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Letters from Iraq, featuring Rahim Alhaj, oud

Classical, World, Chamber Music

'Letters from Iraq' is the new composition by Rahim Alhaj. The two-time Grammy nominee's eight movement work for oud, string quintet, and percussion conveys the story of contemporary Baghdad, from the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 to the present day through what Western music scholars call program music--narrative compositions intended to give rise to imagery or tell a story. Alhaj, one of the world's most prominent and renowned oud masters, began writing 'Letters from Iraq' after reading touching personal letters he received from Iraqi women and children during a 2014 trip to his homeland. With 'Letters from Iraq,' the virtuoso musician creates chamber music using his oud, strings, and percussion to depict a city in crisis but not without hope.