From left to right: violinist Nadine Weber, mezzo soprano Gala El-Hadidi, pianist Ramzi Yassa, soprano Fatma Said
In its debut edition, the Manial Palace Music Festival will light up Cairo's historic Manial Palace's Golden Hall between 1 and 9 November.
The five evenings will comprise a total of eight unique concerts, featuring the renowned Egyptian musicians whose careers flourished internationally in additional to a number of international artists.
The festival dates highlight two important historical events: the 149th anniversary of the opening of the Khedivial Opera House (the old opera house which opened on 1 November 1869 and burned down on 28 October 1971) and the 143rd anniversary of the birth of prince Mohamed Ali Tawfik (9 November 1875 – 18 March 1955).
The Manial Palace Music Festival will open on 1 November with a concert by a German-based Egyptian mezzo soprano Gala El-Hadidi, accompanied by Armenian-French conductor and pianist Vahan Mardirossian.
The following days (5, 6, 8 November) will present to the audience the Egyptian-Austrian violinist Nadine Weber and the Egyptian Chamber Orchestra with music director Ahmed El-Saedi.
International musicians will include Italian soloist and conductor Luca Marziali, the Czechoslovak Chamber Duo with Pavel Burdych and Zuzana Beresova, and Czech pianist Jaromir Klepac.
The festival will close on 9 November with a recital by Fatma Said, the Egyptian soprano who has taken the international scene by storm, followed by Paris-based Egyptian pianist Ramzi Yassa.
The audience will have a chance to enjoy the crème-de-la-crème of classical music representatives and get closer to many opera and chamber compositions from different countries with a variety of musical styles.
The week-long festival is the first of its kind to be launched by the Friends of the Manial Palace Museum (FMPM) and is organised by Orient Productions, a company founded and managed by Ahmed El-Attar, also known for organising numerous cultural events including the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival, which takes place annually in March-April.
"The festival is spearheaded by the renowned opera singer and television actor Hassan Kamy and the chairman of the board Prince Abbas Hilmi. It has grown from the individual concerts and events previously held by the FMPM, and aims to fundraise for the preservation of the palace," the festival's official press release reveals.
"Friends of Manial Palace Museum (FMPM) was registered in 2005 as a non-profit NGO. It is headed by Prince Abbas Hilmi, the grandson of Khedive Abbas Hilmi and grand-nephew of the founder of the Manial Palace Museum, Prince Mohamed Ali Tewfik."
"The festival is the start of a series of fundraising initiatives to upgrade the displays at the Private Collection Museum. Proceeds from the concerts will contribute to preserving the unique ancient carpet collection, installing suitable lighting, in addition to funding a curatorial study programme for the employees of the museum, and sponsor visits by school children from underprivileged areas. These efforts for restoration are in cooperation with the management of the museum and under the auspices of the Ministry of Antiquities."
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