Supporting music and the arts in the Middle East is one sure way to fight extremist ideologies.
Thank God Qatar is hugely different from some of its neighbours. There are many clubs or bars where one can go to listen to music, and to enjoy a beer or whatever else might take your fancy. The Doha jazz festival finished last night and a new Salsa Music & Dance club recently opened in a prominent hotel, providing two example of the more relaxed scene in Qatar than exists elsewhere in the region.
The Qatar Philarmonic Orchestra is playing since 2008 and is made up of over 100 professional musicians who were originally recruited mostly in Europe and the Arab World. They play regular concerts at a number of venues, the most recent being the Johann Strauss’ Vienna on Friday night last.
From the website of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra: The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra performs and promotes western and Arabic music in order to inspire the children and adults of Qatar and the Arab world to create and enjoy music. The Philharmonic is a member of the Qatar Foundation, which is supporting Qatar on its journey from carbon economy to knowledge economy by unlocking human potential.
The orchestra was founded by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned in 2007. The orchestra of 101 musicians was chosen by a jury of international music professionals through auditions held in European and Arab countries. Selection criteria were driven by musician quality. The Philharmonic held its Inaugural Concert on October 30th, 2008, conducted by Lorin Maazel.
MB was surprised not to see the below piece listed on the programme for the evening. But the sneaky German conductor had pulled a fast one on MB and others by keeping it for his encore!
So with the usual apologies for MB’s terrible hand-held camera video, voila: