Karim Sulayman, tenor and Sean Shibe, guitar 

Longy's Pickman Hall - Longy's Edward M. Pickman Hall

Karim Sulayman and Sean Shibe, two fascinating artists with wide-ranging performance interests and big ideas, make Celebrity Series debuts in this beautifully eclectic recital that examines the relationship between the East and the West. The program brings together 16th- and 17th-century Italian and English works; traditional Sephardic and Arab-Andalusian songs; Benjamin Britten’s settings of translated poems, Songs from the Chinese; 20th-century and contemporary compositions; and more. 

Lebanese-American tenor Karim Sulayman, a 2019 Grammy Award winner for Best Classical Solo Vocal, is a sophisticated and versatile artist consistently praised for his sensitive and intelligent musicianship, riveting stage presence, and beautiful voice. Sulayman earns acclaim for his thought-provoking programming and recording projects, and maintains a busy career on the world’s opera and concert stages, in programs that range from often-heard classical favorites to new work, to audacious commissions and curatorial projects. In 2022, he debuted the widely acclaimed Unholy Wars, a program that recontextualizes Italian Renaissance music about the Crusades through an Arab-American lens and pairs it with new work by American composer Mary Kouyoumdjian. 

One of the most versatile guitarists performing today, Scottish guitarist Sean Shibe’s innovative approach to his instrument has enhanced his reputation for being “the most interesting voice on the guitar for a generation” (Gramophone). A great admirer of the masterful composers of the past, Shibe is equally committed to new music. Alongside his transcriptions of Bach’s lute suites and 17th-century Scottish lute manuscripts, he continues to explore, experiment, and expand the repertoire for his instrument with recent works and new commissions, including a solo work by Thomas Adès and a new collaboration with Cassandra Miller and Dunedin Consort.

This performance also has a streaming option November 16 - November 22.

“A tenor such as I have rarely seen in my life as a music lover. In addition to making his voice heard with unparalleled clarity and depth, Sulayman masters all the registers of stage performance… His charisma is magnetic, always at the service of the work he interprets… which he fully makes his own. ”

Revue L'Opéra (Quebec)

“Sean Shibe has a “great gift for painting notes in what seems a thousand colours, with multiple dynamic shadings en route… there are exquisite and tender sounds everywhere you look.”

The Times (UK)

Pickman Hall Venue Information

The 2023/24 Debut Series is generously supported by
Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation.

This performance is made possible in part by support from Celebrity Series' LIVE PERFORMANCE! Arts for All Innovation Funds.

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