Saffron Caravan performers in Bosnia

Saffron Caravan Trip to Bosnia

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With Opera Circus’ Complete Freedom of Truth Program. August 17-21, 2015 in Srebrenica, Bosnia performing a piece commissioned by composer Nigel Osborne.

Composer Nigel Osborne

Nigel Osborne’s commissioned work for Saffron Caravan and Guest Artist Tony Pesikan

Nigel’s piece “Sevdah, A Story of Universal Love and Loss” tells the story of this musical genre from its origins in Ancient Greek and Egyptian medicine to its many journeys through Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Sephardic, Roma, Adriatic and Austro-Hungarian cultures to the very heart of the Balkans – and even across the Atlantic to Brazil, creating the world’s most genuinely “inter-cultural” music. It combines the musical cultures and instruments of its journey, including oud, guitar, percussion and voices. It will highlight Saffron Caravan musicians Badi Assad, Lebanese-Brazilian Vocalist and Guitarist; Hazaan Aaron Bensoussan, Moroccan-Canadian Vocalist and Oud Virtuoso; and Haytham Safia, Arab-Israeli Oud Virtuoso in collaboration with Tony Pesikan, Bosnian Percussionist.

Nigel Osborne is a composer and human rights activist. He is the Co-chair of the World Economic Forum on Culture and Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Edinburgh. His works have been featured in most international festivals and performed by many leading orchestras and ensembles, from the Moscow to the Berlin Symphony Orchestras, and from the Philharmonia of London to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has had close relationships with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta, Hebrides Ensemble and Ensemble Intercontemporain, Paris. He has composed extensively for the theatre as well. He is the winner of the Opera Prize of Radio Suisse Romande and Ville de Geneve, the Netherlands Gaudeamus Prize, the Radcliffe Award and the Koussevitzky Award of the Library of Congress, Washington. Professor Osborne studied composition with Kenneth Leighton, Egon Wellesz, (Arnold Schoenberg’s first pupil,) and Witold Rudzinski. He also studied at the Polish Radio Experimental Station, Warsaw.

For multiple decades, he has worked in Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and the former Yugoslavia, East and West Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus and South East Asia helping traumatized children heal through music. He has created multiple operas about his work with the children of Mostar, some of which have been performed internationally in partnership with British-based Opera Circus. An anticipated 2016 world tour of a new operatic work, Naciketa, is currently in progress.

He continues to extensively study both the neurophysiological and neuropsychological benefits of music. Professor Osborne was a 2014 Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow and Faculty Member.

Members of Saffron Caravan performing:

Read more about Saffron Caravan here.

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