Bahrain music festival turns 21

October 8, 2012

The Bahraini capital showed off its romantic side as it launched its annual international music festival with a performance by Egyptian opera star Nouresta Al Merghany.

The festival, in its 21st edition, will be highlighted by performances by six artists from Egypt, Armenia, Sudan, Jordan, Tunisia and Spain.

“With this festival, we have now gone beyond two decades of enjoying melodious voices, melodious music and outstanding artists from across the globe,” Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al Khalifa, the culture minister, said.

“We can now feel a new world and live experiences that might not be repeated. Thanks to music and songs, we can spread this culture and make it accessible to all. We always try to use opportunities to gain insights into the music heritage of other countries and enable audiences to enjoy an entirely new world of experiences,” Shaikha Mai said.

On Sunday evening, Egyptian opera singer Nouresta, accompanied by Georgian pianist Maya Gvineria, took the stage with a selection of opera’s finest productions.

Armenian singer Hasmik Leyloyan, also known as the Queen of Qanun, was scheduled to present a blend of folk and classical compositions on Monday.

Jordanian pianist Zade Dirani is set to perform on Tuesday while Sudanese lute (oud) player Mohammad Al Ameen will perform on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Tunisian violinist Ameenah Srarfi will lead the all-woman troupe Al Azifat in a performance that balances traditional and modern influences with its Andalusian and Arabic music and songs.

Madrid-based ensemble Orquesta de Camara Reina Sofía (Queen Sofía Chamber Orchestra) will perform on the final day of the festival.

Bahrainis claim that music has been a part of their country’s culture for around 4,000 years since the time of the Dilmun Civilisation which is known to have had ceremonies and religious celebrations with a musical aspect.



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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