Lectures

Cultural Navigation

Finding One's Way Across Traditions
Navigation Lecture Series

A panel discussion with members of the Silk Road Ensemble with Steve Seidel, Faculty Director, Arts in Education Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Members of the Silk Road Ensemble who will participate in the conversation are Cristina Pato (bagpipe), Sandeep Das (tabla), Joseph Gramley (percussion), and Hadi Eldebek (oud and percussion.)

Event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 4:45 p.m.; event begins at 5 p.m.


What does it mean to learn a score with musicians from different cultural traditions? Beyond playing the notes, what other issues of meaning, identity, and interpretation arise? In this panel, several members of the Silk Road Ensemble will share their perspectives on the challenges of sustaining a passionate engagement with a musical score while learning it (often a difficult, even frustrating process in itself) and negotiating what it means to play it with different instruments and come from different musical and cultural backgrounds. What are we navigating when we learn the score, and what does it mean to navigate one's own culture and other cultural traditions in a musical ensemble? Join us for a dynamic conversation.

Inspired by his curiosity about the world and eager to forge connections across cultures, disciplines and generations, cellist Yo-Yo Ma founded the non-profit organization Silkroad in 1998. The Silk Road Ensemble was formed in 2000 as a way of bringing together innovative performers and composers representing traditions from around the world. Through performances and the creation of new music, cultural partnerships, education programs, and cross-disciplinary collaborations, Silkroad seeks to create meaningful change at the intersection of the arts, education, and business.


The navigation lecture series is part of the Academic Ventures program at the Radcliffe Institute. A larger, one-day public symposium on the topic took place on Friday, November 14, 2014.