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Mediterranean landscapes Summer 2024

The music of Egyptian-born composer and oud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros draws from the wellsprings of Middle Eastern and Western musical traditions. Join him and Ensemble Obiora on a journey through vibrant, occasionally striking, but always resplendent, musical landscapes. Starting in Albéniz’s Spain, the voyage wraps up in Italy with Tchaikovsky’s fiery Souvenir de Florence, directed by Rafael Payare


Rafael Payare, conductor

Ensemble Obiora

Joseph Tawadros, oud


Isaac Albéniz, Suite española no. 1, op. 47: V. Asturias (6 min)

Joseph Tawadros, Eye of the Beholder (5 min)

Joseph Tawadros, Point of Departure (7 min)

Karim Al-Zand, Luctus Profugis, lament for string orchestra and percussion (6 min)

Joseph Tawadros, Sleight of Hand (6 min)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Souvenir de Florence, op. 70 (35 min)

Without intermission

Total duration65minutes

Rafael Payare

Music Director

Rafael Payare’s prodigious musicianship, technical brilliance and charismatic presence on the podium have made him one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. A graduate of the celebrated El Sistema music education program in Venezuela, Mr. Payare began his formal conducting studies in 2004 with José Antonio Abreu. Since winning the prestigious Malko International Competition for Young Conductors in Denmark in 2012, Maestro Payare’s career has advanced rapidly. Since 2015, he has served as Principal Conductor of the Castleton Festival, founded by his mentor the late Lorin Maazel. He was Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Ulster Orchestra from 2014 to 2019 and in 2019, took up the position of Music Director of the San Diego Symphony. In recent years, Rafael Payare has conducted many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including those of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Zurich, Berlin, Vienna, London, Munich, Chicago and Paris. He has also made important opera debuts at the Glyndebourne Festival, Stockholm’s Royal Swedish Opera, the Royal Danish Opera, and most recently at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In the 2022-2023 season, Payare became the ninth Music Director in the history of the OSM.

To consult:
Long biography

Ensemble Obiora


Created in March 2021, in Montreal, by Allison Migeon (General Manager) and Brandyn Lewis (Artistic Director), Ensemble Obiora is the first Canadian classical music ensemble, composed essentially of professional musicians from culturally diverse backgrounds. Ensemble Obiora’s mission is to promote musicians from different cultural backgrounds in order to increase their representation on the classical music scene, and to program works by composers from different origins whose music is little known or little considered.
Founded on the 3D principle – Diversity, Discovery and Diffusion – Ensemble Obiora’s ambition is to breathe new life and diversity into classical music in Canada, to create a sense of belonging within hitherto under-represented communities, and to inspire the next generation of classical musicians.

Joseph Tawadros


Joseph Tawadros is one of the world’s leading oud performers and composers, his style of playing fuses the Arabic Maqam system with western jazz and improvisation. His drive to push musical boundaries has led to collaborations with renowned performers including Kate Miller-HeidkeKatie NoonanZakir HussainSultan KhanJohn PatitucciJack DeJohnette and Richard Bona. He has recorded 14 albums and is known for his brilliant technique, deep musicianship and joyous style of performance as well as his solid repertoire of innovative, original music. Joseph tours extensively regularly headlining across Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East.

Joseph Tawadros is acknowledged for expanding the oud’s notoriety in mainstream western culture and he’s also received recognition in the Arab world, appearing on the judging panel of the Damascus International Oud competition in 2009, and taking part in Istanbul’s first Oud festival in 2010.

In June 2023, Joseph released his 20th studio recording, ä solo album “To Those Who Came Before Us”. Drawing upon the ancient music tradition of taqasim, Joseph attempts a soulful meditative hour long improvisation in this tradition. After 20 albums, this will be the greatest feat of solo creativity, a long extended solo work using the Arabic madam system and the other influences picked up in his 20 year recording career.