Arab Music Concert Series

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture


Over the past 10 years, Al-Bustan has emerged as one of the country's leading Arab arts organizations, featuring year-round programming with some of the finest Arab music artists working today. During its 2012–13 season, Al-Bustan presented the Arab Music Concert Series, which featured three virtuosic international guest artists making their Philadelphia debuts: Turkish clarinetist Husnu Senlendirici, Moroccan vocalist Karima Skalli, and Lebanese vocalist Rima Khcheich. All three artists conducted free public workshops, as well as master classes for University of Pennsylvania music students and faculty. They each also performed a concert of repertoire from their respective musical traditions with Al-Bustan's resident takht ensemble—a small group configuration that plays Arab classical music repertoire—led by violinist and 2010 Pew Fellow in the Arts Hanna Khoury. The visiting musicians, with roots that begin in Turkey and expand to North Africa and Lebanon, provided local audiences with a wider representation and understanding of Arab culture, and aided Al-Bustan in developing new material for educational tools and constituent resources.