Iraqi Symphony finds benefactors

The Iraqi National Symphony, struggling to survive in a war-ravaged homeland, currently owns only 40 sets of music scores, all composed before 1875 and some damaged by water and vandalism. But the ensemble is receiving a helping hand from the Major Orchestra Librarians' Assn.

Members of the international group, which includes music librarians of orchestras, ballet and opera companies, conservatories and universities, have banded together to donate orchestral music parts and scores, library supplies, resource materials and recordings to the Iraqi orchestra. Working from the Iraqi symphony's "wish list," organizers acquired a collection that includes such works as Strauss' "Blue Danube" waltzes, Verdi's opera "La Traviata" and Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."

The extent of the donations is to be announced when the orchestra arrives in Washington for a joint concert with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center on Dec. 9.

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