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    Rhiannon Giddens Named Artistic Director of Silkroad
    Ebru Yildiz

    Rhiannon Giddens has been appointed the next Artistic Director of Silkroad. Her first official appearance will be this Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 8pm EDT in a virtual concert for Tanglewood Online Festival’s Recitals from the World Stage series celebrating Silkroad's 20th anniversary.

    “On behalf of the Silkroad Board of Directors, we are thrilled to officially welcome Rhiannon Giddens to the Silkroad family,” said Golnar Khosrowshahi, Chair of the Silkroad Board of Directors. “As we look into the future, we feel certain to have found the ideal visionary to enhance Yo-Yo Ma’s indelible legacy and lead us to new heights. We greatly admire Rhiannon’s innovative spirit and look forward to seeing how she mines American and global traditions to effect an artistic impact that is relevant to our times.”

    Giddens’ mastery at excavating the music of America's past, knowledge of history and diverse cultures, and ability to bring people together from all walks of life, as she has expressed on her Nonesuch recordings both as a solo artist and with Carolina Chocolate Drops, make her well suited for the Artistic Director position at Silkroad, which has aimed to model and teach the importance of connection across difference for two decades.

    "Rhiannon is a source of inspiration for all of us,” said Kathy Fletcher, Executive Director of Silkroad. “In addition to her enormous musical talent, she fosters an immense social consciousness and creates unity through her art. These are goals for which we consistently strive in our own performances and education initiatives. I am eager to join forces with Rhiannon to expand the social impact mission that is so crucial to Silkroad, as well as to design and present programs that will delight our audiences in the United States and abroad.”

    Giddens has been a collaborator of Silkroad since 2016, having performed as a special guest with the Silkroad Ensemble and on the album Sing Me Home. Most recently, she was featured in Home Sessions—a series launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—alongside Francesco Turrisi, which can be seen below. In her new role, Giddens will oversee and conceive artistic programs that support Silkroad’s mission of engaging difference and sparking radical cultural collaboration and passion-driven learning for a more hopeful and inclusive world.

    “My keenest desire for Silkroad is a sharpening and reinterpretation of what it means for the ‘right now.’ That it becomes obvious to all that Silkroad is as American as it is possible to get in spirit, even as many of the players are from elsewhere; for what is more American than the gathering of influences from disparate areas of the globe to create something unique and fantastic,” shared Giddens. “I am thankful to the Board, staff, and musicians for this opportunity to magnify the incredible work that they’re doing into an even greater ability to effect change.”

    Silkroad founder and acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who led the organization from 2000 to 2017, expressed his utmost confidence in the leadership transition and excitement for Giddens to make her mark on the organization’s future.

    “Rhiannon is an extraordinary human being and musician. She lives Silkroad’s values, at once rooted in history and its many musics, and is an advocate for the contemporary voices that can move us to work together for a better world. I look forward to joining Rhiannon and our Silkroad colleagues as we continue this journey together,” affirmed Ma.

    Giddens and Ma performed her new song, "Build a House," in honor of the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth earlier this year. You can watch that here:

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Rhiannon Giddens Named Artistic Director of Silkroad

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on July 28, 2020 - 9:00am
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Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 09:00
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Rhiannon Giddens has been appointed the next Artistic Director of Silkroad. Her first official appearance will be this Wednesday in a virtual concert for Tanglewood. "Rhiannon is a source of inspiration for all of us," says Kathy Fletcher, Executive Director of Silkroad. “In addition to her enormous musical talent, she fosters an immense social consciousness and creates unity through her art. These are goals for which we consistently strive in our own performances and education initiatives." "Rhiannon is an extraordinary human being and musician," says Silkroad founder Yo-Yo Ma. "She lives Silkroad’s values, at once rooted in history and its many musics, and is an advocate for the contemporary voices that can move us to work together for a better world."

Copy: 

Rhiannon Giddens has been appointed the next Artistic Director of Silkroad. Her first official appearance will be this Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 8pm EDT in a virtual concert for Tanglewood Online Festival’s Recitals from the World Stage series celebrating Silkroad's 20th anniversary.

“On behalf of the Silkroad Board of Directors, we are thrilled to officially welcome Rhiannon Giddens to the Silkroad family,” said Golnar Khosrowshahi, Chair of the Silkroad Board of Directors. “As we look into the future, we feel certain to have found the ideal visionary to enhance Yo-Yo Ma’s indelible legacy and lead us to new heights. We greatly admire Rhiannon’s innovative spirit and look forward to seeing how she mines American and global traditions to effect an artistic impact that is relevant to our times.”

Giddens’ mastery at excavating the music of America's past, knowledge of history and diverse cultures, and ability to bring people together from all walks of life, as she has expressed on her Nonesuch recordings both as a solo artist and with Carolina Chocolate Drops, make her well suited for the Artistic Director position at Silkroad, which has aimed to model and teach the importance of connection across difference for two decades.

"Rhiannon is a source of inspiration for all of us,” said Kathy Fletcher, Executive Director of Silkroad. “In addition to her enormous musical talent, she fosters an immense social consciousness and creates unity through her art. These are goals for which we consistently strive in our own performances and education initiatives. I am eager to join forces with Rhiannon to expand the social impact mission that is so crucial to Silkroad, as well as to design and present programs that will delight our audiences in the United States and abroad.”

Giddens has been a collaborator of Silkroad since 2016, having performed as a special guest with the Silkroad Ensemble and on the album Sing Me Home. Most recently, she was featured in Home Sessions—a series launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—alongside Francesco Turrisi, which can be seen below. In her new role, Giddens will oversee and conceive artistic programs that support Silkroad’s mission of engaging difference and sparking radical cultural collaboration and passion-driven learning for a more hopeful and inclusive world.

“My keenest desire for Silkroad is a sharpening and reinterpretation of what it means for the ‘right now.’ That it becomes obvious to all that Silkroad is as American as it is possible to get in spirit, even as many of the players are from elsewhere; for what is more American than the gathering of influences from disparate areas of the globe to create something unique and fantastic,” shared Giddens. “I am thankful to the Board, staff, and musicians for this opportunity to magnify the incredible work that they’re doing into an even greater ability to effect change.”

Silkroad founder and acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who led the organization from 2000 to 2017, expressed his utmost confidence in the leadership transition and excitement for Giddens to make her mark on the organization’s future.

“Rhiannon is an extraordinary human being and musician. She lives Silkroad’s values, at once rooted in history and its many musics, and is an advocate for the contemporary voices that can move us to work together for a better world. I look forward to joining Rhiannon and our Silkroad colleagues as we continue this journey together,” affirmed Ma.

Giddens and Ma performed her new song, "Build a House," in honor of the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth earlier this year. You can watch that here:

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Rhiannon Giddens 2019 orng by Ebru Yildiz
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