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Music & Artists

Close-up of a Pojagi flag--a patchwork of blue, green, yellow and neutral tones


A Journey in Color
This pojagi cloth was made by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) students, using traditional techniques of dying cloth in vats of indigo and hand-sewing it in particular patterns. The Silk Road Ensemble developed a musical work based on the worldwide migration of the dye indigo while in residence at RISD.

Alisher Latif-Zadeh


"[The war] between Armenia and Azerbaijan, for instance, or in my motherland of Tajikistan. Of course this has become a main theme in all of my work. I want to help people understand the value of peace."


Alisher Latif-Zadeh

Composer (Tajikistan) Alisher Latif-Zade completed his secondary education at a music school, focusing on violin and composition and in 1980 entered the Moscow Conservatory as a pupil of Professor A. Pirumof. After graduating in 1985, he joined the Union of Soviet Composers. In 1989 Mr. Latif-Zade received international exposure when his Oriental Sketch (for saxophone and piano) was performed in Germany in concerts featuring Tajik composers, and his ?Humoresque? for Brass Quintet was performed in the Festival of Young Composers of the USSR and USA in Kislovodsk (Russia). In 1990 he attended a course at the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart. He has taken part in international festivals in Russia, Germany, France, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, including the Institute for the Development of Intercultural Relations Through Arts in Chartres, France.

Among his compositions are two pieces for the Silk Road Ensemble. In his most recent music he has tried to create a new synthesis of Eastern and Western, of jazz and contemporary. He has particularly been affected by the many wars among the former Soviet republics since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He treated this subject in compositions that followed the September 11 attacks: Elegy "Do Not Weep" for two guitars. In other works—such as Apocalypse for 21 Percussionists (1991), the trio Cross and Crescent (1997), and Tolerance (2002)—he addresses the equality of religions, a subject to which he comes naturally as the son of a Christian mother and Muslim father.