Symphony of Cultures Concert

Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm

The Beaverton Symphony Orchestra will present a free Welcome Week multicultural concert working in partnership with Village Baptist Church, refugee and immigrant advocacy organizations, cultural groups, and neighborhood associations to invite and engage Beaverton community members from around the world as both guest performers and audience.

The Symphony of Cultures concert was inspired by a “solidarity” concert conducted in Berlin, Germany by three professional symphony orchestras who united to welcome refugees to Germany from Syria and other war-torn regions of the world. Moved by news of that concert, the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra sought to create a similar event to welcome and appreciate the wonderful contributions of refugees and immigrants in our community.

The concert will feature performances by representatives of three different ethnic traditions, as well as the string ensemble of the Beaverton Symphony.

About koto:
Koto, similar to the Chinese gu-zheng, is a thirteen-string plucked zither of paulownia wood with a movable bridge under each string.  It was introduced to Japan from China through the Korean Peninsula in the 7th century.  The instrument has been part of the Gagaku court ensemble, gradually becoming popular among the merchant classes of the Edo period (1600-1868).  An important member of the traditional Sankyoku ensemble, along with the three-string Shamisen and Shakuhachi (bamboo flute), the koto developed further in a solo capacity, eventually gaining its place as one of Japan’s most prominent musical instruments.

About Oregon Koto-Kai:
Oregon Koto-Kai (Japanese koto society of Oregon) is a premier koto ensemble group of the Pacific Northwest, founded by koto master Mitsuki Dazai in 2012. The main goals of this 501(c)3 NPO group are to introduce Japanese koto music to western audiences, contribute to cultural diversity in the local communities, collaborate with other local musicians, and to help our members continuously learn and develop their musical skills. Having various repertoires includes Japanese traditional music to contemporary music by American composers, Oregon Koto-Kai has been performing at cultural festivals as well as its own annual concerts.

About Eri Muroi:
Eri Muroi started to take koto lesson at age 10 under instructions of Yuri Suzuki. At age 17, she studied shamisen (Japanese three-stringed lute) and koto from Miho Ashigaki. After graduating Tokyo University of Arts, her intensive effort and passion proceed her study at NHK’s Training Institute for Skilled Performers of Japanese Music. Eri is a certified instructor of Miyagi Koto Institute. She is one of the main players of Oregon Koto-Kai since 2015.

About the Program (total time: 20 minutes)
1. Midare (Disorder) Traditional, Composed by Yatsuhashi Kengyo (1614 -1685)
2. Kazoe-Uta Hensokyoku (Counting Song Variation) Composed by Michio Miyagi (1894 - 1956)
3. Momo Hanabi (Fireworks Display ) Composed by Tomoya Nakai (1979 -   )


Middle East
Guitarist, singer and composer, Ronny Hermiz grew up in Baghdad, Iraq.  His interest in music began when he listened to his uncle play traditional Iraqi songs on the Oud.  Ronny loved both eastern and western music, but it was when he first heard flamenco and the Gipsy Kings that he knew he wanted to be a musician.  “The first time I heard flamenco guitar, I was blown away by how expressive and elegant a form of music flamenco is. I loved how it mixed the spirit and depth of my own heritage music with the western music harmonies.”  His first single and music video "Ghyabek Taal", sung in Arabic with guitar accompaniment, was widely played throughout the Middle East. 
In 2009, Ronny moved to Portland, Oregon where he performs regularly at Mediterranean venues, private parties and cultural events, introducing his passionate musical style to new audiences.  Ronny is currently working on new compositions that are infused with flamenco guitar, Mediterranean vocals and Brazilian and Cuban rhythms and harmonies. 
Latin America
Grupo Condor is a touring folk music ensemble that embodies traditional musical styles of all of Spanish-speaking America. Their concerts and school programs focus on the blend of Spanish, African, and Native American influences that comprise this music and create this truly multicultural art form. Listening to the unique and inspiring instruments played by Grupo Condor will take you on a high-energy journey. During the performance, each member plays different instruments and tells stories about the origin of the music, its Native American, European and African influences and stress the importance of each culture's contribution in the formation of this enchanting music.
The instruments showcased by Grupo Condor are comprised of three groups: The String family of Spanish influence, including the instruments such as the guitar, charango and ronroco; the Flute family of American influence, such as quenas, zampoñas and antaras; and the Percussions of both African and American influences, including the bombo leguero, chaj-chas, palo de lluvia and tambor de agua.      

LOCATION (click for map and directions):

Village Baptist Church
330 SW Murray Blvd, Beaverton OR