Art Alert: Renowned pianist Ramzi Yassa to perform with Cairo Symphony Orchestra

Ahram Online, Saturday 25 May 2013

On Saturday 1 June, Egyptian internationally-renowned pianist Ramzi Yassa will perform with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hisham Gabr

Left: Ramzi Yassa in concert with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra (2010), Right: Hisham Gabr conducting Cairo Symphony Orchestra (2013). (Photo: Sherif Sonbol)

The Cairo Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hisham Gabr will perform J. Strauss (Jr.)'s Overture to the Gypsy Baron; F. Liszt's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in E flat Major, S.124 and A. Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World, Op. 95

The soloist of the evening will be Ramzi Yassa, Egyptian, internationally-renowned pianist,

Ramzi Yassa was among the first graduates of the Cairo's Cairo Conservatory upon its launch in the '50s. He continued his education in the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and received an honorary certificate at the 1974 Tchaikovsky competition. He was also the first Egyptian pianist to win the Paloma O'Shea Santander International Piano Competition, one of the world's major piano competitions. He is a recipient of the Liszt Centennial Commemorative Medal as well as the 2007 Egyptian State Prize for Music - the first awarded to a performing musician.

Yassa was the first Arab pianist to record Beethoven's piano concertos, which he did with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Ahmed El Saedi.

In the 1970s he moved to Paris where he resides to date. He performs extensively around the world and in the most prestigious concert halls, including the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts, the Barbican Centre, the Royal Albert Hall, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysée, Berliner Philharmonic Hall etc, cooperating with the renowned conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Charles Groves, Vladimir Ashkenazy, among others.

Though he has a lot of international commitments, Yassa maintains his link with Egypt always very alive. Not only does he come to perform in Egypt very often, since 2002 Yassa is the artistic director of the International Music Centre, which hosts monthly concerts by the world-class pianists and occasionally small ensembles (along with Egyptian artists), hand-picked by Yassa.

Yassa teaches at Paris' École Normale and is a jury member of many international piano competitions held in Leeds (UK), Santander, Carlet, Kawai (Spain), Cagliari (Italy), Pretoria (South Africa), Missouri (USA), among many others. He also organises master classes in many locations across the globe.

Born in 1972, Hisham Gabr has performed extensively in Egypt and internationally, conducting symphonic concerts as well as operas and ballets. He collaborated with numerous orchestras in the past, such as the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), Astana Philharmonic Orchestra. Most recently, Gabr conducted the Mexico state orchestra performing works by Mozart, Carl Nielsen, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. Upon his return to Cairo, on 18 and 19 May he gave a concert with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra with the soloist Ayman El-Hanbouly.

Saturday 1 June, 8pm
Cairo Opera House Main Hall
Zamalek, Cairo

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