Jasser Haj-Youssef

Violin, Viola d'Amore

Founded in 2003 in Damascus, Hewar consists of clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, oud (lute) player Issam Rafea, and vocalist Dima Orsho. All three are also composers, and their work as an ensemble draws on a multitude of influences, including Arab music, jazz, scat, opera, and Western classical music—all of which they will bring to the Pierre Boulez Saal. "Hewar means ‘dialogue’ in Arabic, and our aim is to transcend the barriers of musical disparities and misconceptions," the musicians describe their credo. "Our music is adventurous and inspired by Arabic music traditions but by no means limited by them. As performer-composers, in a spontaneous ‘dialogue’ on stage we aim to blur the lines between the improvised and the composed, the traditional and the contemporary." Tunisian violinist, viola d’amore player, and composer Jasser Haj-Youssef joins Hewar as a guest artist for this concert.

The concert is supported by the Abu Dhabi Festival.