The Annenberg Center Presents Thomas Kraines and Kinan Abou-afach, Livestreamed Thursday, March 4

February 24, 2021

The Annenberg Center presents Thomas Kraines and Kinan Abou-afach on Thursday, March 4 at 7 PM. The live performance at the Annenberg Center will be streamed online and includes an interactive Q&A with the performers and Annenberg Center Executive and Artistic Director Christopher Gruits. Visit for details.

Cellist Thomas Kraines, a member of Penn’s quartet-in-residence, the Daedalus Quartet, joins forces with cellist, oudist and composer Kinan Abou-afach, whose music championing Arabic and Syrian traditions has been described as “a journey in sound” by The Philadelphia Inquirer. The duo will perform a program of their own original compositions and improvisations, two of which are world premieres, as well as the world premiere of a new work by composer Gene Coleman.


Thomas Kraines (Cello)

Thomas Kraines has forged a multifaceted career as a cellist and composer, equally comfortable with avant-garde improvisation, new music, traditional chamber music and solo repertoire. A member of the Daedalus Quartet, Kraines also performs frequently with the Network for New Music, the Arcana Ensemble and as a duo with cellist Kinan Abou-afach. He is also an accomplished composer of chamber music; his works have been performed around the world by artists including pianists Awadagin Pratt and Wayman Chin, violinists Corey Cerovsek and Jennifer Frautschi, sopranos Maria Jette and Ilana Davidson, and the English Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Kenneth Woods. Kraines has given musical improvisation workshops and performances at the Longy School of Music, the University of Florida at Gainesville and the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught at the Peabody Conservatory, the Longy School of Music, the Killington Music Festival, Yellow Barn and Princeton University, and currently teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, violinist Juliette Kang, and their two daughters, Rosalie and Clarissa.

Kinan Abou-afach (Cello/Oud)

Kinan Abou-afach is a cellist, composer and 2013 recipient of the Pew Fellowship. His work is described by critics as “phenomenal,” “a journey in sound” and “brilliant.” Abou-afach crafts music that goes beyond classical or traditional, where his music is saturated with unique scales, rhythmic grooves and improvisation-esque progressions. He has composed for concerts, film, theatre and live visual art, and regularly performs and conducts workshops and masterclasses. His recent appearances include Cornell University, NIU, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and the Arab American National Museum. As a composer and a performer, Abou-afach has worked along with notable names such as Grammy®-winners Jason Vieaux, The Crossing and Yo-Yo Ma; Syrian film director Hatem Ali; the Civic Orchestra of Chicago; Vermont Symphony Orchestra; and conductors Daniel Barenboim, Cliff Colnot, Solhi Al-Wadi, Roberto Abbado and Sir Andrew Davis.