"Through the Silk Road...which was a two-way highway, basically like the internet of the time... Aleppo embraced all these spices and colors, and the beauty of all kinds of religions and traditions, and sounds... The only thing left in Aleppo today is, sadly, the sound. And that's where Apollo and our commission and our collaboration come into play, to give a glimpse of hope." That's how New York-based Syrian composer, Malek Jandali, described part of the impetus behind writing his Piano Quintet No. 1, "Aleppo," commissioned by the Apollo Chamber Players as part of its 20 X 2020 Project.
Based on Syrian folk music and ancient melodies, Aleppo will have its World Premiere on Apollo's Season-Opening Concert, Of Peace and Protest, alongside works by 20th century Turkish composer, Ahmed Saygun, and contemporary Iranian composer, Reza Vali, and the String Quartet No. 8 by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich.
The Apollo Chamber Players' Artistic Director and Violinist, Matthew Detrick, and composer Malek Jandali sat down with me to talk about their collaboration, inspired by cultural diversity, humanity and hope.