Art Alert: Great romantic composers at Cairo, Alex opera houses

Ahram Online, Monday 13 May 2013

On 18 May in Cairo and 19 May in Alexandria, Cairo Symphony Orchestra – conducted by Hisham Gabr – will perform works by Rossini, Saint-Saens and Sibelius

Rossini, Saint-Saens, Sibelius

The Cairo Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hisham Gabr, will give a concert featuring great compositions from the Romantic Era. The concert will be held on 18 May at the Cairo Opera House and on 19 May at the Alexandria Opera House (Sayed Darwish Theatre).

The programme includes Gioachino Antonio Rossini (1792-1868)'s overture to 'Semiramide.' Known mainly for his operas, Rossini is seen as having set the model for romantic overtures composed during the 19th century.

His overtures are frequently performed during symphonic concerts, and are always appreciated by audiences.

Following the overture, the concert will feature Charles-CamilleSaint-Saens (1835-1921)'s Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33. The concerto breaks with the traditional concerto structure consisting of three separate movements.

Rather, it is based on one movement, but can be broken down into three distinct sections: Allegro non troppo, Allegretto con moto and Tempo primo. The 20-minute movement was possibly suggested to Saint-Saens by Liszt.

The soloist of the evening will be Ayman El-Hanbouly, an Egyptian cellist with a repertoire of concerts given in Egypt and in many European countries. In the late 1990s, he performed with the Redland Symphony Orchestra in the US. In 2005, El-Hanbouly was awarded the Egyptian State Prize for the Arts.

This will be the second collaboration between the cellist and conductor Hisham Gabr. In May 2011, El Hanbouly performed Edward Elgar's famed work, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E minor, Opus 85, while the Cairo Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Gabr.

In the second half of the evening, the orchestra will perform Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)'s Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Opus 39.

Gabr, an Egyptian conductor and composer, frequently performs in Egypt and internationally. He has just returned from two concerts performed in Mexico on 10 and 12 May.


Saturday, 18 May at 8pm
Cairo Opera House, Main Hall, CairoSunday, 19 May at 8pm
Alexandria Opera House (Sayed Darwish Theatre), 22 El-Horreya Road (formerly known as Fouad St.), El-Raml Station, Alexandria

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