Archive for September, 2008

The Cellist of Baghdad (, 9/11/2008)

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

“Our orchestra is a tool for refining the culture. Classical music is not merely an entertainment opportunity. It can teach how to manage disagreements, how a civilized person functions in life.”

So far Karim Wasfi, the musical director and co-conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra (INSO), sounds like many other earnest spokesmen for classical music around the world. But his next remark suggests the depth of the obstacles he contends with daily:

“Our orchestra can show people in Iraq why they should love life, not death.” In the U.S., we don’t necessarily worry that those unfamiliar with classical music might become suicide bombers. But in Iraq, life is lived at a higher pitch. (more…)