The Foundation proudly hosts two resident ensembles.
“The musical material of the Maghreb, and by extension al-Andalus, is a perfect reflection of the beauty and plurality of the region’s history. And for this reason we have sponsors with a wide array of interests supporting the ensemble. We do not mean for this ensemble to be watered down, stripped of the musical expressions of the cultural context from whence they come. The ensemble must be musically as well as academically honest.
Religion has always played an integral part of life in this region…for centuries. Therefore, several texts have embedded references to religious ideas – primarily from Islam and Judaism – because it cannot really be separated from the cultural life of the people. This is natural. However, texts that promote a particular religious ideology or modern political agenda will be avoided. In learning these songs, we are not promoting any particular religion or religious agenda. And by extension, we are not promoting any political persuasion or agenda. We want room for what is part of the culture of the region to come through as a learning experience.
We feel very strongly that we want an ensemble comprised of individuals who understand this mission and can appreciate it. We welcome you in learning about the musical traditions of the Maghreb and al-Andalus, and in the opportunity to share this illustrious culture with many people.” (excerpted from mission statement)
Founded in 1993, Perspectives Ensemble creates musical events that present the works of composers in cultural or historic context. Its programs offer interpretations informed by the influences prevailing upon composers at the time of composition, and often bridge and integrate the musical, visual, and literary arts. The Ensemble maintains the highest standards of preparation and performance in order to produce intellectually stimulating events that provide its artists and audiences opportunities to gain new insights into particular works of art.
The Ensemble forms high-level collaborations with leading artists and other presenting organizations as required by the needs of specific events and programs. Perspectives Ensemble provides a framework within which artists and staff are able to contribute at their maximum levels of accomplishment, thus maintaining the standards of preparation and performance that define the Ensemble’s work. The mission of MAYA, a trio of harp, flute and percussion and a project of Perspectives Ensemble which was formed in 2005, is to perform and commission new works, and to continually expand its repertoire with music drawn from different world cultures.