Art Alert: Awtar Quartet to reach out to Egypt's underprivileged children

Ahram Online , Tuesday 18 Aug 2015

'Music & Animal Stories for Kids' will weave classical music with storytelling

Awtar Quartet
Awtar Quartet joined by singer Amira Reda and Mohamed Araf on the tabla perform at Alrabaa Cultural Centre on 21 June 2015 (Photo: Ati Metwaly)

Two performances mixing classical music and storytelling are scheduled to take place at Artellewa Art Space in Giza and at Tawasol school in Istabl Antar, on 28 and 31 August respectively, and are aimed at children from Egypt’s poorer neighbourhoods.

The performances are part of an interactive educational series organised by Awtar Quartet, joined by narrator Anne Alfred, entitled "Music & Animal Stories for Kids.”

The project is funded by Fulbright Alumni Community Action Grant, which was awarded to the quartet's violinist Khaled Saleh.

Saleh says that the project aims to present “classical music with animal stories for underprivileged children in economically and culturally marginalised areas of Egypt.”

The 45 minute-long events will take the form of an interactive concert, beginning with the quartet members who will introduce their instruments to the children.

The musicians will join Anne Alfred in presenting the selections of classical music played alongside Alfred’s narration of animal stories.

The performance “orients children with some musical elements and the stories themselves contain lessons,” Saleh explains.

“We are going to experiment and adapt our performances according to the children’s reactions, until we find the best formula,” Saleh adds, underscoring that this will be only the beginning of long-term plans for the Awtar Quartet.

This segment of the project will run twice per month until the end of October—when the fund officially ends. Saleh explains that the quartet is still looking for ways to keep the project running, and he hopes to hold concerts at schools and other venues.

Awtar Quartet was established in 2012 and comprises Egyptian musicians working at the Cairo Opera House: Yasser Ghoneim (first violin), Khaled Saleh (second violin), Essam Abdel-Hamid (viola), and Mohamed Abdel-Fattah (cello).

The musicians have given numerous concerts in renowned venues as well as successfully introduced Western classical music to new locations, such as Alrabaa cultural centre in the heart of Fatimid Cairo. 


Friday, 28 August, 7pm

Artellewa Art Space, 19 Mohamed Ali El-Eseary Street, Ard El-Lewa, Giza
The concert on 31 August will be performed for students of Tawasol school in Stabl Antar

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