Art Alert: Renowned Egyptian pianist Ramzi Yassa to give two concerts in Cairo

Ahram Online , Wednesday 28 Jan 2015

Ramzi Yassa will play with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Nader Abbassi, who will premiere his own composition grounded in childhood memories

Ramzi Yassa, Nader Abbassi
Ramzi Yassa (left) and Nader Abbassi (right). (Photos: courtesy of the Cairo Opera House)

Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nader Abbassi will give two concerts, on Friday, 30 January, at 3pm and on Saturday, 31 January, at 8pm, at the Cairo Opera House Main Hall.

The first half of the evening will include Abbassi's Memoire d'Enfance (Memory of Childhood), followed by Liszt's piano concerto No 1 in E flat major with soloist Ramzi Yassa.

According to information released by Abbassi on social media, the concert has a particularily important positioning in the conductor's music career. Opening the concert with his own composition, Memoire d'Enfance, Abbassi reveals to listeners memories of the past, saying that the work's theme is based on a melody that his mother used to sing to him when he was a child. Though he does not know the source of this melody, it has stayed in his mind until now and inspired his composition. This will be the first time for Memoire d'Enfance to be played to the public.

Ramzi Yassa, who will play Liszt's piano concerto No 1, is an internationally renowned Egyptian pianist. He has received several international awards, including the Franz Liszt Centennary Commemorative Medal.

Though based in Paris, where he teaches at the Ecole Normale de Musique - Alfred Cortot, Yassa is a frequent visitor to Egypt, giving concerts at the Cairo Opera House and the Manastery Palace. He is a jury member of numerous international piano competitions held in Leeds (UK), Santander, Carlet, Kawai (Spain), Cagliari (Italy), Pretoria (South Africa), Missouri (US), among many others. He also organises master classes in various locations across the globe.

Yassa's extensive performances the world over, in which he cooperated with renowned conductors Zubin Mehta, Charles Groves, Vladimir Ashkenazy, among others, have seen him delight audiences of some of the most prestigious concert halls. These include the John F Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts, the Barbican Centre, the Royal Albert Hall, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and the Berliner Philharmonic Hall, to name a few. 

The second half of the evening will include Mussorgsky / Ravel, Picture at an Exhibition.

Friday, 30 Januuary, 3pm
Saturday, 31 January, 8pm
Cairo Opera House, Main Hall

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