Stranded Syrian composer lands Washington job

Stranded Syrian composer lands Washington job


norman lebrecht

March 01, 2017

The Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh, who struggled to get back to his US home during the Trump travel ban, has been named composer-in-resident at Classical Movements, a DC-based music org.

Classical Movements will commission Kinan to compose a work for full orchestra, as well as chamber and choral pieces.



  • Clarinet Fan says:

    Congratulations to him (and to Classical Movements), but it’s not at all clear that Azmeh “struggled” to re-enter the U.S.

    Based on SD’s coverage, he “feared” that he would not be able to return (, but ultimately he did because the moratorium was deemed not to apply to green card holders ( The inference to which SD’s coverage lends itself is not that Azmeh “struggled,” but rather that his “fear” was unfounded. In any case, SD has never made the case that he was “stranded.”

    This piece is mainly an attempt to make a political point opposing a policy that already has been withdrawn. Fine, you’re certainly entitled to your views, and to share them, but I can get that story from many other outlets. Indeed, I can get that story from almost any other outlet.

    Surely the more interesting story is for SD readers is that this DC group has landed a first-rate clarinettist to write a composition for them. I know nothing about the Classical Movements group, but would love to learn more.

    If only there were a classical music news site that could provide more information.

    • Clarinet Fan, Too says:
      “Classical Movements is the premier concert tour company for the world’s great orchestras and choirs, creating meaningful cultural experiences through music in 145 countries. An industry leader for 25 years, we understand both the travel and the performance needs of professional symphonies and choruses, as well as conservatory, university and youth ensembles. Producer of two international choral festivals—Serenade! in Washington, D.C. and Ihlombe! in South Africa—as well as Prague Summer Nights: Young Artists Music Festival, through our Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program, we’ve commissioned over 50 works from Pulitzer, MacArthur and Grammy-winning composers. Since our founding in 1992, as a truly global company, Classical Movements remains committed to facilitating cultural diplomacy across the world.”

  • Jannie says:

    What a wonderful appointment, congratulations Classical Movements! It needs to be pointed out that plans were already in place for an appointment well before the @travelban debacle.