PYO completes its concert tour in Jordan and Oman
With the participation of 80 young musicians from Palestine and the Diaspora
The Palestine Youth Orchestra completes its concert tour in Jordan and Oman
On Monday 28th March 2016 the Palestine Youth Orchestra (PYO) completed its concert tour of Jordan and Oman, which was arranged by the Friends of the Jordan Festivals and the Royal Opera House in Muscat. Under the baton of French conductor Nicolas Simon, the PYO program started in Jordan on Friday 18th March, with an intensive rehearsal workshop at the Olive Branch Hotel in Jerash from 18th – 21st March. This was followed by two concerts, the first of which was on 22nd March at the Hussein Cultural Center in Amman. It was attended by around 500 people, who gave the orchestra a rousing reception. On Friday 25th March the orchestra performed a landmark concert in the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman, attended by around 600 people in the main hall of the opera house, which is considered one of the finest opera houses in the world with regard to its design, technical specifications and acoustics for orchestral concerts.
In this program the PYO performed Western classical orchestral works and Arab songs: the concert began with the “King Lear” Overture by Hector Berlioz; and continued, with the participation of members of the Palestine Girl’s Choir, with the Arab anthem “Mawtini” by the great Lebanese composer Mohammad Fleifel, “Zahret al-Mada’en” by the Rahbani brothers, and “Salam li Gaza” by the Palestinian composer Suhail Khoury. The Amman program ended with Tchaikovsky’s 2nd Symphony “Little Russian”, while in Muscat an extra piece was played: “Baalbeck” by the contemporary French-Lebanese composer Naji Hakim.
The tour also included an educational concert, performed by members of the orchestra and led by Suhail Khoury, for an audience of students at the music department of the Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, on Thursday 24th March. The students were very responsive to the concert, which was also enjoyed by the teaching staff. The ESNCM General Director Suhail Khoury said during the concert that the development of the Palestine Youth Orchestra over the last eleven years represents a great distinction in the musical and cultural development in Palestine, especially with regards to education and the honing of skills. He also expressed his great pride in the large audience who attended the concert in Jordan, and remarked that the Jordan audiences have been faithful supporters of the PYO since its launch in Amman in 2004. Mr. Khoury expressed his thanks and appreciation to all the friends of the orchestra, from individuals, companies and organizations in Jordan, to the administrative team at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, who all helped to make the tour possible. Khoury also added, “The orchestra is a great ambassador for Palestine and the Palestinian cause, and one of the best ways to send the voice of Palestine and its words to the world.”