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Panel to discuss role of music in peacebuilding

February 05, 2014

The pursuit of peace requires innovative thinking. Music is considered a promising approach to creative peacebuilding, but what makes it unique?

Can music be used to create genuine cross-cultural exchanges all over the world? How is this form of peacebuilding transformative for the performer and the audience? What is the future of music as a tool for peacebuilding?

The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict will host a panel discussion with members of the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music’s Playing for Peace program at noon, Feb. 11, in West Hall, room 135 on ASU’s Tempe campus.

The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music founded the Playing for Peace program in 1988 to bring together musicians from across the globe to communicate in ways that would not ordinarily happen in their native countries or regions.

Since 1988, the program has traveled to countries and locations around the world, including Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and the West Bank, England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the Greek and Turkish areas of Cyprus, the Caucasus area of Russia and inner city neighborhoods of the US.

The centerpiece of the current Playing for Peace program is a new commission by Syrian composer Kareem Roustom that uses the unique sound of the Apple Hill String Quartet and combines them with music of Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and Israeli pianist Sally Pinkas.

Joining Roustom, Azmeh and Pinkas on the panel will be Leonard Matczynski, the director of Apple Hill. Yasmin Saikia, the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies at ASU, will moderate the panel.

“We envision a dynamic conversation, much like a music composition,” says Saikia. “Panelists will be responding to questions and comments from the moderator, from each other and from the audience.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Hardt-Nickachos Peace Studies Endowment at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and the ASU Gammage BEYOND Series.

The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict is an interdisciplinary research unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that examines the dynamics of religion, conflict and peace in global politics. Music and peacebuilding has been a topic of research of a number of students working with the center.

The ASU Gammage BEYOND Series has been featuring artists-in-residence for the past 20 years who engage broadly with the academic and wider community. BEYOND will be presenting Playing for Peace at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, at ASU’s Gammage Auditorium.

For more information or to reserve a seat for Tuesday’s panel discussion, see or call 480-727-6736.