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Conducting Workshop

Monday, February 11
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Irwin Hall Auditorium, Beirut

This workshop aims to inspire all talented students to learn and explore the art of conducting and the duties of a professional conductor by developing basic knowledge and guidance of score study, conducting techniques, overall musicianship, and leadership.

Participants of all levels are welcome to apply (no previous conducting knowledge or experience is required.) Participants may be active or auditors. Basic reading proficiency, minimum of 2 or 3 clefs, is desired for an active participant. Auditors may attend and participate in discussions but will not receive podium time. Participants are expected to be able to read all the notes in the score, as well as know the dynamics and articulation markings, in order to conduct a piece. Time assigned at the podium will be at the discretion of the instructor. The entire workshop will be taught and directed by Garo Avessian in partnership with pianist Seba Ali.

The repertoire to be worked on:

- Beethoven - Sonata “Pathetique” second movement

- Mozart - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (First & Third Movements)

- Brahms - Hungarian Dance No.5

- Grieg - Peer Gynt Suite No.1 (Nos.1, 3 and 4)

- Beethoven - Symphony No. 7 (First and Second movements)

About Garo Avessian

Europe and the Middle East. The late Dr. Walid Gholmieh, Director of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music (LNHCM), assigned Avessian in 2008 as a conductor of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), a position he continues to this day. His debut performance with the LPO received great critical acclaim from the audience and press alike. A member of the Professional Musicians Syndicate in Lebanon since 2011, he is currently Associate Professor at LNHCM, teaching Conducting, Harmony and Advanced Theory Classes. Additionally, he is a member of the Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Éditeurs de Musique since June 2018. Avessian is the founder and the principal conductor of the Institut Professionnel Saint Michel (IPSM) Chamber Orchestra since June 2013, and a part-time lecturer at Beirut Arab University since 2010. Avessian is the receipient of a number of honors, including Third Prize in the Lazarus Saryan Vocal Competition in Yerevan (2004), for “Three Kuchak Hayren” published by Da Vinci Publishing in 2018. In 2005, he received the Presidential Award in recognition of being the healthiest person in Armenia, which granted him an acting role in Gor Vardanyan’s film “Destiny”. He was also a finalist in the Film Music Category of the Young Composers’ Competition of the Narekatsi Art Institute in Yerevan 2006 for “Embers of the Sun” (compulsory film). Most recently, Avessian was awarded the First and Grand Prizes in the Danube Conducting Masterclass and Competition in Budapest with the Danube Symphony Orchestra in
August 2018. In April 2012, Avessian was selected by George Pehlivanian to participate in his Conducting Master Class and Concert in Le Touquet, France. In collaboration with Australian Embassy, in February 2013 Garo Avessian conducted the LPO with internationally acclaimed flutist Ana de la Vega, playing the Mysliveček Flute Concerto in Beirut, its second-ever performance following its London premiere. In January 2014, Avessian was selected to participate in the International Conducting Masterclass in Chicago with Donald Schleicher (Professor, Illinois State University) and Russell Miller (Professor, Eastman School of Music). In October of that same year, Dr. Walid Moussallem, current Director of the LNHCM, assigned Avessian to train and conduct the National Youth Orchestra of Lebanon. On November 21, 2014, Avessian conducted the LPO at the prestigious Independence Day concert for the 71 st anniversary of the Republic of Lebanon. In April 2015 he was honored by the Ministry of Social Affairs in Lebanon for his performance at the Autism Support Event conducting the IPSM Chamber Orchestra in Downtown Beirut. Collaborating with the Uruguayan Embassy, in June 2016 Avessian adapted Uruguayan tangos and melodies for the LPO, a first in the Land of the Cedars. In July 2017, Mr. Avessian conducted the opening concert of the Tyre International Festival with acclaimed keyboardist Jamal Abou Hosn. Garo Avessian’s early music education was in piano at Tekelian School of Music in Beirut, later taking Composition, Orchestration and Harmony courses with composer Vatche Kalenderian (1992–2000). At the “Komitas” State Conservatory in Yerevan, Armenia, he studied Composition with Ashot Zohrabyan (2001-2006), Conducting with Aram Gharabekyan (2003-2007), and earned a Master’s Degree in both subjects. In December 2017, Avessian became a Doctoral Student at the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, supervised by the esteemed professor Dr. Anna Asatryan. 

About Seba Ali

Acclaimed for her masterful piano technique and wide-ranging musical imagination, Egyptian Pianist Seba Ali enjoys a diverse career as a soloist, chamber musician and teaching artist. She has started playing the piano at age of four and had her concert debut at age of five. Having started performing as a soloist with the orchestras at age eleven, Seba has performed with Lynn Philharmonia, Cairo Celebration Orchestra, Bibliotheca Alexandria Chamber Orchestra, Cairo Conservatory, Ars Flores, Redlands and Cairo Symphony Orchestras. In addition, Seba maintains solo recitals and frequently performs at renowned venues including New York Public Library, Kaufmann Center, Manasterly Palace, The Staller Center for The Arts, and Historic Asolo Theatre, and her performances have been broadcasted on WQXR, KUOR and Classical Variations. Dedicated to chamber music, Seba is a winner of the 2012 Ackerman Chamber Music Competition and has been mentored by some of the greatest chamber musicians of time, including Gilbert Kalish, Colin Carr, Carol Wincenc, Andres Cardenes, Paquito D’Rivera and Emerson String Quartet. Seba is a founding member of Gadayel Duo with her husband; hornist Amr Selim with recent performances and residencies at Santa Clara University, Silicon Valley Music Festival, Lincoln Center, and Kaufman Center in New York City.

Seba Ali holds a Bachelor of Music from Cairo Conservatory, a Professional Performance Certificate from Lynn Conservatory, a Master’s of Music in piano performance and a doctorate of musical arts from Stony Brook University. Her principal teachers are Vselod Demidov, Amal El-Shahed, Nibal Mounib, Roberta Rust, Christina Dahl. Other important mentors include Jon Robertson, Douglass Weeks and Gilbert Kalish.

In high demand as an educator, Seba has served as piano and chamber music faculty at the Stony Brook University undergraduate music department and pre-college division, Cairo Conservatory, and Long Island Conservatory, has given Masterclasses across the Middle East and the United States, and currently teaching as an adjunct professor of music at the Lebanese American University. Having a strong passion for teaching, Dr. Ali maintains a piano studio for fourteen years where her international student roster has gone on to win competitions and scholarships for postgraduate studies in the U.S., Asia and Europe. Her passion for education drew her to do an extensive research on the teaching methods of the U.S, Europe and Asia, collecting it into a source to other educators.

As a cultural entrepreneur, and driven by her passion through education and outreach to her community. Dr. Ali is the founder and the artistic director of Imagine Workshop and Concert Series (IWCS) based at the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut, Lebanon.

About IWCS (Imagine Workshop and Concert Series)
Imagine Workshop and Concert Series (IWCS) is a series of concerts, workshops, lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions, outreach and education programs. IWCS strives to contribute to the cultural richness of our community by promoting top quality performances to a diverse local audience; welcoming internationally acclaimed guest artists to collaborate with LAU's faculty, students and a diverse community; cultivating young artists and new audiences through traditional and innovative educational outreach initiatives, and introducing underprivileged communities to the power of arts.

For more info about IWCS visit the Facebook page or contact Dr. Seba Ali: seba.ali@lau.edu.lb



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