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Crossing Borders 2018

Music of the Dispossessed: works by Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky

Music of the Dispossessed

7.30pm on 16 June at St Mary’s Church, Kemptown

The Crossing Borders Festival ensemble performs Arnold Schoenberg’s “Verklärte Nacht” alongside Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence”.

Arnold Schoenberg was a cellist, a composer and an artist. The rise of the Nazi party saw Schoenberg’s music labelled as degenerate and in 1934 he emigrated to the United States of America. “Verklärte Nacht” (1899) was Schoenberg’s first masterpiece. A deeply Romantic work and heavily influenced by Wagner, it is based on a poem by Richard Dehmel about a woman who only meets the man she truly loves when she is already pregnant.

The displacement suffered by Tchaikovsky was both internal and geographic. The social mores of the time, along with the fact that homosexual acts were a crime in Russia, meant he was terrified of his homosexuality becoming exposed. He dealt with this by spending considerable time travelling abroad. Away from Russia, he longed to return to it, while, when there, he felt constrained. By turns lyrical, Romantic and joyous, the sextet “Souvenir de Florence” demonstrates the solace he found in music.

The members of the Crossing Borders Festival ensemble are Krassimira Jeliazkova and Nicola Bates (violin), Ros Hanson-Laurent and Stephen Giles (viola) and Siriol Hugh-Jones and Ivana Peranic (cello).

Click here to book tickets.


The Travels of Song
The Travels of Song

7.30pm on 17 June at St Mary’s Church, Kemptown

The Travels of Song explores both the itinerancy and universality of music, where a tune composed in one country could end up adopted by another, sometimes far away, and the compositions of musicians in exile. Peter Phillips and Richard Dering had to leave Elizabethan England because of their religion; Paul Hindemith left Germany in 1938 to avoid more trouble with the Nazis. The programme will also include two songs written by detainees of Yarls Wood.

Byrdsong is a group of professional, semi-professional and amateur singers who meet to give concerts of Renaissance polyphony, usually in aid of lovely parish churches and other good causes. This year, we’re appearing at both the Brighton and the Petworth Fringes.

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Crossing Borders: a recital of violin and piano transcriptions 

Crossing Borders recital

7.30pm on 20 June at Brighton Unitarian Church

In this programme of transcriptions Krassimira Jeliazkova (violin) and Elizabeth Mucha (piano) perform works by Walton, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, S

zymanowski – Paganini and Bernstein, works which have themselves crossed the border from the genre of opera/musical to become instrumental works.

The wide and varied career of Scottish-Polish pianist Elizabeth Mucha has taken her throughout Europe, the Americas, and the Far East as a critically acclaimed accompanist, chamber music player and solo pianist. She has broadcast for BBC Scotland, BBC Northern Ireland, Radio 4 in Holland, Radio Alberta Canada, Philippine television and Radio MEC in Brazil.

Krassimira Jeliazkova-Jones has performed extensively as an orchestra player, chamber musician and as a soloist, in numerous countries such as her native Bulgaria, Egypt, Russia, France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Turkey, Poland, Germany, working with world-renowned conductors, Pavel Kogan and Yoel Levi among others. She was deputy leader of the Moscow State Academic Symphony Orchestra from 1998-2000. She has lived in the UK since September 2015.

Click here to book tickets.


The New Babylonians – Exhibition opening, artist’s talk and live music by  Jamal Alsakka

Gil Doron and Members of the Migrant English Project (MEP)

Thursday, June 21st 18:30, ONCA Gallery

In The New Babylonians  Gil Mualem-Doron presents several socially engaged art projects, some of which were exhibited previously at the Tate Modern, Liverpool Museum and the Turner Contemporary. The exhibition includes participatory project with refugees members of the Migrant English Project (Brighton) and CARAS (London).
The exhibition presents a complex and challenging participatory project on the theme of belonging, memory, place and identity that has resulted in captivating art that captures the spirit of our times and this great city. This city is New Babylon, not exactly the fantastical playground that was envisaged by the Dutch artist Constant Nieuwenhuys in the late sixties, nor the city in which a tower is built, tall enough to reach heaven. The New Babylonians are the people of a town that, as William Morris envisioned, is nowhere, yet the foundations of that city can be seen everywhere, if you just care to look.


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Ensemble Tempus Fugit performs “Calcutta”
Ensemble Tempus Fugit

7.30pm on 21 June at St Mary’s, Kemptown

By 1780, the East India Company had transformed Calcutta into a small English city. Musicians travelled from London to India, bringing the music of England with them. Others played their harpsichords with local Indian classical musicians, and wrote down the Indian tunes they jammed on with European notes.

Explore music from a young Calcutta, where performers wound melodies from many cultures into their own traditions.

Ensemble Tempus Fugit melds this unusual combination of period music and Indian song with puppetry and drama to tell a story of a traveller making his way to the musical heart of the City of Palaces. They do in a church built by the man who built the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata… Despite Lord Curzon’s insistence that it be a celebration of European genius, William Emerson’s appreciation of cultural hybridity meant that he created a Classical Taj Mahal. At St Mary’s the font is held up by a lotus…

Repertoire includes music by British composers Dowland, Purcell, and Locke; music for sitar and voice; and 1780s transcriptions of Hindustani and Bengali songs made by the wives of East India Company officers.

What the critics said:

“Let Calcutta go to all corners, and speak for diversity.” – Chichester Observer

“A very impressive musical invocation of a fascinating period of British and Indian history, well acted, well staged, well sung and well played.” – Andrew Benson-Wilson

For more details, visit: and for tickets click here.


Banner making workshop & photo shoot for Refugee Welcome parade

Saturday, June 23rd 1-4 pm  ONCA Gallery

Banner making workshop and a photo shoot in preparation for the Refugees Welcome parade with  Gil Mualem-Doron, Hummingbird Project and 1000 4 Thousand. Part of The New Babylonians exhibition.

“Refugees Welcome” Parade led by the Hummingbird Project, supported by Same Sky
“Refugees Welcome” Parade

9.30 – 11.00 am on 24 June

Please gather at the Jubilee Library at 9.30am

followed by


11am – 4pm on 24 June at Brighton Dome and Brighton Museum

Building on the success of our CONNECT day in 2017, Sanctuary on Sea, will mark Refugee Week 2018 by bringing communities together as part of our Crossing Borders festival. The Dome and Museum have kindly offered to host us again. Activities will include:

• art workshops
• puppet making with Pegasus Arts
• Ndebele doll-making
• West African drumming
• an introduction to playing a string instrument
• Iranian/Kurdish music workshop
• a theatre workshop run by Phosphorus Theatre

There will also be film showings, board games (chess, backgammon…) and table tennis as well as book readings (including from the first Kurdish novel ever to be translated into English, “I Stared at the Night of the City” by prize-winning author Bachtyar Ali), a dance performance, plus much, much more!

Entrance: free

Dome Entrance

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