Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra’s (QPO) 2021 – 2022 season is set to kick off with a one-of-its-kind concert “with an unusually festive programme” on September 18 at the Qatar National Convention Centre Auditorium 3, it was announced.
The concert, taking place between 4pm and 7.30pm, will only allow fully vaccinated or individuals showing a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the concert to enter the venue (including children).
In a press statement, QPO’s opening performance – featuring many and classical romantic music composers such as Tchaikovsky, Grieg, and Khachaturian, among others – aims to welcome back concert-goers but adhering to Covid-19 protocols to ensure their safety.
The programme includes ‘Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin - Polonaise’, an opera in three acts he composed in 1878, followed by his ‘Music from The Nutcracker, Op. 71 –March, Chinese, Spanish and Russian Dance (Trepak)’, which he arranged for a concert performance in 1892.
QPO noted that The Nutcracker, which was a tale by ETA Hoffman before it became a ballet, tells the story of Clara, a little girl “who receives a magical nutcracker in the form of a little man for Christmas”. “Tchaikovsky based the ballet he created upon on a translation of the original story by Alexandre Dumas.”
QPO’s performance will also include Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia, a music “full of great tunes and beautifully comprehensible”; and Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 - I. ‘Morning Mood’ and Op. 23 ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’, which brought Gynt to the international stage.
Part of the programme are: Aram Ilitch Khachaturian: Masquerade Suite- Waltz, written in 1941 as incidental music for a production of the play of the same name by Russian poet and playwright Mikhail Lermontov; Jean Sibelius: Finlandia, Op. 26, a work that has become a powerful statement of triumph amid the political climate in Finland in 1899; and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4 in F Minor, Op. 36 – Mov. 4: Finale, dubbed as “one of the most performed symphonies of the end of the twentieth century.”
French violinist Lyonel Schmit, renowned for his phenomenological approach to music, will be the concertmaster and conductor of the performance. He has been the concertmeister of the Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra since 2012 before joining QPO in September 2019 as 1st concertmeister.