Wednesday marks the anniversary of the start of the Egyptian uprising in Tahrir Square.
Later in the broadcast, you will hear music from an Arab American composer, Mohammed Fairouz, who’s writing a concerto about what happened in Cairo a year ago.
It’s called “Tahrir for Clarinet and Orchestra.”
It’s the first part of what Fairouz says will be a concerto in three movements.
Imagine a composer writing music as he watched the uprising on television — with the sound off.
That’s what Fairouz did, from his apartment in New York City.
What he saw happening on TV, thousands of miles away, inspired a piece he wrote for his friend, clarinetist David Krakauer.
Here’s how Fairouz puts it.
Fairouz says as a New Yorker, the events in Tahrir Square seemed far away, but he felt a personal connection, as an Arab American.
He says the confidence of the Egyptian protesters was inspiring. In Fairouz’s music, their voices are represented by the orchestra, while the clarinet expresses the voice of the individual protester.
There is a lot of tension and angst in the piece, as well as a restlessness and a dynamic sense that the protest movement is the only way forward.
Here’s a video of a performance of “Tahrir for Clarinet and Orchestra,” which premiered at Merkin Hall in New York in July 2011.
Mohammed Fairouz is only 26-years-old, but he is incredibly accomplished.
He began to write music at the age of 4.
He studied composition in Vienna with the late Hungarian composer, György Ligeti, at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.
He’s already composed symphonies, concertos and one opera.
But his “Tahrir for Clarinet and Orchestra” conveys the urgency of a breaking news story.
Tune in to our program to hear Mohammed Fairouz, in his own words, talk about his enthralling concerto-in-progress, “Tahrir for Clarinet and Orchestra.”