson, the French composer Jean Francaix and the Russian conductor Igor Markevich.

In addition to the La Sirene, she composed several pieces for cello and piano in 1915 including: Modere, E flat minor; Sans vitesse et a l'aise, A minor; Vite et nerveusement rythme, C sharp minor.

Lili Boulanger (1893-1918), Nadia's sister, was a composer of great promise. Lili suffered through much illness in her short life before passing away due to intestinal tuberculosis in March 1918.

She became the first woman to win Grand Prix de Rome for composing her cantata, Faust et Helene in 1913. She composed the winning piece in four weeks. There is a recording of this composition with Yan Pascal Tortelier conducting the BBC Philharmonic.

In addition, Lili composed Nocturne for violin and piano in 1911 and both D'un Matin de Printemps and D'un Soir Triste in 1918, the year in which she passed away.

Beatrice Ohanessian (1930- ) born in Baghdad, Iraq. She graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts with special honor majoring in piano. With an Iraqi government scholarship, she was able to continue her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Ms. Ohanessian obtained her L.R.A.M. in performance and pedagogy and was awarded the Frederick Westlake Memorial Prize.

She was granted a Fulbright Scholarship to continue her higher training at the Juilliard School of Music in New York where she studied with Prof. Irwin Freundlich in piano. After performing at the Carnegie Recital Hall, which was followed by a series of concerts in the US, she returned to Iraq where she was appointed the head of the piano department at the Institute of Fine Arts.

Summer breaks in Iraq were and still are more than two-month long, periods that enabled Beatrice to participate in Master's classes in Austria and Spain. Also she has given Master's classes and music seminars in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Iran.

In 1969, she was invited to teach at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and simultaneously at Macalester College in St. Paul. In 1972, she taught and performed in Geneva for two years. In addition to being a regular soloist with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra (INSO) and the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, she was a regular
reciter in Austria and Germany.

Ms. Ohanessian's solo appearances in recitals included Europe (Austria, Belgium, Czeckoslovakia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Scandinavia, Switzerland and the UK), the Arab World, Iran and the USA.

Between 1980 and 1994, Ms. Ohanessian composed several pieces including Fantasy on Iraqi Theme, Hamurabi Overture, Spring Ballade, Variations on an Armenian Folk Tune and The Dawn. Beatrice, who is the first Iraqi-born female composer, was honored as a pioneer and first concert artist of Iraq. Since 1996, she has been living in the USA. Being part of the writing/editing team of this INSO newsletter, Ms. Ohanessian has written an informative article about her experience with the INSO, which will be published in June.


Agnes Bashir-Dzodtsoeva (birth year unavailable), born in Tbilisi, Georgia. She began learning music at the age of six. Since then she has pursued music studies until her graduation in 1968 from the Russian Academy of Music.

After marrying Fikri Bashir, an Iraqi musician studying in Moscow, Agnes moved to Iraq and since then has worked as a concert pianist, composer and music teacher at the Music and Ballet School and the Fine Arts Institute in Baghdad. In 1990 Agnes Bashir was awarded the First Prize for composition by the Ministry of Culture and Information in Baghdad.

Since 1992 she has been residing in Amman, Jordan. She worked with Jordan's National Music Conservatory and participated in Jarash Festivals in 1994 and 1995 performing her own compositions. In 1996 she participated in the Spring Festival in Paris (France) and the 10th International Congress for "Women in Music" in Los-Angeles (USA). Agnes contributed in Fuiggi Festival (Italy), where she became an Honorary Member of Adkins-Chitti Foundation.

In 1998, Ms. Bashir got the medal of Recognition from the Italian Prime Minister Office for Equal Opportunities for Men and Women. In 2000 she established the AAWM (Arab Alliance of Women in Music). In the same year, she attended the 27th International Millennium Congress on Arts and Communications in Washington, DC, where she received a medal for her distinguished participation. She also participated in the 2nd Festival of Women-Creators of the two seas the Mediterranean and the Black Sea organized by UNESCO.

She has written numerous compositions including ballets Sinbad and Ishtar, Arabic suite (tone poem for symphonic orchestra), In Jordan (composition for symphonic orchestra), Song of Peace (for choir and orchestra), Dream and Dance (two movements for symphonic orchestra), Fantasia (for Piano), Miniatures (for string quartet) and many others.

Her name was included in the "Who is Who in Music" ; "Who is Who of Intellectuals" ; and "Five Hundred Leaders of Influence on the Art of 20th Century".

This year, on May 13, Agnes Bashir along with Oksana Kosenko, Zina Asfour, Malak Al-Taher and Suad Bushnaq under the patronage of H.E. The Minister of Culture Mr. Haider Mahmoud, The Arab Alliance of Women In Music and in cooperation with Freddy For Music and Le Meridien Hotel presented a "Tribute To The Piano" in help for the people
of Palestine.

Sources:1. Encyclopedia Britannica
2. Columbia Encyclopedia
3. Funk & Wagnalls Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music
4. Beatrice Ohanessian
5. Agnes Bashir-Dzodtsoeva
6. www.ambache.co.uk/wBoulanger.htm
7. www.classicalmusic.about.com/library/weekly/aa040701a.htm

(*_*)********************(*_*)


The INSO Writing/Editing Team:
Munir Allahwerdi, Clarinet Player (INSO) [Austria]
Jason Carter, Guitarist [UK]
Munther J. Hafeth, Composer, Musician (INSO) [IRAQ]
Yaacoub Hallak, Educator, Musicologist [USA]
Nahla Jajo, Violinist (INSO) [IRAQ]
Andrew Jones, Violinist, Journalist [South Africa]
Salem A. Kareem, Composer & Oud player [UAE]
Beatrice Ohanessian, Composer, Pianist (INSO) [USA]
Bassim H. Petros, Cellist, Music Critic (INSO) [New Zealand]
Wafaa' Al-Natheema, List Moderator & Concert Tour Organizer [USA]


----------------------------------------------

Monthly Newsletter
Of the
IRAQI National Symphony Orchestra (INSO)

Episode 7
April, 2002
Distributed by Al-Wafaa News
Website: http://www.INEAS.org/al-wafaanews
(*_*) (*_*) (*_*) (*_*) (*_*)


In this episode:

1. Announcement to Composers
2. Subscribers' Profiles and Interest


(*_*)************(*_*)



1. Announcement to Composers

" I am interested in finding out as much as possible about composers from the Arab world in order to consider commissions for them. That means that I would not present the recordings I would get from you or others with anybody in public. I just want to get a sense for what kind of composers there are and if I can see (hear) them as part of our CrossSound programs.

In order to find out more about CrossSound please go to our web site at http://www.crosssound.com

CrossSound programs are designed to cross many cultural borders and to challenge everybody involved, from the composer to the audience. That concept is what has won us the ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music for our current season. We invite composers, usually four per program, from all over the world to write for musicians form Southeast Alaska and beyond.

Our ensembles are very eclectic and may consist, to give you an example, of Western strings, Chinese erhu, Japanese koto, flute and euphonium. A commission from Cross Sound means for the composer to write a new piece very likely for an instrumental combination for which nobody has written before. In addition to that CrossSound will bring the composer to Alaska for a 10 day residency during which the composer will attend the rehearsals of his or her piece and be available for public discussions and interviews and possibly a master class. For this CrossSund pays the airfare and houses the composer.

This should give you more of a sense for the kind of composers for which we are looking and who we may consider to commission to write new pieces for our musicians and audiences.

With kind regards,
Stefan Hakenberg
CrossSound
1109 C Street
Juneau Alaska 99801
+1 907 586-9601
*******************************

2. Subscribers' Profiles and Interest

We ask that ALL subscribers please send us an email of up to ten lines including your full name, mailing address if out of USA/Canada and tel/fax numbers if in the USA/Canada along with a background information on your credentials and interests and the reason for subscribing to this list. Are you interested in funding and/or co-sponsoring the INSO tour? The background paragraph will be included in the May and June issues for introduction and networking purposes without personal contact information unless otherwise requested.

______---_____________---_______


The INSO Writing/Editing Team:
Munir Allahwerdi, Clarinet Player (INSO) [Austria]
Jason Carter, Guitarist [UK]
Munther J. Hafeth, Composer, Musician (INSO) [IRAQ]
Nahla Jajo, Violinist (INSO) [IRAQ]
Andrew Jones, Violinist, Journalist [South Africa]
Salem A. Kareem, Composer & Oud player [UAE]
Beatrice Ohanessian, Composer, Pianist (INSO) [USA]
Bassim H. Petros, Cellist, Music Critic (INSO) [New Zealand]
Wafaa' Al-Natheema, List Moderator & Concert Tour Organizer [USA]