L: Mohamed Shams (Photo: Zafar Azimov / courtesy Mohamed Shams)
R: Mohamed Shams performs at the New York public library auditorium in November 2014 (Photo: courtesy of the artist)
Renowned Egyptian pianist Mohamed Shams will give two performances in Cairo, the first on 20 January with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra (CSO), and a second on 22 January in a solo recital at Zamalek Cinema.
Along with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, which is conducted by Ahmed El-Saedi, the pianist will perform Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15.
The CSO will also perform Mozart's Overture to The Magic Flute (K. 622) and Bethoven's Symphony no. 5 in C minor, Op. 67.
In his solo recital at Zamalek Cinema, Shams will perform several compositions, including Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23 "Appassionata" and Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 514.
Currently based in the United States, Shams is hailed as “a deeply impressive pianist of tremendous flair and intellectual strength” and “a spectacular pianist” by international critics.
The Egyptian pianist graduated from the Cairo Conservatory with distinction in 2004.
Even prior to graduating he had earned distinction by winning first prize at the Brevard Music Festival competition (USA) in 2001 and 2002, which led to an invitation to play with its orchestra, the Transylvania Symphony, in 2003.
He also received a Fulbright grant to study for one year in Washington DC with renowned piano soloist and music educator Marilyn Neeley.
In 2008, Shams received a full scholarship to study in the master’s program at the Manhattan School of Music.
Another scholarship, this one in 2011, sent him to the Master of Music program at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) in Glasgow.
At the Royal Conservatoire, he won the Jock Holden Memorial Mozart Prize, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Competition, the Bamber/Galloway Competition and the Tony and Tania Webster Prize for Russian Music.
He was the recipient of the Governor’s Prize and the David Knox Memorial Prize for outstanding achievement at RCS.
He was also awarded the Silver Medal by the Worshipful Company of Musicians in London and second prize at the Beethoven Competition in London.
Shams has further won first prize in Mieczyslaw Munz competition, and was awarded the Harold Bauer Award for recognition of outstanding accomplishment, cooperation and promise.
As a soloist, Shams has appeared with orchestras in his home country and abroad. He has performed with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, among others. In 2015, he made his debut at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Saturday 20 January at 8pm
Cairo Opera House, main hall, Zamalek, Cairo
Monday 22 January at 7.30pm
Zamalek Cinema, 13 Shagaret El Dor Street, Zamalek, Cairo
For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture