Qatar Philharmonic announces 45 shows for new season

September 20, 2011

The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) has announced 45 public performances for the 2011-2012 season.

Many of the performances will be led by Michalis Economou, its new music director, Qatari daily Gulf Times reported on Tuesday.

The Philharmonic will perform the world premières of Marcel Khalife’s Kanoun Concerto, Rami Khalife’s Chaos for Piano and Orchestra No 1 and Philharmonic violinist Maias Alyamani’s Around the Arab World in 80 Minutes.

Economou will share the podium with conductors Lorin Maazel, Marc Minkowski, Dmitri Kitajenko, Nanse Gum, James Gaffigan, Gerd Albrecht, Han-Na Chang and past music director Nader Abbassi.

The September 24 opening night programme begins with Al Saedi’s Festive Overture. Arsha Kaviani plays Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto on November 19 with Nader Abbassi conducting.

Egyptian composer-pianist Omar Khairat returns for two performances on January 28 and 29. Feras Charestan performs Khalife’s Kanoun Concerto on March 10, and Simon Chaheen plays his own Concerto for Oud on April 7.

Classical masterpieces range across the year. Four of Beethoven’s symphonies will be played, the Second on September 24, the Seventh on November 12, the Fifth on May 12 and the Third (Eroica) on June 30.

Also featured will be Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring on October 15, Beethoven’sEmperor Concerto on November 26, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade on February 11 and Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique Symphony on June 23. Lorin Maazel, for many years music director of the New York Philharmonic, will conduct Mahler’s First Symphony on January 7.

In recent years, the Qatar Philharmonic has offered a chamber music festival and this season the festival has been expanded to nine Wednesday concerts, approximately one a month.

Among the works to be played are music director Michalis Economou’s composition, Pentalogia (December 13), Schubert’s Trout Quintet (February 15) and a chamber ensemble version of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony (June 13).

“We have sprinkled fun across the season,” Kurt Meister, executive director, said. “On February 4, the Greatest Hits of Classical Music will be selected by our audience. In May, Robert Ross conducts a Night of the Proms. I know our Qatar schoolchildren will love Peter and the Wolf, whether in English or in Arabic.”

The season begins on September 24 when Michalis Economou conducts Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and runs through July 14, when Philharmonic musicians will be featured as soloists.

Born in Greece in 1973, Economou studied musicology at Athens University and violin, theory, and composition at the National Conservatory of Athens. He received five scholarships when he moved to Boston in 1997 where he studied orchestral conducting and composition with Theodore Antoniou, David Hoose, and Lukas Foss at Boston University.

In 1999 he earned his Master of Music degree in conducting and in 2001 he received his Doctor of Musical Arts in composition. He is the winner of eleven national and international competitions including the “ALEA III International Composition Competition” and the “Dimitris Mitropoulos International Composition Competition.”

Economou has conducted the Athens State Orchestra, the Kamerata Orchestra of Megaron, the Municipal and State Orchestras of Thessaloniki, the National Symphony Orchestra of Greek TV, the Orchestra of Colours, the Contemporary Radio Orchestra of Greece and various orchestras and ensembles in the world including the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Festival Orchestra di Sofia, the ALEA III contemporary ensemble and many more.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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