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In the Footsteps of Rumi
With Constantinople and Ghalia Benali


In the Footsteps of Rumi
With Constantinople and Ghalia Benali

Date: Fri, Jun 07, 2019 08:00PM
Price: $40, $36 Friends, $30 students and seniors

Take a journey into the luminous universe of Rumi’s timeless poetry about love and existence. A master in Farsi and Arabic, Rumi played with the meaning and cadence of words in both languages to create verses brimming with wonder, mysticism, and musicality. Inspired by those qualities, Kiya Tabassian, artistic director of Constantinople, has set Rumi’s work to music, with the collaboration of singer and multidisciplinary artist Ghalia Benali.


In this concert, Rumi’s rhythms, dances, and songs of love and lament will be performed by a group of artists who together are masters of many musical traditions. Alongside Kiya Tabassian (Iran) and Didem Basar (Turkey) of Constantinople will be guest artist Ghalia Benali (Tunisia), Nasser Salamah (Jordan), Hamin Honari (Iran), and a special guest Arabic oudist.


Performances by the acclaimed Montreal-based group Constantinople are a perennial favourite with Museum audiences, so don’t miss your chance to hear this musical homage to Rumi.



Inspired by the ancient city illuminating the East and West, Constantinople was founded in 1998 in Montreal by its artistic director, Kiya Tabassian. Regularly invited to perform at international festivals and prestigious concert halls – including the Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Cervantino Festival in Mexico, the BOZAR in Brussels, and the Berliner Philharmonie – Constantinople is acclaimed by critics, the public, and music professionals alike. The ensemble has 17 albums to its credit, has created more than 40 works, and travelled to nearly 140 cities in 30 countries. Constantinople is a musical ensemble that has chosen the journey – geographical, historical, cultural, and inner—as its cornerstone.


A setar virtuoso and an acclaimed composer born in Iran, Kiya Tabassian has performed on stages throughout the world with his ensemble Constan­tinople. As a composer, performer, and improviser he has collaborated with Radio-Canada, the international MediMuses project, the Atlas Ensemble (Holland), the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and the European Broadcasting Union. In 2017, he co-found­ed the Centre des musiciens du monde in Montreal, for which he serves as Artistic Director. Since that same year, he has been Associ­ate Artist at the prestigious French music festival Rencontres musicales de Conques, where he presents Constantinople’s most recent creations.


Ghalia Benali is a Tunisian-Belgian artist who, since starting her artistic career in 1992, has worked as a singer, writer, composer, dancer, visual artist, painter, designer, and actress. Her musical compositions have been attributed to multiple genres and called a definition of contemporary Arabic music. Benali blends different types of music, connects different cultures, revives the old, and roots for the new as a natural outcome of having lived in both North Africa and Europe.


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An associate partnership with the artists

Canada Council for the Arts


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