On Cue: Azmeh finds freedom in improvising with SSO

*Video Courtesy Seattle Symphony

“Real interaction is at the heart of music making. If you take the scores away, you unlock real communication between us.”

It’s music that has brought Kinan Azmeh around the globe. The Syrian-born, New York-based clarinetist and composer has performed his work Suite for Improviser and Orchestra more than 200 times, from Seattle to Azerbaijan.

Composer and Clarinetist Kinan Azmeh is excited to share his Suite for Improviser and Orchestra with Saskatoon. (Liudmila Jeremeis)

“This piece is my passport to the world,” He explains. “It brings to the orchestra something that’s not really common where the soloist has the freedom to craft their own performance and play something totally different.”

The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra welcomes Kinan Azmeh to the TCU Place stage for the performance of his work. The world of improv often associated the jazz rather than classical music but, Azmeh says in each performance something magical happens.

“There has to be flexibility between me, the conductor, and the performers.”

“There’s lots of parts where the soloist continues over a repeated pattern played by the orchestra. I composed a solo clarinet part but sometimes, I choose to play something totally different,” says Azmeh. “There has to be flexibility between me, the conductor, and the performers. The three entities have to really listen because we are adjusting to each other every single moment.”

“Every time I play in a different place, it changes my idea of home.”

SSO guest conductor Cosette Justo Valdés will take the podium for this performance. (Dale Macmillan)

This will be the first time Azmeh will perform in Saskatoon. The piece was inspired by his sense of home and he’s excited to share his reflections with the audience.

“For me, home is an ever-expanding concept. Where you grew up, where you are right now and the place you most want to contribute to,” he says. “Every time I play in a different place, it changes my idea of home. With this performance, Saskatoon will become part of my home.”

Under the direction of guest conductor Cosette Justo Valdés, this performance will also feature Gabriel Faure’s Pelias et Melisande, Curiosity, Genius and the Search for Petula Clark by Kelly-Marie Murphy and Erno Dohnanyi’s Symphonic Minutes.

Kinan Azmeh with the SSO

Saturday Mar. 20


TCU Place

Tickets $45 – $93

*This performance will also be available digitally at ConcertStream.tv

For more information, follow this link.

SSO In The News…

CBC Saskatchewan Weekend

North Sask Music Zine

Global News Morning

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

CFCR Classical Connection

North Sask Music Zine