Light Show | 20/20 Hindsight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Originally published June 20, 2012

click to enlarge Anwar Diab Agha - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Anwar Diab Agha

Grup Anwar, or, more formally, Anwar Ensemble, is a new group led by Anwar Diab Agha. The 72-year-old is a master oud and violin player and a famed musician and composer in his native Syria. Before moving to the United States permanently in 2008 to be closer to his children — who had immigrated here over the previous couple of decades — Agha was a member of the Syria National Radio and Television Orchestra in Damascus. He studied under the masters of traditional Arabic music, and has traveled the world as a highly respected Arabic master himself.

Anwar means luminous in Arabic, and the word is a fitting description of Agha’s general demeanor. He’s quietly reluctant to speak on the current political and social strife in his native Syria, but he brightens up as he muses on the unifying power of music.

“I have Jewish friends, Christians, Muslims,” he says. “I love people, and I love coming together over music. So I don’t like to talk about politics. Only music.” He also beams when he talks about his adopted state. “I love the people of Vermont,” Agha enthuses. “They are always smiling. They are so welcoming."


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About The Author

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Bio:
Dan Bolles is Seven Days' assistant arts editor and also edits What's Good, the annual city guide to Burlington. He has received numerous state, regional and national awards for his coverage of the arts, music, sports and culture. He loves dogs, dark beer and the Boston Red Sox... more

About the Artist

Matthew Thorsen

Matthew Thorsen

Bio:
Matthew Thorsen was a photographer for Seven Days 1995-2018. Read all about his life and work here.

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