22 / 23 SEASON

For Longy’s 2022–2023 event season, we invite you to leave all preconceptions at home.

Musical experiences can have any starting point. Whether born of complex ideas, emotional impulses, or spontaneous inspiration, every music maker begins wherever they are—which is exactly where they need to be.

Just as there’s no right way, no single starting line for becoming a musician, composer, or performer, there’s no one correct entry point for us as the audience. There’s no required reading for experiencing a piece of music, no prerequisite understanding or context to bring with you to a musical experience. You come to it from wherever you are.

In relinquishing our ideas of what a musical experience should be, we open ourselves to receiving and internalizing music in a way that is unique and true to each of us.

Every artist, composer, and musician represented in this season’s program took a different path to arrive at Longy, detours and scenic routes included. We hope the stories on our stages this year inspire you to begin your own new journey, no matter where you start. Allow yourself to begin wherever you are.

When there’s no set path to follow, you become free to begin anywhere.

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Gessner-Schocken Concert • SONGS FROM AKTAMAR • Jennifer Curtis, violin, and Niloufar Shiri, kamancheh

Friday, November 4 2022   |   8:00 pm

Free – $20.00
While this event is open to the public, you must pre-register in order to gain access in person. No walk-ups will be allowed at Longy for performances.


“Simply stated, this was one of the gutsiest, most individual recital programs I’ve ever had the privilege to attend,” The New York Times hailed violinist Jennifer Curtis’s Carnegie Hall appearance. Curtis is joined by composer and kamancheh player Niloufar Shiri for an evening of music that weaves together art and joy—and shows the power of a woman wielding a bowed instrument to fight oppression and forge cultural connection.

An educator as well as a performer, Jennifer Curtis has collaborated with musical shaman of the Andes, improvised for live radio from the interior of the Amazon jungle, and taught and collaborated with Kurdish refugees in Turkey.

Niloufar Shiri’s music melds the musical and poetic structures of traditional Iranian music with noise, electronics, field recordings, and feedback loops to explore the contemporary soundscape of a displaced Iran. She is an active musician with the Iranian Female Composers Association and Diaspora Arts Connection’s Let Her Sing celebration, which lifts up women’s voices where they have been suppressed or censored around the world.

Through their collaboration at Longy’s annual Gessner-Schocken Concert Series, Curtis and Shiri invite you to actively explore music as diplomacy, as humanitarian aid, and as a tool for social and political change.

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The New York Times described violinist Jennifer Curtis’s second solo concert in Carnegie Hall as “one of the gutsiest and most individual recital programs.” She was celebrated as “an artist of keen intelligence and taste, well worth watching out for.”

Curtis navigates with personality and truth in every piece she performs. Jennifer is a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and founder of the group Tres Americas Ensemble. She has appeared as a soloist with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Venezuela and the Knights Chamber Orchestra; performed in Romania in honor of George Enescu; given world premieres at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York; collaborated with composer John Adams at the Library of Congress; and appeared at El Festival de las Artes Esénias in Peru and festivals worldwide.

An educator with a focus on music as humanitarian aid, Jennifer has also collaborated with musical shaman of the Andes, improvised for live radio from the interior of the Amazon jungle, and taught and collaborated with Kurdish refugees in Turkey.

Jennifer joins the Haw River Ballroom’s Culture Mill in Saxapahaw, North Carolina as artist in residence this spring, and will teach a course on the art of interpretation at Duke University next year. She plays on a 1777 Vincenzo Panormo.


Niloufar Shiri is a kamancheh player and composer from Tehran, Iran. Her music carefully weaves the musical and poetic structures of traditional Iranian music with noise and electronics, to produce music that explores the contemporary soundscape of a displaced Iran. She has received many commissions as a composer and has collaborated with numerous ensembles and festivals as a performer and composer including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Long Beach Opera, Mostly Mozart, Ojai Music Festival, Tehran Contemporary Music Festival, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Atlas Ensemble among others. Niloufar’s current projects include a piece for CAMPGround Festival and an album integrating her music with field recordings and feedback loops.

Niloufar received her B.A. with Honors in composition at UC San Diego in 2017 and a M.A. in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology from UC Irvine in 2022. In conjunction with her studies, she has performed research, funded from a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts in 2012, on Iranian classical music under Dr. Hossein Omoumi at UC Irvine. The results of this research can be found at pish-radif.com.


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Friday, November 4 2022
8:00 pm
Free – $20.00
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Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall
Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States