Event—Public Programming

Music of the Ottoman Court

Enjoy a performance of the diverse musical traditions of the Ottoman court in this Center for Renaissance Studies event.

Tarih-i Yeni Dünya, ca. 1600s. Call number: VAULT Ayer MS 612

This program will be held in-person at the Newberry and livestreamed on Zoom. The online version of this event will be live captioned. Please register below.

The Newberry Consort will perform a concert representing the diverse musical traditions of the Ottoman court and surrounding regions. Curated by Ronnie Malley, the program complements a symposium hosted by the Newberry’s Center for Renaissance Studies that explores the Tarih-i Yeni Dünya, or A History of the India of the West, an Ottoman manuscript in the Newberry collection dated about 1600. The Tarih relates stories of the explorations of Columbus, Cortés, Pizarro, and others, and includes illuminated hand-drawn maps and images of the Americas and beyond.

Musical Selections

Salat Ümmiye (Buhurizade Mustafa Itri)
Mahur Saz Semai (Gazi Giray Han)
Pençgah Saz Semai (Dimitrie Cantemir)
Kurdi Peşrev (Tanburi Angeli)
Opios Then Vasta Tous Orous (Byzantine Traditional)
Üsküdar (Turkish Traditional)
Nihavend Longa (Kevser Hanim)
Kurdilihicazkar Saz Semai (Tatyos Ekserciyan Efendi)
Kurdilihicazkar Longa (Sebugh Efendi)
Si Verias A La Rana (Sephardic-Turkish Traditional)


Oya Dubey (percussion)
Sam Hyson (violin)
George Lawler (percussion)
Liza Malamut (sackbut)
Ronnie Malley (ud)
Eve Monzingo (sandouri, winds)
Naeif Rafeh (nay)

Explore a digitized version of this beautiful manuscript, including maps and illuminations.

This event is cosponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

About the Speakers and Performers

Oya Dubey is a percussionist with the University of Chicago Middle East Music Ensemble. She was also a musician for The Mother of Smoke, a collaboration between the Red Tape Theatre and Walkabout Theatre Company. She has served on the board of the Fine Arts Music Performance and Scholarship, where she also performed with the Turkish music group, Bosphorus by the Lake.

Sam Hyson is  a Chicago-based musician with a passion for international music. He performs on violin, accordion, and other instruments, and has studied numerous traditional music styles with immigrant musicians from around the world. He co-founded Chicago Folklore Ensemble, with which he has collaborated to create two albums of music and a book of immigrant stories. He performs with a variety of ensembles in Chicago with styles including Bengali folk music, classic Arabic repertoire, Mexican Mariachi, and more.

George Lawler, an accomplished percussionist, drummer, and music producer, has been involved in the Chicago music scene for more than twenty years. He is adept at many genres of percussion, from ancient to electronic, with an emphasis on styles from the Middle East and Mediterranean region. George’s specialization in Middle Eastern, Balkan, Turkish, and Greek percussion began in the mid-‘90s as an apprentice to Tunisian percussionist, Najib Bahri. He has performed with many global music ensembles and served as co-music director for the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society.

Liza Malamut is Artistic Director of the Newberry Consort and a founding member of Incantare, an ensemble of violins and sackbuts formed to highlight music of lesser-known and marginalized composers and their contemporaries in early modern Europe. She regularly appears with period-instrument ensembles throughout North America and beyond. Liza is a coeditor and contributor for the book Music and Jewish Culture in Early Modern Italy: New Perspectives. She holds a bachelor of music in trombone performance from Eastman School of Music and master of music and doctor of musical arts in historical performance degrees from Boston University.

Ronnie Malley is a multi-instrumental musician, composer, producer, playwright, educator, and executive director of  Intercultural Music Production. He has worked on award-winning theatrical plays, recorded as a musician on more than twenty albums, and performs with music groups from various global musical styles with specialization in music of the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Ronnie holds a bachelor’s degree in global music studies from DePaul University and is currently pursuing a PhD in ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago.

Eve Monzingo, a clarinet, saxophone, flute, and dulcimer player, is accomplished in traditional Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian, and Yiddish folk music. She studied classical composition at Roosevelt University and her credits include performances of her work by the Midwest Chapter of American Women Composers and at the American Jewish Song Festival. She plays a prominent role in the Chicago and international world music scene composing, recording, providing musical instruction, and touring with various ensembles.

Naeif Rafeh was born in Jeremana, Syria, a neighboring village of Damascus. He attended the High Institute for Music in Damascus, where he earned a bachelor's degree in music in 1996, studying both Western and Arab music. While attending the institute, he was a member of the Syrian National Symphony, as well as other Middle Eastern orchestras, playing the French horn in the orchestra and the Nay in the Arabic Ensemble. He played in numerous festivals and taught at several academic locations throughout Syria. Naeif is an active performer and a virtuoso Nay player.

Cost and Registration

This program is free and open to all. Advance registration required.

In-Person Registration

Support the Newberry

Your generosity is vital in keeping the library’s programs, exhibitions, and reading rooms free and accessible to everyone.

Make a Gift


Call us at (312) 255-3592 or send us an email.

Email Us

Past Public Programs

Check out video recordings of past Newberry public programs on our YouTube channel.


More Free Programs