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Gao Hong, pipa & Issam Rafea, oud – Virtual Courtroom Concert

This concert will be available to stream on the date of the performance on this page, our Youtube page, and on our Facebook page. Please contact us at 651-292-3268 or at ticketing@schubert.org if you have any questions about our virtual concerts. 


The Issam Rafea and Gao Hong duo performs live improvisations blending Chinese and Arabic techniques. Songlines Magazine in the U.K. called their collaboration “…engaging, deeply contemplative, and culturally resonant.” Each performance is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and audiences have the opportunity to witness singular creations that come to life before their eyes and ears, but are never to be repeated. 

Pipa master Gao Hong and oud master Issam Rafea met in 2017 at Carleton College while Hong was teaching there and Rafea was a residency artist. Once in the recording studio, they began improvising music that was so cohesive it sounded as though they had performed together for years. Because all of their performances are improvisations, no two pieces are ever exactly the same, and the duo often creates instantaneous site- and audience-specific pieces to describe their immediate feelings and honor their audiences.