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Dhafer Youssef & band

Dhafer Youssef & band

Dhafer Youssef, Joanna MacGregor with Britten Sinfonia
@ the Royal Festival Hall
14 November 2008

Click an image to enlarge.

Dhafer Youssef biography

Born in Teboulba, Tunesia in 1967, composer, singer and oud player Dhafer Youssef has been living and working in Vienna, Austria since 1990. During this time he had the opportunity to perform his music on stages in Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland and other European countries as well as his native Tunesia (where he started singing in the Islamic tradition at age 5). Youssef has been working with Renaud Garcia-Fons, Markus Stockhausen, Carlo Rizzo, Nguyên Lê, Jatinder Thakur, Sainkho Namchylak, Paolo Fresu, Arto Tuncboyacian, Linda Sharrock, Wolfgang Puschnig, Christian Muthspiel, Jamey Haddad, Iva Bittova, Tom Cora and other great improvisers influenced by world music concepts. He also formed his own ensembles with whom he recorded two previous CD’s in 1993 and 1996. Youssef ‘s music is rooted in the Sufi tradition and other mystical music but has always been wide open to ideas from any other musical culture as well as the jazz scene. With his poetic approach on the oud (the Arabic lute), his complex Arab-coloured compositions and especially his deeply affecting singing, Dhafer Youssef is one of the most impressive voices to emerge in this musical field in many years.

Joanna MacGregor biography

Joanna MacGregor is thought of as one of the world’s most wide-ranging and innovative musicians and has pursued a life connecting many genres of music defying categorizations. She has performed in over sixty countries often appearing as a solo artist with many of the world's leading orchestras. These include the New York Philharmonic, London and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, Netherlands Radio and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The many eminent conductors with whom she has worked include Pierre Boulez, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Colin Davis and Michael Tilson Thomas. She has premiered many landmark compositions ranging from Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Django Bates to John Adams and James MacMillan. Her experience in the world of chamber music is wide and various; she has curated concerts at many distinguished venues, from the South Bank and the Albert Hall (for the BBC Proms) in London, to a weekend celebrating British music in New York. From 1999 to 2005 she was the President of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Ireland.

MacGregor made her conducting debut in 2002 and regularly directs her own orchestral projects, including an all-Mozart programme with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She has had a very close artistic partnership as conductor and performer with the Britten Sinfonia for the past ten years; her programmes have ranged from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven concerti to new commissions and collaborations with jazz musicians. The most recent was the Moondog/Art of Fugue tour, involving her radical re-working of Bach's late great work (for orchestra and jazz musicians) alongside the music of Moondog, the famous 1950's New York street musician who excelled in counterpoint and swing beats. In April 2007 Joanna MacGregor and the Britten Sinfonia tour South America together.

Her collaborations have led her far afield. She has toured South Africa with jazz artist Moses Molelekwa, recorded with pop artist and tabla player Talvin Singh and toured China with Jin Xing's Contemporary Dance Theatre of Shanghai (for which she wrote a new score combining Chinese traditional music with computer technology and film). Last summer saw a major new project with the legendary producer Brian Eno, linking the music of John Dowland, Thomas Tallis and William Byrd with contemporary music.

MacGregor has broadcast regularly on BBC radio, and on European, Australian and American networks. Aside from several appearances at the Proms, including the televised Last Night of the Proms, Miss MacGregor has appeared many times on television, including presenting the ten-part series 'Strings Bows and Bellows', which has been shown worldwide. She was the subject of a South Bank Show profile in 2003.

After studying composition at Cambridge University, and piano at the Royal Academy as a post-graduate, Joanna MacGregor has been closely linked with the Royal Academy of Music, where she was made a visiting Professor of Piano. She has received honorary Fellowships from the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College of Music, and an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University. From 1997-2000 she was Professor of Music at Gresham College, London where she gave a series of public lectures. She has been artistic director of the Society for the Promotion of New Music and served on the Arts Council from 2000 - 2004. Her interest in education is reflected in a series of music books for young children written for Faber, 'PianoWorld', hailed as 'a new series for the Millennium'. She regularly gives masterclasses both in UK and abroad (and for many years was visiting piano tutor at Dartington International Summer School), and is appointed Professor at Liverpool Hope University 2006-7.

Dhafer Youssef

Dhafer Youssef & band

Dhafer Youssef

Dhafer Youssef

Dhafer Youssef & band

Dhafer Youssef & band

Joanna MacGregor

Joanna MacGregor

Joanna MacGregor

Joanna MacGregor


Recommended
Listening

 

Dhafer Youssef - Digital Prophercy Dhafer Youssef - Divine Shadows Dhafer Youssef - Sketches Of Dreams Dhafer Youssef - Sketches Of Dreams
Joanna Macgregor - Deep River Joanna Macgregor - French Suites Joanna Macgregor - Neural Circuits Joanna Macgregor - Travesia

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