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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > December
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 2, 2003


State Department to Bring Iraq National Symphony Orchestra to Washington, DC in Conjunction with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The Iraq National Symphony Orchestra will perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Artís Concert Hall in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, December 9, at 6:00 p.m. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser will serve as co-hosts for the event.

The National Symphony Orchestra will perform side-by-side with the Iraq National Symphony Orchestra for the concert. Leonard Slatkin, the National Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor, and Mohammed Amin Ezzat, the Iraq National Symphony Orchestra conductor, will both conduct selections, and world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will be a featured soloist.

Michael Kaiser and Yo-Yo Ma are two of the ten Department of State CultureConnect Ambassadors. Through the CultureConnect program, Kaiser and Ma travel on behalf of the United States to engage with young people around the world. By offering master classes and connecting with youth in classrooms and other venues, cultural ambassadors establish a dialogue and mentoring relationship with promising young people from many countries.

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Patricia Harrison, CultureConnect Director Brian Sexton, and Michael Kaiser set up initial arrangements for the concert during a trip to Baghdad in September. The trip is being made possible through an on-going public-private partnership between the State Department and the Kennedy Center.

In addition to the concert, the orchestra will hold an educational event for local school children on Wednesday, December 10. Members of the orchestra will also attend a series of administrative sessions on orchestra management during their time in Washington.

Tickets for the free concert will be available at the Kennedy Center on Saturday, December 6 at 8:00 a.m.

For press inquiries, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs:
Adam Meier, 202-203-7026, or Susan Phalen, 202-203-7613.

2003/1216

Released on December 2, 2003

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