A Palestinian’s concerto is premiered in a US synagogue

A Palestinian’s concerto is premiered in a US synagogue


norman lebrecht

January 10, 2016

The Detroit Symphony has an unusual event coming up this week.

A cello concerto commission it awarded to the US composer Mohammed Fairouz, who is of Palestinian and Gulf origin, will receive its world premiere in a Detroit synagogue, Congregation Shaarey Zedek. And the soloist will be Maya Beiser, who was born in Israel.

‘Desert Sorrows’, a half-hour work for amplified cello and large orchestra, draws its themes from Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The protagonists discuss the work here with Detroit critic Mark Stryker.



  • Jeffrey E. Salzberg says:

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. I’d like to hear it. I wish I were in Detroit (and that is not a sentence you will often hear me say).

  • Mark Stryker says:


    First of all, you can hear the concerto by tuning into the orchestra’s (free) webcast on Saturday at http://www.dso.org, 8 p.m. EST (GMT – 5)

    Second, you should visit Detroit. It’s an amazing place culturally.