Letters from Iraq | Hamilton

May 2020

We regret to advise the cancellation of this event due to the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. We are hugely disappointed to miss the opportunity to perform for you all; however, our number one priority is the health and safety of our audiences, players and staff, supporters, and the general public. We ask everyone to look after themselves and each other during this time and continue to monitor and follow government advice. Please see the official announcement from Chamber Music New Zealand.

Love and loss. Home and hope. Iraqi-American composer and oud player, Rahim AlHaj and percussionist Nicholas Baker joins NZSQ and double bassist, Joan Perarnau Garriga, with Letters from Iraq.

AlHaj’s musical response expressing the love and pain of lives lived by the people of war-torn Iraq. Actual mailed letters and their stories are transposed into eight gripping programmatic compositions.

AlHaj, a man with first-hand knowledge of oppression under Saddam Hussein’s regime and a deep love for the people of his native Iraq, tells a specific tale with each piece. To listen is to experience the reality of a nation, to feel heartbreak, loss, and the day-to-day journeys of so many Iraqi citizens. An inspired and loving tribute to people in dire conditions, but who still press forward.

He says,

"Music can make us laugh, make us cry, make us march into war. I want to make music to make us realize peace."

These works are of deep emotion and great beauty, melding mastery of Iraqi and Western classical genres alike to form something entirely new.

Rahim Alhaj with NZSQ

String Quartet in B minor, Op. 11

Letter 1. Eastern Love – Sinan
Letter 2. Forbidden Attraction – Tiama
Letter 3. Running Boy – Fuad
Letter 4. The Last Time We Will Fly Birds – Riyadh
Letter 5. Going Home – Rahim
Letter 6. Unspoken Word – Laila
Letter 7. Fly Home – Fatima
Letter 8. Voices to Remember – Zainab

Letters from Iraq | Hamilton - Hamilton

Gallagher Centre for Performing Arts
Rahim Alhaj with NZSQ
Ticket Prices
Full Price $27 to $68
Concession Price $23 to $57
Limited $10 ‘Rush Tickets’ available

*prices differ city to city and exclude ticketing and booking fees.

The New Zealand String Quartet gratefully acknowledges its sponsors and funders