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AMAAN ALI BANGASH and AYAAN ALI BANGASH, with members of the Bronx Arts Ensemble in a collaboration of classical traditions, perform original compositions, designed to weave together the cultures of the East & West

Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash  

The BAE welcomes Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, acclaimed performers on the sarod, a large and dramatic string instrument similar to the sitar, a member of the lute family which is indigenous to Hindustani classical music. The Bangashs represent the 7th generation of a musical lineage, as sons and disciples of the sarod icon Amjad Ali Khan. With him they have performed worldwide, including Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center and Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. They have also collaborated with guitarist Derek Trucks of the Allman Brothers Band, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, and London Philharmonia, Avignon Symphony Orchestra, Welsh National Opera and Britten Sinfonia. The Bangashs also recently performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert 2014 in Oslo. They present traditional Indian classical ragas and folk music interpreted on their unique instruments.

The piece with Bronx Arts Ensemble: Samaagam

Samaagam comes from a Sanskrit word meaning confluence or flowing together. In realizing this work from composer Amjad Ali Khan’s singing and playing, we have aimed to preserve the essence of both Indian and Western traditions so that they can flow into each other without artistic compromise. I have used the orchestration of Indian ensemble music in the pre-Bollywood era as inspiration and have also looked back to the ancient (i.e. pre-equal-temperament) Western tradition incorporating elements which, because of their antiquity, do not violate the rules of Indian music. The aim is through this process to joyfully explore the common musical “DNA” of both traditions. Amjad Ali Khan has remarked: “every raga has a soul and every musical note is the sound of God”. In Samaagam 12 different ragas are presented. Some will make only a fleeting appearance; others will be explored for longer.

Advance tickets: $15 / $25 at the door
Violinist Jorge Avila

Violinist JORGE ÁVILA has won attention as an outstanding performer through numerous appearances as soloist, recitalist, concertmaster and chamber musician. He has appeared as a soloist with the Ridgefield Symphony, Colonial Symphony, New Amsterdam Symphony and Riverside Orchestra, and as concertmaster with the Stamford Symphony, Greenwich Symphony, Oratorio Society of New York, Musica Sacra, Jose Limon Dance Company and Gotham Opera Orchestra. On Broadway he has performed in such productions as Wicked, South Pacific and West Side Story, and with such chamber ensembles as Simon String Quartet, Abaca String Band, Prism Ensemble and Musicians’ Accord. A native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Jorge began his violin studies at age 14. In New York, he received both Bachelor of Music and Professional Studies diploma at the Mannes College of Music. Major teachers have included Jorge Corpus, David Nadien, Charles Castleman and José Chaín-Barbot. His Carnegie Hall concerto debut with the DCINY Orchestra was in 2012, and recent performances include the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Ridgefield Symphony in 2011.

Francisca Mendoza

Selected by MUSICAL AMERICA as a YOUNG ARTIST OF THE YEAR 1990, FRANCISCA MENDOZA has performed to critical acclaim and standing ovations around the world. Her performances have been in North, Central and South America, Europe, Israel and the Far East, and she has appeared at Carnegie Hall as soloist with the New Chamber Orchestra of New York, as well as at Steinway Hall, Weill Recital Hall and at Lincoln Center. Ms. Mendoza’s commercially released CD recording of Debussy and Prokofiev violin sonatas has been praised as “superb”…”enchanting”. During the 2015 season Ms. Mendoza was invited by the MUSEO DEL VIOLINO ANTONIO STRADIVARIUS, Cremona, to adjudicate the International Violin Making Competition 2015, and to perform in a Gala Concert at the prestigious TEATRO PONCHIELLI. She also toured Italy and Poland where she performed Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen to standing ovations at the Krakow Opera House, Karol Szymanowski Academy in Katowice and Sala Baldini in Rome. Ms. Mendoza has also given master classes in teaching residencies at Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta and El Systema for Philippino Youth in the Philippines.

Eliana Mendoza

Cellist ELIANA MENDOZA has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Winner of the Artists International Competition, she debuted at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. In Boston she performed a solo recital broadcast live on WGBH, National Public Radio. Praised by critics, her reviews have read “Fire and flash…rich pathos and refreshing singularity,” (The Washington Post) and “She is a total artist…with fluid touch, an impassioned mood and a notable bearing.” (The Enterprise, Brockton, MA). She is a tenured member of the American Symphony, Westchester Philharmonic and American Composers Orchestra, and has toured as soloist in approximately 50 concerts, performing the Paganini-Lloyd Webber Variations in venues such as Universal Studios Amphitheater, Blossom Music Center and Radio City Music Hall. Along with recording for movie soundtracks, commercials and television, she has recorded chamber music for the labels of New World Records, Soundspell Productions and Centaur Records.

Theresa Norris

Flutist THERESA NORRIS is an active orchestral and chamber musician in New York and the surrounding area. She began her musical career in her hometown of Detroit, where she performed with the Detroit Symphony and Michigan Opera Theatre while studying flute performance at Wayne State University. Currently Ms. Norris teaches flute at Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, and often races to Broadway for an evening of Phantom of the Opera. She has performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Stamford Symphony, Westfield Symphony, Center for Contemporary Opera and Long Island Philharmonic. She has been performing with the Bronx Arts Ensemble for over twenty years.

Atsuko Sato

ATSUKO SATO, bassoonist of the Tony winning musical ” the Phantom of the Opera”, graduated from the Juilliard School where she was a student of Harold Goltzer. She was a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and since returning to the New York, she freelances with many ensembles. She is a member of the Queens symphony, englewinds ensemble. She is very excited to perform with Bronx arts ensemble this season.