The Indian Summer Festival, a contemporary multi-arts festival which takes place annually over 11 days each July in Vancouver, brought Songs for Scheherazade performed by the Allegra Chamber Orchestra, an all-female ensemble on 15 July.

Scheherazade, the fictional narrator of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), is one of literature’s greatest creations. Scheherazade and her stories – Alladin, Sinbad, Ali Baba – are a touchstone of Arab culture, that have been passed on over generations, and have influenced storytellers around the world. In this unique event, the Allegra Chamber Orchestra, one of the only all-female professional orchestras in the world, paid tribute to Scheherazade and the spirit of storytelling she embodies. Noted, sitar player and composer Mohamed Assani composed melodious music combining the sounds of the sitar and the orchestra. Together, they honored the artistic eastern culture of which is our inheritance, as well as to the shared narratives of Islam.

The concert took place in the stunning formal gardens of the Ismaili Centre, Vancouver and began with a high tea service. The event was attended by over 200 people including dignitaries, Sam Sullivan, MLA of Vancouver False Creek and Sav Dhalival, City of Burnaby Councillor.