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Silkroad Ensemble at Holy Cross

Starting in Fall 2017, the College of the Holy Cross and Silkroad Ensemble entered into an exciting three-year partnership — an exploration of the roles that passion and art can play in learning.

Upcoming Events  |  Media  |  About Silkroad

Upcoming Events

January 21-25, 2019

Featuring Silkroad artists:
Kinan Azmeh, clarinet
Shawn Conley, bass
Nicholas Cords, viola and Silkroad co-artistic director
Nora Fischer, vocals
Jeremy Flower, electronics
Johnny Gandelsman, violin
Karen Ouzounian, cello
Shane Shanahan, percussion, lead teaching artist and Silkroad co-artistic director
Mazz Swift, violin
Wu Man, pipa
Wu Tong, vocals and sheng


An Evening with Silkroad, featuring Golijov's Falling Out of Time
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
7:30 pm  |  Brooks Concert Hall

Tickets       $15 general / $10 Holy Cross faculty & staff / $5 students
Purchase here (processing fees apply)
Call (508) 793-3835 for more information


Three years ago, Osvaldo Golijov sat down on a park bench in Tel Aviv to read Falling Out of Time, Israeli writer David Grossman's genre-defying exploration of grief and loss. Part play, part poem, part fable, the book narrates a journey "out of time" as parents grieve the death of a child, a quest to comprehend a loss with no name.

Drawing on the English translation of the text, Osvaldo Golijov has conceive this hour-long song cycle for members of the Silkroad Ensemble. The vulnerable, exposed composition features two vocalists (Wu Tong and Nora Fischer) and imagines the Ensemble as a magnified Blues guitar, articulating a counterpoint of tender rage and raw intimacy impossible in an orchestra.

In a form that he calls an "epic lament" and in a voice that draws from the musical and narrative roots of the early Delta Blues and the ballads of Central Asia, he gives new expression to the notion that, as Edward Hirsch writes in his New York Times review of the book, "Grief is democratic. It crosses barriers and strikes at will."

The song cycle — which began workshops in Fall 2017 and will premeire in Fall 2019 — expresses a timeless, universal experience in a musical mode that itself rejects barriers, examining the nuances of grief in a voice that transcends borders. Listen to excerpts »


Jam Session with Silkroad
Thursday, January 24, 2019
6 - 8:30 pm  |  Worcester PopUp, 20 Franklin St, Worcester

Calling all community musicians with diverse musical and cultural traditions! Join us for a free-flowing evening of music making and cultural exchange with members of Silkroad. We encourage you to bring along a simple tune from your tradition you'd like to share, but you are also welcome to just show up with your instrument and join in! This is a FREE event, open to the public. A reception with light refreshments will follow. 

MUSICIANS: Register here to participate.


In the News

Telegram & Gazette: Silkroad Ensemble brings a percussive touch to classes through residency at College of the Holy Cross

Listen & Watch

Silkroad Ensemble at College of the Holy Cross
February 8, 2018  |  Brooks Concert Hall  |  7:30 pm

About the Silkroad Ensemble

Yo-Yo Ma conceived Silkroad in 1998 as a reminder that even as rapid globalization resulted in division, it brought extraordinary possibilities for working together. Seeking to understand this dynamic, he began to learn about the historic Silk Road, recognizing in it a model for productive cultural collaboration, for the exchange of ideas and tradition alongside commerce and innovation. And in a radical experiment, he brought together musicians from the lands of the Silk Road to co-create a new artistic idiom, a musical language founded in difference, a metaphor for the benefits of a more connected world. Today, these Grammy Award-winning artists seek and practice radical cultural collaboration in many forms, creating and presenting new music, teacher and musician training workshops, and residency programs in schools, museums, and communities.  More »

Learn More:

What is Silkroad?
Radical Cultural Collaboration