Classical musicians of Palestinian origin live and perform throughout the world.
Palestinian/Japanese soprano Mariam Tamari and Palestinian pianist Fadi Deeb present a recital this weekend in Connecticut as part of a three-city U.S. tour. The program includes a wide range of musical styles, from Puccini to Debussy to original settings of Palestinian poetry.
Here are highlights from their conversation with Connecticut Public Radio.
ON SELECTING VOCAL MUSIC FOR THE CONCERT
MT: I wanted it to be representative of who I am. I just have so much to share from all of my cultures that a traditional western classical program might not be able to cover. I really love to incorporate my Palestinian culture, my Japanese background and to create a program that’s relatable to a wide, diverse audience.
ON THE COMMUNITY OF CLASSICAL MUSICIANS OF PALESTINIAN ORIGIN
FD: There are a number of really, really good Palestinian musicians, that (they) play classical music or sing. Some they live in the diaspora, some they live inside the territories, some they live inside Israel. The thing is they are not very well organized...there is no central organization. It's just the Palestinian story. We’re very scattered around.
ON SHARING THEIR HERITAGE THROUGH THEIR ART
MT: It’s really a joy to share this really important part of my identity. Especially the Palestinian identity is not very well understood, certainly in the media, around the world.
FD: It’s not that I need to bear the responsibility to be the ambassador of Palestinian people and share the story. I am the story, in a way. And when I do music, definitely my heritage is part of it, even if I play Bach or Beethoven. That’s the magic of music. You can say something more profound than you can even express with words.
Mariam Tamari and Fadi Deeb will perform on Sunday afternoon at the Palestine Museum US in Woodbridge.