QPO holds first-ever Children’s and Family Festival

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) underlines the significant impact of blending music and education towards building communities and enriching lives by organising the first-ever Children’s and Family Festival in collaboration with World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) and Qatar Music Academy (QMA).

The festival features four family concerts including the premiere of “Nour, Anna and the Wise Fools” and an art workshop for young children in partnership with WISE.

“We are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra which was created in 2008. One of the important roles of the orchestra is to bring music to children and bring children to music. Music can bring people around the world together in many ways; it can stimulate the mind and move people,” Kurt Meister, Executive Director of Qatar Philharmonic stressed at a press conference yesterday at Katara Drama Theatre.

Kicking off the family concert series is “Nour, A Girl of the Desert” on Friday at Katara Drama Theatre. Following its successful world premiere here two years ago, this concert promises to be yet another engaging show with its mix of drama and music. The Philharmonic’s sub-principal Violin II, MAias Alyamani, will conduct his own music with story by Svetlana Schmitz and costumes and staging by ACTory’s Tamara Schafer and Schmitz.

On January 29, “Nour, Anna and the Wise Fools,” a new drama by Alyamani and ACTory, will mark its premiere at Katara Drama Theatre. It will also be conducted by Alyamani with costumes and staging by Schmitz and Schafer.

Alyamani expressed happiness to have played a role in the project which was done completely in Qatar including a Qatari-inspired story and music.

“It is a very important project because it links cultures and shows once more that we as orchestra is doing something not only as performers but creators giving artistic contribution to the world,” he said.

Third in the series is “Peter and the Wolf” to be performed on February 1 with shadow theatre by ACTory and visual artworks created by young students through a workshop under the WISE Happenings initiative.

“We are excited about this collaboration. As WISE we want to have the chance of exploring collaborations with other organisations here n Qatar that are doing great work, and we wanted to come together with Qatar

Philharmonic Orchestra on education  and the role that arts play as an important tool in fostering education, thus comes the idea of this workshop,” said Dr. Ameena Hussain, Curator and Director of Programs at WISE.

Farah Abel, Policy Development officer at WISE said as most of the conversations are around science and technology, it is also essential to include the arts as part of modern education.

“The collaboration comes with some local artists where we explored different mediums of storytelling and different points of learning so we thought what is more artistic than visuals and music as a learning tool, thus the objective of our workshop is to exercise the creative muscles often neglected in traditional learning environments of our students,” she said.

The Festival will culminate with Qatar Philharmonic’s joint performance with Qatar Music Academy soloists and Qatar Youth Orchestra on February 2.

Giovanni Pasini, who will be conducting the concert, sees the concert as a rare opportunity for young students to play with high-calibre orchestra and be inspired.

“Some children even think of being professional musicians because of this experience which is a very powerful thing for them, so we are very proud of this initiative and we hope to continue this,” he said

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