"Shadows of Home" is a concert combining music and poetry from composers and writers who have experienced exile from their homes or imprisonment within their homelands during times of political and social turmoil.
The program features poems from six different nations: Syria, Iran, Greece, Pakistan, Russia, and Ukraine.
Musicians from the New World Symphony, led by fellow Hannah Nicholas, perform a range of folk, classical and contemporary compositions, including the world premiere of a string quartet by American Iranian composer Sahba Aminikia, based on poetry from his homeland.
The works presented are linked together by the pervasive ideal of home as revealed through a deep nostalgia for the past and perhaps an anguished desire to escape the present.
Bios for Musicians and Composers
Born in 1981 in Tehran, Iran, Sahba Aminikia began his composition studies in Russia, at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory, under Boris Ivanovich Tishchenko, a post-graduate student of Dimitri Shostakovich. Sahba received his Bachelors and Masters of Music from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is the recipient of commissions ranging from theatre troops to contemporary classical ensembles, including Kronos Quartet, Symphony Parnassus, Mobius Trio, Delphi Trio and Living Earth Show. His most recent project is titled "Sound, Only Sound Remains" which involves pre-recorded media obtained from Iranian female singers residing in Tehran whose voices have never been heard before due to religious restrictions.
Drew Banzhaf is a second-year Double Bass Fellow with the New World Symphony. In addition to New World, he performs regularly with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He will spend his third consecutive summer performing with the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. He received his BM from Indiana University and a MM from Rice University, where he studied with Lawrence Hurst and Timothy Pitts.
Originally from Seattle, Maya Cohon is a first-year violin fellow with the New World Symphony. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where she was a student of Almita Vamos. She has spent recent summers at Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, and Pacific Music Festival. Maya loves exploring new cultures and cities, and has performed chamber and orchestral music all over the world, from Suntory Hall in Tokyo, to Carnegie Hall in New York, to small churches in Northern Italy.
Matthew Howard is a percussionist in the New World Symphony. A Los Angeles native, Matt recently graduated with his master’s degree from the New England Conservatory studying with Will Hudgins of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He received his bachelor of music from the University of Southern California studying under Joseph Pereira and Jim Babor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has performed with such groups as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony and Boston Ballet.
Kelton Koch is a second-year Trombone Fellow at the New World Symphony. He earned a bachelor of music degree from Northwestern University while studying primarily with Michael Mulcahy. He also attended the Music Academy of the West for three summers and has been a finalist in several national solo competitions. Kelton performs and improvises in a range of musical styles, including jazz, pop and electronic dance music.
Visual artist Kevork Mourad was born in 1970 in Kamechli, a town in the upper reaches of Syria. Of Armenian origin, he received his MFA from the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts in Armenia, and he now lives and works in New York. He is represented by Galerie Claude Lemand and Rafia Gallery. As a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble Mourad has created visuals and animation for musicians at museums around the world.
New World Symphony viola fellow Hannah Rose Nicholas started her musical path as a Modern Middle Eastern Studies major, inspired by the poetry and music that she came across in her classes. She collaborates with musicians from all over the world, most recently giving performances in France and Switzerland, as well as Montreal and the Banff Centre in Canada for a residency in Persian and Arabic music traditions. Hannah enjoys playing and singing world folk and original indie/folk music with her band, The alt Default.
Flute fellow Masha Popova joined the New World Symphony in fall 2014. Prior to this, she held the position as Principal Flute with the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, as well as Second flute/Piccolo with the Sarasota Opera Orchestra. Masha made her solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 2009-10 season, after winning the Albert M. Greenfield concerto competition, and recently performed a concerto with the New World Symphony. She received her Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music and her Master of Music at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, under the instruction of Leone Buyse.
Rebecca Reale is a first-year Violin Fellow at the New World Symphony. An increasingly busy orchestral and chamber music schedule has lead her to the world’s most major music festivals, including Banff, Schleswig-Holstein, Sarasota Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Aspen and Spoleto Festival U.S.A. She recently finished her undergraduate studies at Rice University under the instruction of Kathleen Winkler. In August 2016, she will begin her job as Principal Second violin of the Houston Symphony.
Wisconsin native Nathaniel Wolkstein is a 3rd year violin fellow with the New World Symphony. He is a multi-instrumentalist who composes, sings, and plays guitar and ukulele. He enjoys writing music of all genres, especially folk/indie music for his band, The alt Default. Nathaniel is also dedicated to working on music and educational projects for world health and service organizations such as Unicef, Amnesty International, PeaceCorp, and NASA.
Julia Yang, second-year Cello Fellow at the New World Symphony, is active in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. Recent concert appearances include the Haydn Concerto with the New World Symphony Orchestra, chamber music concerts in Taos and England, and performances as principal cellist at the New World Center, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.
Kelly Zimba is a first year Flute Fellow at the New World Symphony. She has recently been a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and YOA Orchestra of the Americas, among others. She will spend this summer teaching flute and elementary general music at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Sitka, Alaska.
Composer LJOVA (Lev Zhurbin) was born in 1978 in Moscow, Russia, and moved to New York in 1990. He divides his time between composing for the concert stage, contemporary dance & film, leading his own ensemble LJOVA AND THE KONTRABAND. His recent projects include a commission from the City of London Sinfonia, a string quartet for Brooklyn Rider, new works for Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, The Knights, Sybarite5 and A Far Cry. Ljova is also the composer and conductor of the video project “Signal Strength“.