Food, Music, History, and more!
August 26, 2021 @ 11:30 p.m. (CDT)
This August's Book Club features A Hundred Sweet Promises by Sepehr Haddad. Join us at the end of the month with the author, Sepehr Haddad, as he joins virtually to converse with Anya Gronkhowski and Sherry Dowlatshahi as they discuss A Hundred Sweet Promises, history, and how music connects us and the world.
This books tells the story of Nasrosoltan, a famed composer, who on the eve of World War I travels from Persia to Russia to study classical music at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with such masters as Rimsky-Korsakov. While there, Nasrosoltan falls in love with a Romanov princess, but the royalty surrounding him considers this a forbidden love. Unexpectedly, the Tsar gets involved, and Nasrosoltan suddenly finds himself in a battle between head and heart.
If you would like to read along, you can find the book on Amazon or Sepehr's website along with additional photos and music accompaniment.
Live music performance by Musical Bridges Around the World featuring music from the book and lunch from Pasha Mediterranean Grill!
Admission includes lunch, live music, and robust discussions.
Vaccinations and Masks are strongly encouraged.
$35 admission for Members
$50 admission for Non-Members
Author of A Hundred Sweet Promises
Sepehr Haddad is the grandson of composer Nasrosoltan Minbashian who was the director of the Iranian Conservatory (Tehran Conservatory of Music). Sepehr is also a Universal Music Group (UMG) recording artist, with the Billboard chart-topping duo "Shahin & Sepehr." He lives in the Washington DC metro area.
Artistic Director & CEO, Musical Bridges Around the World
Anya Grokhovski received her Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees in piano performance from the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia. She was a professor at the Gnessin State College in Moscow prior to coming to the US in 1989. The position of a staff accompanist at UTSA brought her to San Antonio in 1991. Born into a family of professional musicians, her father was a violinist with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestraa and her mother is a noted violin teacher, Anya was exposed to music from early age. In the US she had the great honor of serving as the accompanist for the legendary American bass-baritone, William Warfield. She has recorded with: the Moscow State Symphony, German, Swiss, and Czech National Radio, numerous piano solo recordings, as well as chamber music CDs and DVDs. Anya has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at festivals in: Holland, Norway, France, Switzerland, Slovenia, Russia, Estonia, Portugal, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Mexico and Carnegie Hall in New York. Anya’s fiery passion for music, commitment to San Antonio, and connections to world-class musicians provided a platform for the creation of an exciting new musical experience Musical Bridges Around the World. With the avid support of a group of local music lovers in 1998 Anya designed a series of salon concerts in private residences. By 1999, programming extended to San Fernando Cathedral, and in 2000 to McAllister Auditorium. Currently MBAW programming reaching over 80,000 people a year in the greater San Antonio metro area. In addition to being CEO and Artistic Director of Musical Bridges Around the World Anya continues to concertize internationally as a member of piano Duo AleAnya.
Chief Diplomacy and Protocol Officer (COSA)
Ms. Dowlatshahi is Chief Diplomacy & Protocol Officer heading the City of San Antonio’s International Relations Office, a division of the Economic Development Department. She advises, assists and supports San Antonio elected officials and executives on matters of international affairs, public diplomacy and diplomatic procedure and protocol; is responsible for coordinating official foreign travel of Mayor and Council as well as planning the program of visits for high-level foreign dignitaries, consular & diplomatic corps members working closely with Mayor and City Council. Another important part of her work is public engagement with local community business, cultural, civic and higher education, diaspora and ethnic groups. She works closely with other City of San Antonio departments to provide support on relevant international initiatives or projects. She manages the San Antonio Sister Cities Program and works closely with Sister Cities International as well as community stakeholders on fostering and maintaining San Antonio’s official relationships.
Ms Dowlatshahi currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the World Affairs Council of San Antonio; is Vice President of the San Antonio Mexico Friendship Council; board member of the San Antonio Council for International Visitors. Additionally, she serves on the advisory boards of Musical Bridges Around the World, AEM San Antonio, Anuja SA-San Antonio Chennai Sister City Alliance; Japan American Society of San Antonio; the San Antonio Creative Cities Advisory Committee; the Advanced Learning Academy of the CAST Network and the Alamo Colleges International Advisory Council. More recently she has become a new member of the San Antonio Rotary Club.