The Golden Road to Samarkand - Britten Sinfonia

The Golden Road to Samarkand

London Saffron Walden
10 – 11 Feb 2023

Joseph Tawadros


Three Stages of Hindsight (premiere)



Hassan (complete incidental music)

A bearded man wearing vibrant clothes and a hat poses for a headshot with a string instrument


Middle Eastern music of heart-wrenching beauty and hypnotic energy meets the western imagination of sensuality and drama along the ancient Silk Road.

Hassan is an unlikely hero – an unattractive Baghdad sweet merchant who is comically rebuffed by his would-be love. But the mood changes when he is accidentally taken into the court of the city’s all-powerful ruler, whose shocking brutality and corruption sickens him. Written 100 years ago, Delius’s richly evocative incidental music to James Elroy Flecker’s play is very rarely performed – here we experience it in a compelling adaptation for orchestra, narrated by Zeb Soanes – a familiar voice on the shipping forecast for over two decades, who now hosts a daily show on Classic FM.

Virtuoso oud player Joseph Tawadros sets the scene first, performing a Vivaldi concerto and his own intoxicating music, before Britten Sinfonia is joined by conductor Jamie Phillips for Delius’ 1923 incidental music to a West End hit that year.

Hear from Joseph about the oud and his new concerto