Art Alert: Cairo Opera House Quartet celebrates silver jubilee, bids farewell to its founder

Ahram Online , Tuesday 26 Jan 2016

Osman El-Mahdy, the founder of the Cairo Opera House Quartet, announced he would step down from playing in the ensemble

Cairo Opera House Quartet Silver Jubilee
(Photo: part of promotional material for Cairo Opera House Quartet Silver Jubilee)

In celebration of its Silver Jubilee, the Cairo Opera House Quartet will perform a concert on 1 February at the Cairo Opera House, and on 3 February at Sayed Darwish Theatre in Alexandria.

The quartet will perform J. Brahms’ String Sextet in B flat Major and F. Mendelssohn’s String Octect in E flat Major.

The current members of the quartet are first violin and founder Osman El-Mahdy, second violin Yasser Ghoneim, Essam Abdel Hamid on viola and Mohamed Salah on cello. They will be joined by former members Sahmil Rashidov, Alaa Khalil, Evgeni Vissotsky and the guest violinist Khaled Saleh.

The concert will also be a farewell concert for El-Mahdy, who wrote in a press release: “This will be the perfect opportunity for me to bid farewell to this ensemble of exceptional musicians. 25 years ago I was proudly behind the idea of founding this ensemble; today I am the last one remaining out of the four founding members.

I think it's about time for me to be replaced by a violinist belonging to a younger generation of talented musicians,” El-Mahdy concluded.

The Cairo Opera House Quartet was founded in 1991 by Osman El-Mahdy, also the ensemble's first violin.

El-Mahdy studied violin in Alexandria and then Cairo Conservatoires and chamber music at Geneva Conservatoire. He was a member of the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève and the Orchestre de Chambre du Jura (1985 - 1989), then Cairo Symphony Orchestra from (1989 - 1993), and finally Concertmaster of the Cairo Opera Orchestra from (1994 - 2005).

He performed with numerous ensembles in Egypt as well as in Russia, Syria, the Emirates, Japan, France, and Switzerland. El-Mahdy was a professor of violin and chamber music at the Cairo Conservatory until 2005. From 1993 onwards, he has been a professor of violin at the Talent Development Center of Cairo Opera House, where he teaches Suzuki method.

Monday 1 February, at 8pm
Small Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

Wednesday 3 February, at 8 pm
Sayed Darwish Theatre, 22 El-Horreya road, Raml Station, Alexandria


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