Mastersingers performing a premiere

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerMarch 15, 2013 

The Mid-Columbia Mastersingers will blend cultures and languages in their Land of the Free concert March 22-23 in the Tri-Cities.

Featured works include music by Arab-American composer Mohammed Fairouz of New York City. The music blends Middle-Eastern and Western music.

"His large-scale works, including four symphonies and an opera, engage major geopolitical and philosophical themes with persuasive craft and a marked seriousness of purchase," said Justin Raffa, Mastersingers artistic director.

The piece, titled Anything Goes, is taken from text by poet Seamus Heaney, and is a powerfully dramatic work in English and Arabic for the choir and a baritone soloist, Raffa added.

The Tri-City performance will be the world premiere of Fairouz's piece. Fairouz also has been recognized as an expert in vocal writing by the New Yorker magazine, and called a "post millennial Franz Schubert" by Gramophone Magazine.

Fairouz, who will be in attendance at the March 23 concert to hear the Mastersingers perform his new music, was featured on NPR's All Things Considered, as well as profiled in several national publications.

He studied with such notable musicians as Gyorgy Ligeti, Gunther Schuller and Richland Danielpour.

Other works featured during the Mastersingers concert are Cloudburst by Eric Whitacre, Canciones por las Americas by Sid Robinovitch, and Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory's Hope for Resolution.

The concert will be held in two different locations. The first is at 7:30 p.m. March 22 at St. Joseph's Church, 901 W. Fourth St., Kennewick. Then at 2 p.m. March 23, the concert will be at St. Patrick's Church, 1320 W. Henry St., Pasco. Tickets cost $20 for adults, are free for students in grades K-12 and are available at the door.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;; Twitter: @dorioneal

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