Silk Road Project: Rustem

The sweet and seductive violin solo in “Rustem” gives a glimpse of a musical culture that is uniquely global while also rooted in local tradition. The music of the Roma reflects the rich musical cross-pollination of a borderless people, with seamless meshing of local instruments, musical languages and styles. Originally from North Central India, the nomadic Roma migrated to Persia and Europe around 300 BCE They eventually settled in Wallachia and Moldavia (present-day Romania), but suffered savage persecution until the mid-19th century. Europeans mistook the Roma for Egyptians and coined the term “gypsies” in the 15th century. Today the Roma diaspora can be found on almost every continent. This Roma piece from Romania, “Rustem,” was arranged for the Silk Road Project by Ljova and is dedicated to Marty Peretz and Anne Peretz with deep appreciation and thanks. For more on the Silk Road Ensemble and the Silk Road Project, visit