Friday, August 16, 2013

A musical secret, hidden away at an Ethiopian convent in Jerusalem

(Aug 21, 2013, (Daily Mail))--A ninety-year-old Ethiopian nun has been hailed as a musical genius after a concert pianist stumbled across her scribbled scores and decided to showcase them to the world. Emahoy Tsegué-Mariam Guebrù has spent almost her entire life shut away in a convent, rarely ever venturing outside the stone walls of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, where she lives.

But despite her cloistered existence, she is now on the brink of global stardom after Israeli classical musician Maya Dunietz heard a rare CD of her work, and was so impressed that she turned it into a book. And on Tuesday, Guebru will hear her music played in concert for the first time in a series of recitals in Jerusalem - and may even make a cameo performance.

Guebru has spent the last 70 years penning a vast musical opus that has, until now, barely been heard outside the convent.  Instead it has been left to fade in plastic shopping bags tucked away in her cramped living quarters.

Upon hearing the music, she immediately set out to track the nun down to find out what else she had composed. 'We listened and were amazed by the strange combination of classical, Ethiopian and blues,' said Dunietz. 'And then we read the sleeve notes and discovered she lives right here in Jerusalem.' Guebru began life as a member of the Ethiopian aristocracy in Addis Ababa with close ties to Emperor Haile Selassie ” Read more the full story from Daily Mail »

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