DSO recording session in Berlin: Photos and recap.

It was such a great pleasure to work with the Deutsches Symphony Orchestre, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, conductor Manuel Nawari and engineer Florian Schmidt to bring my Clarinet Concerto: Adrift on the Wine-dark Sea to life. We recorded at the legendary Jesus Christe Kirche in Dahlem, Berlin. ‘Legendery’ because the great conductor Herbert Von Karajan used to record the Berlin Philharmonic there because he loved the acoustics. Indeed, the acoustics are terrific but the isolation is not so isolated. We often had to stop recording when children were playing outside or the guy across the street decided to hop on his John Deer mini-tractor and haul random objects around his lawn. All in all, it will be a terrific recording that also features music by Kinan Azmeh, Zaid Jabri, and the late Dia Succari. It should be out in November on the Dreyer-Gaido Label.

Post recording with (left to right) clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, soprano Dima Orsho and conductor Manuel Nawari.

Another beautifully in focus photo brought to us by Samsung! ;-P


Water gong, yes, but also the finale calls for two overturned wooden bowls that, when struck with mallets gently, sound like a boat tied to a dock gently knocking against it as the waves rock it to and fro.
More percussion; tin cans in the foreground and ocean drum in the background.


Kinan, Dima, Manuel and the DSO recording one of Kinan’s pieces.
Inside the control room, which was my view for most of the sessions. Basic but functional. Monitoring on headphones wasn’t ideal but engineer Florian Schmidt is incredible. I’ve never worked with an engineer who knows the score as well as the conductor.
On a beautiful spring day in Berlin, what else is there to do after working hard in the studio all day?
Later that night I attended a concert, that included some of my music, at the incredible Pierre Boulez Saal. More on that in my next post.

May concerts, clarinet concerto recording session, and sneak peek at a string quartet

There are three concerts coming up this month in Dearborn, Michigan where the DSO, under the direction of Kypros Markou, will perform ‘Aleppo Songs’ for orchestra, in Berlin where mandolinist Avi Avital will perform my ‘Hanjale’ at the Pierre Boulez Hall, and in Kassel, Germany where composer/pianist Samuel Cho will perform  ‘Aleppo Songs’ for piano solo at a benefit concert for a local girls shelter. Details are here.

On May 3rd I will have the distinct honor of attending the recording of my clarinet concerto in Berlin with clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Manuel Nawri. This project has long been in the works so Kinan and I are extremely excited for this incredible opportunity to work with one of the finest orchestras in the world. The recording will be released on CD on the Dreyer-Gaido Label sometime in November. More on this soon…

String Quartet No. 1 Shades of Night has been printed, bound and mailed to the Grand Teton Music Festival where it will have its world premiere on August 2nd. I’ve posted the score for reading here.

In the meantime, work has begun on Violin Concerto No. 1 which will have its premiere in March 2019 in Berlin. More details coming soon!