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Music From Japan 40th Anniversary Concert

Mayumi Miyata, sho; Wu Man, pipa; Jin Hi Kim, komungo Three of the world’s leading exponents of Asian instruments make a rare joint appearance in this concert of traditional and contemporary music for Japanese sho (mouth organ), Korean komungo (zither), and Chinese pipa (lute). The program features classical and contemporary solos for each instrument, plus the Washington premiere of Unkai (Sea of Clouds), a commissioned work for all three artists by new-music innovator Ned Rothenberg.  Mayumi Miyata has performed on sho with Björk, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra (with conductor Charles Dutoit), the New York Philharmonic (with André Previn), and the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra (with Seiji Ozawa). Jin Hi Kim has performed commissioned works on komungo from the Kronos Quartet, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Boston Modern Music Project. Her jazz collaborations include work with Oliver Lake, William Parker, Bill Frisell, and… Categories: After Five. Performances. Venue: Freer Gallery of Art. Event Location: Meyer Auditorium. Cost: Free tickets are available for all winter and spring concerts (with service charge) through Ticketmaster beginning at 10 am on Monday, January 12, at ticketmaster.com or 800.551.7328. Tickets are also available at the door beginning one hour before show time on a first-come, first-served basis. Related Events: ​The concert is part of Music From Japan’s 40th anniversary festival and tour, which includes performances, lectures, demonstrations, and open forums in New York; Washington, DC; Fukushima, Japan; and Tokyo. Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 7:30 PM.

Musicians from Marlboro II

Don’t miss Metropolitan Opera soprano Sarah Shafer and mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ringle, who has appeared with the San Francisco Opera and at Royal Albert Hall (London), as they perform gorgeous songs by Brahms and Dvořák. Hungarian pianists Izabella Simono and Dénes Várjon combine their talents for virtuoso works for piano four-hands by Gyorgy Kurtág. And violinist Michelle Ross and cellist Brook Speltz join in for Schubert’s Notturno and Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio. The complete program includes selections from Dvořák’s Moravian Duets; Brahms’ Vier Duette, op. 61; Schubert’s Adagio in E-flat Major, D. 897 (Notturno); portions of Kurtág’s Transcriptions from Machaut to J.S. Bach for Four-Hands Piano and his Games for Piano for Four-Hands Piano; and Beethoven’s Piano Trio in D Major, op. 70, no. 1 (Ghost). Categories: After Five. Performances. Venue: Freer Gallery of Art. Event Location: Meyer Auditorium. Cost: Free tickets are available for all winter and spring concerts (with service charge) through Ticketmaster beginning at 10 am on Monday, January 12, at ticketmaster.com or 800.551.7328. Tickets are also available at the door beginning one hour before show time on a first-come, first-served basis. Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 7:30 PM.

Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration

Dance, play, and feast your way into the Persian New Year at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. The museums' seventh annual Nowruz celebration features free attractions for all ages, including: • Haft sin table displays • "Fire" jumping • Storytelling by Xanthe Gresham • Face painting • Calligraphy • DIY haft sin greeting cards • Crown making and coloring • Iranian music concerts • Photo booth • Backgammon and chess • Slideshow of nineteenth-century photographs of Iran • Traditional Persian food, tea, and sweets for sale. Categories: After Five. Celebrations. Culinary Arts. Gallery Talks & Tours. Kids & Families. Performances. Shopping/Book Signing. Co-sponsor: Made possible by a generous grant from Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar. Venue: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Freer Gallery of Art. S. Dillon Ripley Center. Event Location: Freer, Sackler, and Ripley Center. Cost: Free. Related Exhibition: Nasta'liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy. Saturday, March 7, 2015, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Classic Persian Pop: Mitra Sumara

Revisit the Iranian pop music scene of the 1960s and 1970s with updated versions of classic songs made famous by the likes of Googoosh, Hayedeh, Pari Zangeneh, and Parva, along with mesmerizing bandari-beat tunes by Zia Atabi. Mitra Sumara, based in New York, features Iranian American vocalist Yvette Perez, joined by Peter Zummo on trombone, Bill Ruyle on santur (hammer dulcimer), Michael Evans on percussion, and Jim Duffy on keyboards. The band re-energizes Persian pop with influences ranging from salsa and disco to Nigeria’s Fela Kuti and Middle Eastern rhythms. Mitra Sumara has appeared in New York at Le Poisson Rouge, Alwan for the Arts’ Maqam Festival, Barbès, Brooklyn Bowl, Café Nadery, Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, Great Neck Park House, and DROM. The band was also featured on the WFMU program “Transpacific Sound Paradise.”. Categories: Performances. Co-sponsor: Made possible through a generous grant from Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar. Venue: Freer Gallery of Art. Event Location: Meyer Auditorium. Cost: Free tickets are available for all winter and spring concerts (with service charge) through Ticketmaster beginning at 10 am on Monday, January 12, at ticketmaster.com or 800.551.7328. Tickets are also available at the door beginning one hour before show time on a first-come, first-served basis. Continues: Repeats at 4–5 pm. Related Events: Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration. Related Exhibition: Nasta'liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy. Saturday, March 7, 2015, 1:00 PM.

Classic Persian Pop: Mitra Sumara

Revisit the Iranian pop music scene of the 1960s and 1970s with updated versions of classic songs made famous by the likes of Googoosh, Hayedeh, Pari Zangeneh, and Parva, along with mesmerizing bandari-beat tunes by Zia Atabi. Mitra Sumara, based in New York, features Iranian American vocalist Yvette Perez, joined by Peter Zummo on trombone, Bill Ruyle on santur (hammer dulcimer), Michael Evans on percussion, and Jim Duffy on keyboards. The band re-energizes Persian pop with influences ranging from salsa and disco to Nigeria’s Fela Kuti and Middle Eastern rhythms. Mitra Sumara has appeared in New York at Le Poisson Rouge, Alwan for the Arts’ Maqam Festival, Barbès, Brooklyn Bowl, Café Nadery, Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, Great Neck Park House, and DROM. The band was also featured on the WFMU program “Transpacific Sound Paradise.”. Categories: Performances. Co-sponsor: Made possible through a generous grant from Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar. Venue: Freer Gallery of Art. Event Location: Meyer Auditorium. Cost: Free tickets are available for all winter and spring concerts (with service charge) through Ticketmaster beginning at 10 am on Monday, January 12, at ticketmaster.com or 800.551.7328. Tickets are also available at the door beginning one hour before show time on a first-come, first-served basis. Related Events: Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration. Related Exhibition: Nasta'liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy. Saturday, March 7, 2015, 4:00 PM.

Inspired by Persia: Anton Belov, baritone; Vera Danchenko-Stern, piano

Russian-born baritone Anton Belov performs Persian and Persian-inspired poetry set to the music of Brahms, Schumann, Wolf, and Tchaikovsky. His recital features poetry by the thirteenth-century mystic Hafiz, whose writings are especially important around the Persian New Year (March 21). The New York Times praised Belov’s performance as “particularly fine, singing with urgency and soulful pathos.” He has appeared at Avery Fisher Hall in Handel’s Messiah, with the Boston Lyric Opera in Tosca, and in Carnegie Hall’s Spring for Music series. He took top prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the eastern regionals of the Metropolitan Opera’s national auditions. His recital at the Freer includes selections from Schumann’s Myrthen and Liebeslied (op. 51); songs by Brahms based on the poetry of Daumer after Hafiz; songs by Hugo Wolf on poems from Goethe’s West-East Divan; three of Anton Rubenstein’s Persian Songs, adapted by Tchaikovsky; and songs by Glazunov, Rachmaninoff, and… Categories: After Five. Performances. Venue: Freer Gallery of Art. Event Location: Meyer Auditorium. Cost: Free tickets are available for all winter and spring concerts (with service charge) through Ticketmaster beginning at 10 am on Monday, January 12, at ticketmaster.com or 800.551.7328. Tickets are also available at the door beginning one hour before show time on a first-come, first-served basis. Saturday, March 14, 2015, 7:30 PM.

Ghazal: Indian and Persian Improvisations

Shujaat Khan, sitar; Kayhan Kalhor, kamanche; Sandeep Das, tabla Grammy-nominated artists Kayhan Kalhor and Shujaat Khan of the group Ghazal reunite for the first time in more than ten years to perform their unique blend of Indian and Persian classical music. Both musical traditions stress elaboration and improvisation based on the raga and dastgah styles of India and Iran. The Chicago Tribune described Ghazal’s music as “gorgeous cross-cultural improvisations that fuse Persian and Indian musical traditions into a seamless single style that’s as alluring as anything in either genre.” The group’s concerts and recordings prompted the Los Angeles Times to describe it as “neither precisely Indian nor Persian…a combination of both, in which the sensual melodizing―culturally different, but emotionally joined…blended into an irresistible expression of creative musical passion.” Ghazal’s Freer concert is part of a tour that visits Vancouver, Los Angeles, Houston, Toronto, Boston, and New York. Shujaat Khan… Categories: After Five. Performances. Venue: Freer Gallery of Art. Event Location: Meyer Auditorium. Cost: Free tickets are available for all winter and spring concerts (with service charge) through Ticketmaster beginning at 10 am on Monday, January 12, at ticketmaster.com or 800.551.7328. Tickets are also available at the door beginning one hour before show time on a first-come, first-served basis. Thursday, March 19, 2015, 7:30 PM.

Tamagawa University Taiko Drumming and Dance Troupe

Thundering taiko drumming meets traditional Japanese dance in a special performance on the National Mall. Led and choreographed by Kabuki dance master Isaburoh Hanayagi, this troupe is one of the top-ranking taiko groups in Japan and comes from the country’s most prestigious performing arts school. Categories: Performances. Venue: Freer Gallery of Art. Event Location: National Mall entrance. Cost: Free. Thursday, April 9, 2015, 12:00 PM.