Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) celebrated its 10-Year Anniversary with a concert, graced no less by HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF). The concert was held this week at the Al Mayassa Theatre of Qatar National Convention Centre.
The gala concert was attended by other VIP, including former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar, HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani and HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of QF.
Renowned conductor Dmitrij Kitajenko was the Conductor of Honor at the anniversary concert, which also featured international guest artists such as Moslem Rahal on nay, Charbel Rouhana on oud, Feras Charestan on qanun, Mohamad Osman on bouzouq, and George Oro on tabla. With an almost identical programme to QPO’s inaugural concert conducted by Loren Maazel, the evening included performances of Maurice Ravel’s Bolero and Marcel Khalifé’s Arabian Concerto.
Established over a decade ago by HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, QPO strives to advance the promotion of Middle East composers, with an integral part of its work hosting new and established composers, soloists and conductors from the Arab world.
QPO Executive Director Kurt Meister, said they started ten years ago as an ambitious musical project designed to promote music appreciation among Qatari audiences. QPO has since grown into a world-class orchestra, with some of the best musicians from around the globe, all established within their own right. The group has toured the globe, and brought the fusion of Arabic and Western cultural expression to Qatar, the region and the rest of the world, through their music.
The orchestra has been recognised on world stage on multiple occasions, their international tours covering some of the most prestigious venues in the Middle East, Europe and the US, including the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and the Syrian Opera House in Damascus.
Works that received their world premiere courtesy of the orchestra included Marcel Khalifé’s Return Symphony; Jean-Charles Gandrille’s Violin Concerto; Abdalla El Masri’s Oud Concerto; Rami Khalifé’s Chaos for Piano and Orchestra; and Houtaf Khoury’s Angel of Light Piano Concerto.
Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra has also found new ways to introduce symphony music to a wider audience in Qatar, from multimedia concerts that blend live symphonic music with the distinctive sounds of video gaming, to film music concerts with compositions from movie classics such as The Matrix and Star Wars.
QPO musicians are passing on their love of music to younger musicians, who can learn both Arabic and Western musical instruments at another member institution of QF, the Qatar Music Academy. For updates and more information about QPO, visit their website at qatarphilharmonicorchestra.org.