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East Mediterranean music of rich heritage

Deeply influenced by the rich cultural heritage of Greece, Byzantine Empire, Persia, Arabs, and the Ottoman Empire, East Mediterranean music is colourful and diverse. En Chordais, a Greek ensemble that specialises in Byzantine secular music will collaborate with musicians from Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iran to present "Musical Heritage of the Mediterranean", a performance of traditional and contemporary works to illustrate the East Mediterranean's rich musical history.

"Musical Heritage of the Mediterranean", one of the programmes of the Mediterranean Arts Festival organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will be staged on November 10 (Saturday) at 8pm at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall.

Among the highlights are Ya Ummallah, a Maronite hymn to be performed by Rima Khcheich from Lebanon in Syriac-Aramaic - the language spoken by Jesus and his contemporaries; and Aidonia tis Anatolis (Nightingales from the East), drawn from the historical manuscripts kept in the libraries of lveron and Xeropotamou monasteries on Mount Athos. There will also be a collaboration between percussionist virtuosi Misirli Ahmet from Turkey and Ziya Tabassian from Iran who use their own musical vocabulary to create an extraordinary dialogue between the two great civilisations, and to bring tradition and modernity into union.

En Chordais regularly tours Europe, North America, North Africa and the Middle East, and appears at international arts festivals and takes part in cultural exchanges. In 2003, En Chordais was commissioned by the European Union to lead the MediMuses Project, which aims to promote Mediterranean music around the globe through concerts, publications and symposia.

Tickets priced at $360, $240 and $120 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Booking discounts of up to 20% are available.

A talk on "Sounds of the Mediterranean" will be held on November 8 at 8pm at the Recital Hall, 8/F, Hong Kong City Hall High Block. It is presented in English by Kyriakos Kalaitzides, Artistic Director of En Chordais Ensemble. Admission to the talk is free. Also free foyer performance "Greek Musical Idioms" will be held on November 9 from 6.30pm to 7pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre foyer.

Programme brochures are now available at URBTIX outlets or at the website .

For programme enquiries, please call 2370 1044. Telephone reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at .

Ends/Thursday, November 1, 2007

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