Art Alert: El-Sakia String Orchestra looks into past and present

Ahram Online, Saturday 16 Mar 2013

On Tuesday 19 March, El-Sakia String Orchestra will perform works by Egyptian contemporary composers, and Chopin's Concerto No 2

Mohamed Saad Basha, Neveen Allouba, Kimball Gallagher

On Tuesday 19 March El-Sakia String Orchestra, conducted by Mohamed Saad Basha, will perform several works by contemporary Egyptian composers, a piece by an Egyptian-American composer, and a piano concerto by Chopin.

This unusual combination of compositions will give a chance for the orchestra to highlight Egyptian composers espeically Ryan Francis, an Egyptian-American composer. This performance by El Sakia String Orchestra will be the world premier of his composition 'Ankhet.'

Francis comments on his work saying: “I’m envisioning a meditative work, with an intimate dialogue between the soloists and the ensemble creating the sense of dramatic motion. Regarding the text, it is interesting to view the sentiment of this Ancient Egyptian text from a modern Egyptian perspective.”

Other works of the Egyptian composers will include Mohamed Saad Basha's Eskinderiyah and Sherif Mohie El-Din's Song Cycle with lyrics from poetry by Amal Donqol. The soprano for the evening will be Neveen Allouba.

The second half of the evening will provide a shift in mood, transporting the audience back in time, to the Polish Romantic composer Frederic Chopin and his piano concerto no. 2. The soloist will be a guest pianist from the USA, Kimball Gallagher.

Gallagher spent a few weeks in Egypt while working on his project titled "88-Concert Tour" exploring how salon culture, and home concerts can be incorporated into various cultures. Gallagher held a "private home concert" on 15 March in Cairo from which 48,000 Egyptian pounds were raised and donated to "the NGO Al Fanar for one of their projects to help widows in Upper Egypt develop self-sufficiency and sustainable businesses," according to the musician.

Gallagher's cooperation with El-Sakia String Orchestra is not related to his core project though. Gallagher will also perform with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina String Orchestra on 24 March; the performance is not part of his "88-Concert Tour."

El-Sakia String Orchestra was formed in October 2010 with the aim of promoting classical music through El-Sawy Culturewheel, a centre that mainly offers pop and rock concerts to young audiences. Through the string orchestra's activities, young people gain easy access to classical music and its values.

Since its formation, the orchestra gives one concert a month, on every third Tuesday of the month.

Tuesday, 19 March, 8pm
El-Sawy Culturewheel, Wisdom Hall
Under the 15 May Bridge on 26th July Street, Zamalek

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