An Evening of Arabic Poetry and New Works in Arabic Music From Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture

Saturday, December 5, 2015 - 8:00pm - 11:00pm
McPherson Auditorium, Goodhart Hall, 150 N Merion Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
United States

Poetry comes to life through music as the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series presents Words Adorned: Andalusian Poetry and Music from Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture on Saturday, December 5 at 8:00 p.m. in McPherson Auditorium, Goodhart Hall.

The program features Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble, a classical Arab chamber ensemble, collaborating with the Philadelphia-based western choirThe Crossing and renowned Palestinian vocalist Dalal Abu Amneh to premiere two new compositions by Arab-American composers Kareem Roustom and Kinan Abou-afach, setting Andalusian poetry to music.
Al-Bustan, Arabic for “The Garden,” plants the seeds of cross-cultural understanding through programs that, in addition to highlighting the depth and diversity of Arab culture, also promote peaceful paths for bridging differences.
“We are very excited by this invigorating cross-genre collaboration program that celebrates the Arabic cultural arts, in all their diversity, and exposes them to a wider audience,” said Lisa Kraus, curator of Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series.


Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble formed in 2009 as an initiative of Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, under the direction of Music Director Hanna Khoury. The Ensemble includes virtuoso musicians immersed in classical Arab music. All renowned musicians in their own right, three members of the ensemble are recipients of the prestigious Pew Fellowship for the Arts. Their individual experience crosses decades and continents, and includes touring and recording with prominent orchestras from both Western and Arab musical traditions; collaborating with iconic musicians from Marcel Khalife and Fairouz to Sting and Shakira. The Ensemble represents the finest practitioners and scholars of both Western and Arab musical tradition: Music Director Hanna Khoury (violin), Kinan Abou-Afach (cello/composer), Hicham Chami (qanun), Hafez Kotain (percussion), and not shown Wassim Odeh (oud) – photo by Dave Tavani.

Dalal Abu Amneh is a renowned Palestinian singer who performs Arab classical and folk music. Born in Nazareth, Abu Amneh came to national attention for her performances of the songs of the iconic Egyptian singer, Umm Kulthum. She later won greater fame for her ability to perform a wide variety of Arab musical styles, ranging from the classical tarab, Andalusian muwashshahat, and Sufi mystical repertoire. – photo by Mohammed Magayda

The Crossing is a professional 24-member chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally. Dedicated to new music, The Crossing is consistently recognized in critical reviews, hailed as “ardently angelic” (Los Angeles Times) and “something of a miracle” (Philadelphia Inquirer). Formed by a group of friends in 2005, the ensemble has since grown exponentially and “has made a name for itself in recent years as a champion of new music.” (New York Times).

Major support for Al-Bustan Presents: Words Adorned Series Fall 2015 is provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage with additional support from The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.

Ticket Info:
One Tri-Co ticket to each Performing Arts Series event is available free of charge for students, faculty, and staff of Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges. Tickets are available for sale at regular rates for family members and guests.

To pick up tickets, visit the Office for the Arts in Goodhart Hall from

9:30 am - 1:30 pm or
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

A Campus Center ticket giveaway will take place the week of the performance. Details to be announced soon!

Regular Rates:

Tickets and Subscriptions:
Flex subscriptions (5 tickets to the Performing Arts Series shows of your choice) are available for $90 each, $75 for seniors. Subscribers enjoy discounts, priority seating and special events.
Tickets to individual events are:
$20 General Admission
$18 Seniors (65+)
$10 for students with ID and Dance Pass holders

Event Type: 
Arts & Culture
Arts and Culture
Cultural Exchange
Global Region: