Past Performances

Photo Credit: Sandra Borchers
Feb 2 - 4, 2023

Sibelius Symphony No. 7

Seattle Symphony

For his seventh and final symphony, Sibelius distilled all his powers down to a succinct, momentous closing statement — an odyssey contained in just over 20 minutes. A newly commissioned work from Dai Fujikura takes its inspiration from this enigmatic work. We welcome back Augustin Hadelich to perform Britten’s Violin Concerto, composed in the growing shadows of World War II.

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Jan 28, 2023

Winter Playlist with Higdon & Hris

Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra

In collaboration with New Music for America, ICO is proud to present the Indiana premiere of living composer, Jennifer Higdon’s Suite on Cold Mountain. ICO welcomes Indianapolis native, Kazem Abdullah, as a guest conductor. World-renowned violinist, 2006 IVCI Laureate, and local favorite Bella Hristova will captivate audiences with Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2.

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Jan 12 - 15, 2023

Tom Borrow plays Beethoven

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Atlanta, GA

This week, Beethoven meets American music. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra presents the Atlanta debut of American conductor Kazem Abdullah, an artist famous for taking orchestral music in new directions through genre-bending collaborations. He leads Ives’ Second Symphony, a work that paraphrases and blends styles ranging from hymns to folk songs to Bach. The young Israeli pianist Tom Borrow joins Maestro Abdullah and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s exquisitely soulful Piano Concerto No. 4.

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Oct 27 - Nov 13, 2022


LA Opera
Los Angeles, CA

In 1807, a 37-year-old scholar living in West Africa was captured and forced aboard a ship bound for Charleston, South Carolina. Omar Ibn Said's life and Muslim faith are remembered and retold in this inspirational West Coast premiere inspired by his remarkable 1831 autobiography (the only known surviving American slavery narrative written in Arabic).

Set in the shifting darkness of memory and imagination, Omar follows his compelling journey from a peaceful life in his homeland to enslavement in a violent, foreign world. Reflecting on his life journey, he's haunted by memories of his family and the people he encounters along the way. Through it all, he somehow remains true to himself and his faith, against all odds. The luminous score—composed by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels—incorporates distinctive West African traditions with traditional opera instrumentation.

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May 14-22, 2022

X, Life and Times of Malcolm X

Michigan Opera Theater
Detroit, Michigan, USA

The astonishing life of one of the most misunderstood men in history unfolds in X: The Life and Times of Malcom X. This distinctly American opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis (Central Park Five) and directed by Tony-nominee Robert O’Hara (Slave Play) features a jazz ensemble incorporated into the orchestra and MOT 21-22 Artist-in-Residence Davóne Tines embodying the role of Malcolm X. This new production of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X is a powerful, moving exploration of how one man’s fight to define his life on his own terms became the battle cry for justice of an entire people

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April 7, 2022

Kazem Abdullah Conducts Tchaikovsky

River Center Theatre
Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Baton Rouge Symphony

Kazem Abdullah, conductor
Matthew Hakkarainen, violin


ROSSINI: Overture to La Gazza Ladra
SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6, Pathétique

A vibrant, versatile and compelling presence on the podium, American conductor Kazem Abdullah is one of the most watched talents on the international stage today. Kazem currently lives in Nürnberg, Germany. He was Music and Artistic Director of the City of Aachen, Germany from 2012 to 2017. He will be joined by our youngest soloist of the season, 20 year old Matthew Hakkarainen. Matthew is an extraordinary student at the Curtis Institute of Music, he has previously performed with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony. Kazem and Matthew will collaborate on the Sibelius Violin Concerto.

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Mar 18-26, 2022

The Central Park Five

Portland Opera
Portland, OR, USA

Winner of the Pulitzer Price for Music in 2020, The Central Park Five takes us to New York City in the late 80s—when five Black and Latino teenagers were falsely accused of rape and assault, and coerced into confession, during a terrible incident that gripped the nation, and still strikes our hearts.After serving prison sentences, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise were exonerated through DNA evidence. This courageous work speaks to the injustices and experiences they endured.

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February 6, 2022

Perry Gilmore Plays Saint-Georges

Omaha Symphony, Joslyn Art Museum
Omaha, NE, USA

Susanna Perry Gilmore takes the stage in her performance of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges' violin concerto No. 9 in G Major.

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