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Merima Ključo

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Merima Ključo is a Bosnian-born, Los Angeles-based concert accordionist. Her repertoire draws from classical, avant-garde and experimental music as well as Balkan, Sephardic and Klezmer traditions. Ključo has been a guest soloist with a number of symphonic orchestras, including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Holland Symphonia, and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. As soloist she has participated in the St Magnus Festival, the City of London Festival, the Gaudeamus Festival and the Gubaidulina Festival among others. In addition to performing on the accordion, Ključo composes and arranges. She produced, composed, and arranged the critically acclaimed album Zumra (Gramofon, 2009/ Harmonia Mundi UK / World Village 2010), which featured the Bosnian traditional singer Amira Medunjanin. The Sunday Times voted Zumra one of the "Top 100 albums of 2010", as well as No. 4 in "Top 10 World Music Albums". Her books Eastern European Folk Tunes for Accordion and Klezmer and Sephardic Tunes for Accordion are published by Schott Music. In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Siege of Sarajevo in 2012, the EastWest Theater Company and the Bosnian theater director Haris Pašović invited Merima as musical director to compose, arrange and perform "Sarajevo Red Line" ("Sarajevska Crvena Linija"). The piece, which incorporated traditional and pop songs, as well as classical music—music with deep cultural significance—was performed on April 6, 2012, to an audience of 11,541 empty red chairs lining the main boulevard in Sarajevo, with one chair for every life lost in the siege. On that day, thousands of people from all walks of life congregated to witness and remember. Her most recent multimedia work The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book (for accordion, piano and video, 2014) traces the story of one of Jewish culture's most treasured manuscripts. Using the musical traditions of Spain, Italy, Austria, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ključo illustrates the Haggadah's travels from medieval Spain to 20th-century Bosnia where it was hidden and rescued during World War II, to its restoration by the National Museum in Sarajevo after the 1992-1995 war. Inspired by the historical novel People of the Book by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Geraldine Brooks, The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book interprets the artifact as a universal symbol of exile, return, and co-existence.

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