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29 Sept 2022

Global musical ensemble Silkroad announces new partnership with University of Limerick

Global musical ensemble Silkroad announces new partnership with University of Limerick

Silkroad is partnering with UL. The artistic and educational collaboration will provide students with the opportunity to participate in the creation of a theater work for Silkroad's newest initiative

SILKROAD, the global musical ensemble founded by cellist and cultural ambassador Yo-Yo Ma, has announced an exciting new partnership with the University of Limerick.

The artistic and educational collaboration will provide UL students with the unique opportunity to participate in the creation of a theater work exploring the history, cultures, and music of the immigrant communities who built the American Transcontinental Railroad.

The resulting piece will be a crucial component of The American Railroad, Silkroad’s multi-year concert, educational, and commissioning series led by Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens.

The partnership will officially kick off next in Boston next Thursday with a series of workshops exploring the stories and songs of Irish railroad workers, followed by a performance featuring artists from Silkroad and UL.

The concert is being held at Harvard University’s ArtLab.

“Having worked with the University of Limerick as their artist-in-residence over the last year, I've been dreaming up a collaboration between them and our artists at Silkroad for some time. Members of our team visited UL’s campus in March to begin exploring the intersections of Irish traditions and Irish American music within the context of the American Railroad. It’s a joy to continue that journey now in Silkroad’s neck of the woods, and I can’t wait to see what we create together,” said Rhiannon Giddens.

The UL residencies will be based at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, and will be facilitated and overseen by Dr. Sandra Joyce, Interim Executive Dean of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences at UL. 

“UL is delighted to forge this partnership with the prestigious Silkroad Ensemble, particularly through Silkroad’s Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens,” stated Dr. Joyce.

“Rhiannon’s presence in Limerick, where she is raising her family, and her appointment as artist-in-residence at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance have provided us with a unique opportunity to develop our relationship, and we are excited about the potential to collaborate going forward. Silkroad’s The American Railroad is a very appropriate focus for the building of our connections. We are delighted to be in Boston and at Harvard to celebrate the partnership and to plan for the future,” she added.

The American Railroad is supported and funded, in part, by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Alice L. Walton Foundation, the Barr Foundation, the Wagner Foundation, and Hyosung Corporation.

Underwriting is provided by Thomas Roush and LaVon Kellner, Diann Kim, Lori Samuels, and the Silkroad Board of Directors.

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