In an effort to extend a welcoming hand to Buffalo’s diverse West Side community, and particularly to its newly arrived refugees and immigrants, Buffalo String Works is launching a concert series, The Bridge. Each performance presented by The Bridge will honor Buffalo’s refugee and immigrant population through its programming with the intention of bridging gaps within the refugee community and between the community and Buffalo itself. The Bridge will showcase high-level, professional performances from across the artistic disciplines, including music, dance, and visual art. All performances are free, open to the public, and will take place at various venues on Buffalo’s west side.
The inaugural performance in the series takes place on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo (1 Symphony Circle Buffalo, NY 14201) at 2pm. The concert showcases Decoda, an internationally acclaimed, New York City-based chamber collective dedicated to bringing meaningful, musical experiences to all audiences. The first Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, Decoda explores creativity, community, and identity through live performances and thoughtful methods of engagement. The theme of Decoda’s concert in Buffalo is “Between Two Worlds”.
“This program is an exploration of a composer’s cultural background—their sense of homeland, folklore or traditional music—coupled with their personal, spiritual, or physical journey to a new place. It’s about traveling between worlds, and forging a connection between them,” says Caitlin Sullivan of Decoda. “Traveling between worlds can mean different things: Often it’s a physical change of location, but it can also be a spiritual journey, a reflection or memory, or an exploration of the past. Most of the composers featured on this program traveled to or relocated to the United States, particularly to New York City. Many of these composers borrowed old cultural ideas and traditions—folklore, traditional music, a sense of homeland—to incorporate into their current musical styles and idioms. The merging of these worlds is the basis for these composer’s musical identities.”
Repertoire will include Bagatelles, by Antonin Dvorak; Contrasts, by Béla Bartòk; The Fence, The Rooftop, and the Distant Sea, by Kinan Azmeh; Piano Miniauture No. 11 “for Syria,” by Mohammed Fairouz; and Clarinet Quintet, by Paul Hindemith.
Buffalo String Works is a creative, nonprofit, grassroots program serving refugee students in Buffalo, inspired by the international El Sistema model which cultivates students to be agents of social change. Founded and led by local musicians, Buffalo String Works provides high-quality music instruction on violin, viola, and cello, with students hailing from Nepal, Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, Liberia, and Somalia.