QPO to perform Arabic, Russian masterpieces at Katara tonight

November 30, 2012 - 4:36:48 am

Music director Michalis Economou leading the orchestra.

DOHA: The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) will perform Arabic music along with Russian masterpieces in their concert tonight at 7.30pm at the Katara Opera House.

Music director Michalis Economou will lead the orchestra with guest violinist Anna Tifu of Italy as they play Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Omar Ghady Rahbany’s Orchestral Cocktail.

Mussorgsky (1839-1891) composed his piano suite, Pictures at an Exhibition, inspired by paintings of his friend, Viktor Hartmann. His wild imagination depicts 11 scenes in music including a gnome, an ancient castle, a ballet of chicks, a hut on chicken legs and the great gates of Kiev. These sections are cemented together by a recurrent Promenade which imagines the viewer walking between paintings. Four decades later, French composer Maurice Ravel added fantastic colours to the music by arranging it for symphony orchestra. 

No violin concerto excites audiences more than that of Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). The finale, a Russian folk dance called a trepak, plays a part with its dazzling energy. Yet charm and warmth pervade other sections, drawing on references to Polish composer Frederic Chopin, Gipsy melodies and classical ballet.

Guest violinist Anna Tifu is considered one of the most talented Italian artists of her generation. At the age of 11 she made her debut as soloist with the Orchestra National de Pays de La Loire. After she received her Music Diploma from the Cagliari Academy of Music at the age of 15 she studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In 2007 she won first prize in the George Enescu International Competition in Bucharest. 

As a soloist she has collaborated with major orchestras, including the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Chamber Orchestra, Berliner Philharmonic Virtuosos, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra and Essen Chamber Orchestra, among others. She plays a Carlo Bergonzi violin, Cremona 1739 known as Mischa Piastro on loan from the Associazione Pro Canale of Milan.

The next performance by Philharmonic musicians will be chamber music of Borodin, Khachaturian and Brahms, on December 5. 

The Peninsula