The students and faculty of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music arrived in New York this week. After performing to sold-out houses at Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, they’ll cap off their tour with a three-day residency at the New England Conservatory in Boston.
ANIM opened in June 2010 with a mission to rebuild Afghanistan's shattered musical culture. The school offers music and general education to some 150 students, many of them orphans and child workers. Significantly, a third of the students are girls.
For the past three years, NEC and ANIM have been joined through a growing network of interpersonal relationships. NEC alumni Robin Ryczek and Derek Beckvold have taught as full-time faculty at ANIM, and eight visits to Kabul by five NEC faculty, students and alumni have created a kind of dynamic, person-to-person diplomacy.
Interpersonal relationships are the basic and essential element of diplomacy, and music creates relationships like nothing else. Music makes audible the things that we share, and negotiates our differences with dignity. By its very nature, music reaches the heart of who we are and what we are for. In performing and preparing to perform, we cultivate what Dr. Martin Luther King called the “beloved community". And it is love, above all, that resounds in the halls of ANIM. As more than one visitor has remarked, it might be the happiest place in Kabul.
We are delighted to welcome ANIM to our musical home in Boston. There, the two communities will take part in side-by-side rehearsals, lecture/demonstrations, panel discussions, jam sessions and public performances of Afghan, European classical and world music. Events are free and open to the public, and several will be streamed live over the Internet to an international audience. Click on the event pagesto follow the events from afar.
Read on for more information on February and March events. I’ll be performing a solo recital in Boston's Jordan Hall on March 10, free and open to the public. And on March 15 and 17, the Coleman Reichman Kalmanovitch Trio comes to Baltimore and New York City.
And just in case you're in New York this evening and haven't made plans for dinner, please do come down to the Cornelia Street Cafe to hear an intimate tribute to the poet and social activist Langston Hughes. Sharon Washington and Korey Jackson read Hughes' poems, while Mazz Swift and I perform works by Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and Margaret Bonds.