LiveConnections' Bridge Sessions and in-school residencies provide interactive educational opportunities for youth from city schools & people with disabilities.


Our LiveConnections Presents concert series features collaborative concerts designed for adventurous music-lovers.


We prioritize accessibility for people with disabilities through Bridge Sessions, workshops & live webcasts.

Written by Seth Hanes   
Published on Monday, 07 March 2016 10:30


LiveConnections Presents the Eclectic Chamber Group Ensemble39


Rising instrumentalists premiere a new work by Syrian composer Kinan Abou-afach



WHAT: A fusion of western classical and Arab music
WHEN: Friday, April 8 at 7:30 PM
VENUE: World Cafe Live - Philadelphia (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA)
TICKETS: $18 general admission, $13 students with ID


"Ensemble39 combines great chops with a fearless attitude to repertoire and performance. This is no ordinary chamber ensemble!"- Grammy-winning contemporary ensemble eighth blackbird


PHILADELPHIA 03/07/2016 — For the fifth concert of its 2015-2016 season, the LiveConnections Presents concert series features Ensemble39 on Friday, April 8. Considered one of the hottest ensembles in Philadelphia, Ensemble39 is inspired by Prokofiev’s Quintet, Opus 39, and features oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, and bass. Its unique mix of strings and winds embraces many musical styles, including classical, jazz, klezmer, and more. For the LiveConnections Presents concert, they will perform the world premiere of a work by Kinan Abou-afach, commissioned by LiveConnections as part of its “New Sound of Philadelphia” project, which features genre-crossing commissions of Philadelphia-based composers writing for local ensembles. Inspired by the music of Abou-afach’s native Syria, the new work for Ensemble39 will explore classical and traditional Arab music along with pre-recorded sounds for this distinct blend of instruments.

LiveConnections Presents Curator Mary Javian says, "Ensemble 39 is comprised of extremely talented young players who have a passion for exploring alternative venues and are always seeking ways to be relevant within whatever community they are in. It’s a natural fit to pair them with Kinan Abou-afach, whom I believe is one of the most important voices in composition today. His new work “Fiction” contains poetry written by his father and includes music created with granular synth technology. The pre-recorded tape that accompanies the ensemble also includes Abou-afach’s father reciting a poem about his native Syria. His son’s interpretation of the poem is that it is a dream for his homeland that ‘Maybe in the future people will learn and will be peaceful.’”

Also on the program is a work by the celebrated young composer Gabriella Smith titled “Children of the Fire” as well as a Mozart Serenade and Ensemble39’s signature work, the Prokofiev Quintet,op. 39. As part of the relaxed nature of LiveConnections concerts, a dinner menu will be available and the bar open at World Cafe Live during the performance.

In addition to the LiveConnections Presents concert series, the April 8 concert connects with LiveConnections’ ongoing educational and accessibility work. On May 3, Ensemble39 and Kinan Abou-afach will present two interactive Bridge Sessions, LiveConnections’ signature educational programming, for nearly 200 students from two Philadelphia School District elementary schools: Watson Comly School and Bregy Elementary. LiveConnections Bridge Sessions offer a unique approach to music education that highlights collaboration across musical styles and cultural backgrounds and explores the ways adults and youth can communicate, share ideas and build connections. Sessions are highly interactive, offering multiple ways for students to actively participate in the music-making. The April 8 concert will also be streamed via LiveConnections’ video initiative, LiveStudio, to adults with physical & cognitive disabilities in partnership with Art-Reach, as well as to facilities serving individuals who are unable to travel to the venue.


ABOUT LIVECONNECTIONS: LiveConnections inspires learning and builds community through collaborative music-making. Since our founding in 2008, LiveConnections has re-imagined the landscape of live music and music education through unique collaborations that join artists from different genres to highlight how music crosses cultures and creates bridges of understanding. Our programs reach people who would not normally experience this kind of music—such as youth from urban schools and people with disabilities—as well as musically adventurous audiences. We offer three signature programs, all based out of our partner venue World Cafe Live.

•    Bridge Sessions are interactive, educational performances for urban youth and special needs populations, along with in-depth residencies and workshops.
•    LiveConnections Presents features six collaborative concerts designed for adventurous music-lovers.
•    LiveStudio offers live video streaming for underserved audiences unable to travel to the venue.
For more information, visit

LiveConnections Presents is supported in part by the Presser Foundation and the Kal & Lucille Rudman Foundation.

PLEASE NOTE: LiveConnections is a nonprofit organization in residence at venue World Cafe Live. All programs are created, presented and funded entirely by LiveConnections and should not be attributed to World Cafe Live.

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