The Karabakh Foundation - culture, art & heritage of Azerbaijan & the Caucasus

For Immediate Release

Contact: Rachel Mauro,

The Karabakh Foundation is proud to cosponsor Composers of the Caucasus: Continuum Ensemble with the Smithsonian Freer Gallery

March 3, 2011, promptly at 7:30 pm

Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. March 2, 2011 The Karabakh Foundation is pleased to join with the Smithsonian Freer Gallery in presenting the world-renowned Continuum Ensemble on Thursday, March 3, 2011, at 7:30 pm. The New York-based ensemble performs works from throughout the Caucasus and surrounding region, including works by noted composers of Azerbaijani, Georgian, Armenian, and other backgrounds.

Karabakh Foundation Board Chair Dr. Adil Baguirov noted, "The Karabakh Foundation's sponsorship of the Continuum Ensemble at the Smithsonian Institution exemplifies many of the Foundation's aims. American concertgoers no doubt will find inspiration in the beauty and range of music from this region. From that moment of revelation, participants we hope will seek to learn more about Azerbaijani, and more widely, Caucasus cultures. That's where the Foundation comes in--as a provider of cultural exhibitions and programs that build bridges between peoples. We are delighted that a diverse audience as well as the composers, musicians, and performers from the United States and the Caucasus region see the leading role of the Karabakh Foundation in making this great event possible, in witnessing the very name of the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan being featured in the leading venues at world-class events."

The Foundation is proud to contribute to the peaceful development and coexistence of all the peoples and civilizations in the Caucasus region, and to serve as an example to the entire world on recognizing Azerbaijani achievements in the culture and arts, particularly from the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan which is widely known as the cultural capital of the nation and even as the conservatory of the Caucasus. The Foundation is therefore pleased that composers from Armenia have also been able to join this event that is cosponsored by the Karabakh Foundation, a charitable nonprofit bearing the symbolic name of a historical Azerbaijani land known for its deep contribution to the culture and arts of the region and the world. Recognizing the importance of peace and development in the Caucasus, and particularly in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, the Karabakh Foundation decided to cosponsor and promote this exceptional performance in the nation’s capital in one of the most prestigious venues in the world.

The Ensemble will be performing two works each from Azerbaijan and Armenia, and three from Georgia. Famed Azerbaijani composers Franghis Ali-Zadeh, whose works have been championed by Mstislav Rostropovich and Yo-Yo Ma, and Oleg Felzer each wrote music for the Ensemble, which will be featured in the concert. Ali-Zadeh’s “In Search of Lost Time” evokes a colorful nostalgic atmosphere, featuring soprano and alto flute, triangle, violin, cello, piano, and zarb; Felzer’s piece, inspired by the traditional, lyrical Azerbaijani music form mugham, is more abstract with clarinet, violin, and piano.

The Continuum Ensemble has performed at music festivals in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, and has won the prestigious Siemens international prize for distinguished service to music and four ASCAP/Chamber Music America Awards for Adventuresome Programming.

Tickets available free of charge through the Freer Gallery's Web site here.

In March the Karabakh Foundation plays a lead role in sponsoring two major concerts. Details of these concerts are available at

About the Karabakh Foundation

The Karabakh Foundation seeks to increase awareness and understanding in the United States of the cultural heritage and traditions of the country of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus area, and the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. While coalescing significant artistic and scholarly talent, the Foundation is nurturing a new generation of artists and scholars toward important accomplishments.
The Foundation serves as a dynamic facilitator and clearinghouse raising the public profile of Azerbaijan, its Karabakh region, and the Caucasus region in general. Main activities include preserving and disseminating cultural content via archival collecting, public programs, publications, exhibitions, speaking forums, international collaborations, scholarly exchange, artistic sponsorship, and related venues.
Foundation support comes primarily from Khazar University, the first private university in Azerbaijan and one of the country’s leading institutions of higher learning. Additional information about the Karabakh Foundation may be found at

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