Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), attended the 10-Year Anniversary Concert of Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra at Qatar National Convention Centre.
The gala concert was also attended by former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani and Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of QF, as well as other dignitaries.
Renowned conductor Dmitrij Kitajenko was the Conductor of Honor at the anniversary concert, which 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 program to Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra’s inaugural concert, which was 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 Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the orchestra – a member of QF – strives to advance the promotion of Middle East composers, with an integral part of its work including hosting new and established composers, soloists, and conductors from the Arab world.
Kurt Meister, Executive Director, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, said: “Ten years ago, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra started as an ambitious musical project designed to bring music appreciation to Qatari audiences.
“It has since grown into a world-class orchestra, featuring some of the best musicians from around the globe, all established within their own right. We have toured internationally and brought our fusion of Arabic and Western cultural expression to Qatar, the region and the rest of the world – through music.”
The orchestra has been recognized on the world stage on multiple occasions, with highlights including international tours in the Middle East, Europe, and the US. It has performed in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall in London, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and the Syrian Opera House in Damascus.
Mrs. Machaille Al-Naimi, President of Community Development, QF, said: “Tonight, we celebrate a decade of Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra entertaining, enlightening, and inspiring the community of Qatar through music.
“The orchestra reflects Qatar Foundation’s commitment to nurturing creativity, fostering social interaction, and enhancing the cultural fabric of Qatar.”
Works that have received their world premiere courtesy of the orchestra have 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 of introducing symphonic 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.
Some of the orchestra’s musicians are passing their love of music to a younger generation, who can learn both Arabic and Western musical instruments through Qatar Music Academy, a member of QF.