Posted on September 14, 2018

Following a highly successful season opening concert last week, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) returns to the Katara Opera House stage tonight to enthrall musicophiles with masterpieces from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák.

Under the baton of Grammy nominated conductor Alastair Willis, this sold-out show features flutist Nicole Ruth Preßler and harpist Julie Sgarro performing Mozart’s “Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major.” The newly appointed Music Director of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Willis has guest conducted orchestras around the world such as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfonica de Rio de Janeiro, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic, and China National Orchestra.

His recording of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortileges with Nashville Symphony and Opera for Naxos was Grammy nominated for Best Classical Album in 2009. Born in Plauen, Germany, Preßler has appeared throughout Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East as a soloist and chamber musician and has taken part in chamber music festivals in various countries. A recipient of several awards, she was featured in radio in television in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Moscow and Beograd.

Sgarro was born in Saint Mandé, France and started to study the harp when she was only seven. She won prizes in many harp competitions and has played in orchestras since she was 15. In 2010 she won the principal harp chair with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. This evening’s programme commences with “Academic Festival Overture” – one of Brahms’ most popular compositions written to thank the University of Breslau for conferring him a doctorate. This joyful yet sophisticated overture was premiered at a special ceremony surrounding the convocation with Brahms conducting.

Considered one of the leading musicians of the Romantic era, Brahms was a German composer and virtuoso pianist who wrote wide ranging compositions and worked with some of the leading performers of his time. The highlight of the concert is Mozart’s “Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major” in which Mozart crafts textures to accommodate the unusual combination of flute and harp in three movements. This double concerto is the only music Mozart wrote for the harp. Born in Salzburg, Austria, Mozart was a very young musical prodigy who began composing music at age 11. Though his illustrious career was cut short by his sudden death at age 35, he left some 600 compositions.

The show culminates with Dvořák’s “Symphony No. 7 in D Minor” which enjoys a special status in the composer’s series of nine symphonies and is considered one of the works that installed his mastery as a composer. Meanwhile, British actor and acclaimed singer Richard Shelton is set to take the stage along with the Qatar. Philharmonic at the Music of Frank Sinatra concert on September 22 , 7.30pm at the Abdul Aziz Nasser Theatre in Souq Waqif.

Ticket prices range from QR100 to QR300 and can be bought at qatarphilharmonicorchestra.org/concerts/purchase_tickets.

source: The Peninsula

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