Orchestras from Palestine, Qatar visit U.S.

Posted on: February 24, 2009

The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and the Oriental Music Ensemble of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music-Palestine are both scheduled to perform during the Kennedy Center’s three-week-long “Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World” festival, in Washington, D.C. On February 23, the Qatar orchestra, a new project of the Qatar Foundation (qf.org.qa), was led by New York Philharmonic Music Director Lorin Maazel in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and two works by oud master Marcel Khalifé, Arabian Concerto and Salute. The Oriental Music Ensemble—Suhail Khoury, nay (flute) and clarinet; Ahmad Al-Khatib, oud; Ibrahim Attari, qanoun; Yousef Hbeisch, percussion—will perform a March 12 concert of contemporary and classical Arab music at the festival, following a March 9 performance at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre. The New York performance is a joint event with ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) to benefit the construction of a school of music for the Palestine conservatory’s Bethlehem branch and the reconstruction of a music school destroyed in Gaza.