Under the leadership of its chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Museums (QM) officially launched the Qatar-France Year of Culture 2020 with a concert at the Katara Cultural Village Opera House.

Marc Piollet, one of the most versatile conductors of his generation, led the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) in a compelling programme of French classics. Accompanied by Lise de la Salle on piano, QPO performed Camille Saint-Saëns’ Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 2 in G Minor, Op 22 – known as one of his most popular piano concertos – and Hector Berlioz’ Symphony Fantastique, Op 14 – an iconic programme symphony which tells the story of an artist’s love for a beautiful woman.

Marc Piollet held respected positions at a number of leading opera houses around the world and conducted acclaimed performances of Wagner’s complete Ring and new productions including Don Carlos, Elektra, Falstaff, Faust, Fidelio and Tosca.

The concert also included a performance of the Doha Secrets Symphony by Qatari composer Haamed Hussein Naama.


According to the Minister of State, HE Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al Kawari, since the establishment of the (Year of Culture) programme in 2012, it was clear that the French Republic – with its distinctive cultural position and civilisation – would be an ideal partner nation. He said that he is confident that the partnership will be successful and distinctive.

HE Franck Gellet, Ambassador of the Republic of France to the State of Qatar, meanwhile, said 2020 is an exceptional opportunity to celebrate the strength, depth and dynamism of the friendship and partnership that unite Qatar and France – through culture and art which are the common language amongst communities and societies of the world.

For Qataris, it will be an opportunity to better understand our dynamism of creativity and our cultural institutions, and, for the French, to explore Qatar’s culture, history and ambitions. I look forward to the participation of all friends of France and Qatar in the success of Qatar – France 2020.’

Aisha Ghanem Al Attiya, Head of the Year of Culture programme at QM said they are incredibly excited to kickstart another edition of the Year of Culture programme.

Qatar-France 2020 will include a series of exhibitions, festivals and events which will be held in both nations over the next twelve months. We hope that the initiative strengthen the well-established ties which Qatar and France share, and create platforms where ideas, thoughts and appreciation can be exchanged in a spirit of openness and collaboration.’

The Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture, sponsored by Qatar Airways, was planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and France, including the Embassy of Qatar in France, the Embassy of France in Qatar, Qatar Ministry of Culture and Sport, Qatar Foundation, Qatar National Tourism Council, Doha Film Institute, Qatar National Library, Cultural Village Foundation – Katara, Supreme Council for Delivery and Legacy, and Qatar Football Association.

For updates, visit qm.org.qa.