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Sharon Isbin discusses 'Affinity' and 'Strings for Peace' with 89.1/88/7WMHT

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Interview with WMHT's Rob Brown

Guitarist Sharon Isbin has two new recordings out, Affinity and Strings for Peace. She talks about those with 89.1/88/7WMHT: Troy NY, Rob Brown. Isbin also discusses the place of music in our world today, and how she went from launching model rockets to the concert stage.

On Affinity, Isbin performs multi-faceted and virtuosic new works for guitar, written for her by four leading composers. From the Africa-influenced El Decameron Negro by iconic Cuban guitarist/composer Leo Brouwer, through the Chinese and Spanish-inspired Seven Desires for Guitar by Tan Dun, to Richard Danielpour's sensual song cycle Of Love and Longing (with multiple Grammy winner Isabel Leonard) and the  jazz and world music-influenced Affinity: Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra by Chris Brubeck with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra/Elizabeth Schulze, Sharon Isbin gives her inimitable imprint to, and vastly enriches major new repertoire for guitar. The four world premieres also include a two-guitar arrangement for her by Colin Davin of Antonio Lauro's Waltz #3 Natalia.  

On Strings for Peace, with sarod master, Amjad Ali Khan, and his virtuoso sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash, is a groundbreaking release steeped in the tradition of ragas and talas of North Indian classical music.  Recorded in New York following a successful joint 2019 tour in India, Strings for Peace features four Khan compositions based on popular ragas specifically written and arranged for Sharon Isbin: By the Moon - Raga Behag, Love Avalanche - Raga Mishra Bhairav, Romancing Earth - Raga Pilu and Sacred Evening - Raga Yaman.  The four artists are joined on the tabla by Amit Kavthekar, a disciple of Indian drumming giants, Alla Rakha and his son Zakir Hussain.