Philadelphia, Jan. 7, 2016 - Intercultural Journeys is pleased to open 2016 with the Philadelphia premiere of Home Within.  This powerful program is the latest collaboration from Syrian composer and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and Syrian-Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad.  Both members of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble,  Kinan and Kevork will take the audience on a thoughtful journey examining the aftermath of the Syrian revolution and highlighting poignant moments in Syria's recent history by interweaving illustrations, visuals, and original music compositions. The 60-minute performance will take place on Sunday, January 24 and will be immediately followed by a discussion with the artists and an art sale featuring works created during the concert.  A portion of the proceeds from the art sale will benefit the IJ Annual Fund.

IJ is pleased to offer an additional opportunity for dialogue before the performance with our first-ever Food for Thought program.  This free program consists of a casual potluck-style meal and conversation with a special guest who will speak on the Syrian revolution, the current Syrian refugee crisis, and its policy implications. This event is open to the public, but guests are requested to RSVP and bring a food item to share. IJ has also partnered with local organization, Peace Day Philly, to promote the dialogue and performance.

"We're excited to feature Home Within in this season.  Kinan and Kevork have been collaborating artistically for some time, including this project focused on the Syrian revolution and recent tragedy affecting their home country," said IJ Curator Alex Shaw. "This work is very timely in light of the on-going refugee crisis, and the impending implications for U.S. communities. Kinan and Kevork beautifully and skillfully evoke focused contemplation on this complex and tragic series of current events."

 The concert will take place at 7pm in the Ibrahim Theater at International House. Tickets are $15 for General Admission, $10 for IHP members, and $8 for students. To purchase tickets, visit or call 215-387-5125, ext. 2.



Casual potluck-style reception with guided discussion*

Sunday, January 24, 2016 - 5pm

The East Alcove, International House (3701 Chestnut Street)

*Guests are requested to RSVP and bring a food item to share.




Kinan Azmeh and Kevork Mourad: Home Within

Sunday, January 24, 2016 - 7pm*

Ibrahim Theater, International House (3701 Chestnut Street)

*Featuring post-concert discussion with the artists and art sale featuring works from the performance.


About Kinan Azmeh

Hailed as “intensely soulful,” “a virtuoso” by The New York Times and as "spellbinding" by The New Yorker, Kinan Azmeh is one of Syria’s rising stars. Born in Damascus, Kinan was the first Arab to win the Premier Prize at the 1997 Nicolai Rubinstein International Competition in Moscow. He is a graduate of New York's Juilliard School as a student of Charles Neidich and the Damascus High Institute of Music where he studied with Shukry Sahwki, Nicolay Viovanof and Anatoly Moratof. He also holds a degree from Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering. In 2013, Kinan earned his Doctorate Degree in Music from the City University of New York.  Kinan has appeared worldwide as a soloist, composer and improviser. He has performed in many notable venues, including: Opera Bastille, Paris; Carnegie Hall and the UN's General Assembly, New York; The Royal Albert Hall, London; and the Damascus Opera House for its opening concert, Syria.  He has appeared as soloist with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the NDR big-band, and the Syrian Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has shared the stage with Yo-Yo Ma, Marcel Khalife, Aynur, Daniel Barenboim, Jivan Gasparian, Zakir Hussein, Francois Rabbath, and Simon Shaheen, among many others. He  is a member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, with whom he performed in February 2015, in collaboration with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Alan Gilbert.

 About Kevork Mourad

Kevork Mourad was born in 1970 in Syria. He received his MFA from the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts in Armenia, and he now lives and works in New York. Six of his pieces are in permanent residency at the Gyumri Museum in Armenia, and several more at the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, Massachusetts.  As part of group shows, his works were exhibited at the NYU Small Works Gallery in 2005 and 2007, and his digital piece, The Map of Future Movements, toured as part of a group exhibition in Jerusalem and Ramallah, and was featured in the 2010 Liverpool Biennial. He is represented in the Middle East by Rafia Gallery in Damascus, Syria, where he exhibited in 2009.  His solo show was also exhibited at the Courtyard Gallery in Dubai in 2010. Five of his pieces are in the permanent collection on the 70th floor of the Bourj Khalife in Dubai. He has had work auctioned twice at Christie’s Dubai. With his technique of spontaneous painting, he has shared the stage with many world-class musicians, including: Kinan Azmeh, Ezequiel Viñao, Tambuco, Brooklyn Rider, Mari Kimura, Ken Ueno, Liubo Borissov, Eve Beglarian, Rami Khalife, Maya Trio, SYOTOS, Song Fusion, and Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, with whom he is a member as a visual artist. As a teaching artist with the Silk Road Project, he has worked with public school students throughout the five boroughs of New York. In 2010 and 2011, with actress/singer Anaïs Tekerian of Zulal, he co-produced and created two plays, Tangled Yarn and Waterlogged, which premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival and toured San Francisco and the Berkshires. His most recent show was in the Lincoln Center Atrium in NYC, with composer Ezequiel Viñao.

 About Intercultural Journeys

Intercultural Journeys uses the arts to promote peace and greater understanding between people of diverse backgrounds, faiths, and cultures with the aim of catalyzing social change and awareness. Intercultural Journeys was founded in 2002 by Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Udi Bar-David, philanthropist Carole Haas Gravagno, Majid Alsayegh and Sheldon L. Thompson. Together, they recognized the role that music could play in sparking dialogue between people of different backgrounds. Since then, Intercultural Journeys has held over 160 concerts and partnered with a diverse roster of local and international artists. IJ events have been held not only in the Greater Philadelphia area but also across the United States and even abroad in countries such as China, Spain, Italy and Israel. 

 Media Contact

Lindsey S. Crane, Managing Director, 215-387-2310                                      High res images available upon request