Cal Performances audiences already know Vân-Ánh Võ through her many collaborations with Kronos Quartet—most recently performing in Jonathan Berger’s My Lai. Originally from Vietnam and based in Northern California for nearly 20 years, Võ is a virtuoso performer of the 16-string đàn tranh (zither), as well as an ensemble leader and Emmy Award-winning composer. In the world premiere of her latest project, she celebrates the voices and struggles of women and immigrants by placing the music from her native culture in conversation with contemporary sounds from around the world. Võ’s Songs of Strength features a collection of voices—Iranian singer/songwriter Mahsa Vahdat, rapper DemOne, and breakdancer Tunji, plus her multicultural Blood Moon Orchestra—with texts in English, Persian, and Vietnamese.

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Vân-Ánh Võ and Blood Moon Orchestra
Caption: Vân-Ánh Võ and Blood Moon Orchestra perform the World Premiere of Songs of Strength on Saturday, December 4, 2021. Pictured: Vân-Ánh Võ
(credit: Jason Lew)