Birge's Picks

Persia to Iberia, Paris to Punjab

Composer Reena Esmail offers a unique sound that incorporates Indian and western classical music together.Courtesy of the artist.

February 27, 2023

While preparing for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s arrival in St. Paul this weekend, consider other classic concerts whose musical inspiration was decidedly not “Born in the USA.”

Persia to Iberia at Schubert Club Mix features Bridget Kibbey using her harp to explore the connections between Spain and the Islamic Golden Era. She’s joined by Iranian vocalist Mahsa Vahdat and percussionist John Hadfield for a musical trip through time and space, from Andalusia, through the African Maghreb and east towards Ancient Persia.

Reena Esmail is an Indian American composer whose music lives between the worlds of Indian and Western classical. You might have seen her outstanding profile on the PBS Great Performances series Now Hear This: New American Voices.  You can hear her music this Sunday afternoon at the Mankato Symphony’s Music on the Hill chamber music series. Esmail’s Trio for violin, cello and piano is paired with Maurice Ravel’s magnificent 1912 trio, which places Parisian impressionism alongside influences from Malaysia, and Ravel’s Basque roots.

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment‘s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.