Art Alert: Cairo Opera House Quartet to perform 'Death and the Maiden'

Ahram Online, Wednesday 29 Jan 2014

On Monday, 3 February, Cairo Opera House Quartet will perform Schubert's masterpiece, String Quartet No 14 in D minor, 'Death and the Maiden' in addition to other compositions

Death and Maiden
(Photo: Oil painting reproduction of Egon Schiele's 'Death and the Maiden')

The upcoming concert of the Cairo Opera House Quartet will include String Quartet No 14 in D minor D 810, 'Death and the Maiden,' which is considered to be Franz Schubert's (1797-1828) masterpiece.

Composed in the winter of 1825-1826, the quartet was first played on 25 January 1826 and ever since remains one of the best known chamber music compositions, praised by critics as one of the best quartets ever written.

The ensemble will also perform Henry Purcell's (1659-1695) music for William Shakespeare's in A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as Handel-Aslamazian's 'Passacaglia.'

The quartet was founded in 1991 by Osman El-Mahdy, who is also the ensemble's first violin.

El-Mahdy studied violin in Alexandria and then Cairo conservatoires and chamber music at the Geneva Conservatoire. He was a member of the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève and the Orchestre de Chambre du Jura (1985-1989), then the Cairo Symphony Orchestra (1989-1993), and finally concertmaster of the Cairo Opera Orchestra (1994-2005).

El-Mahdy has performed with numerous ensembles in Egypt as well as in Russia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, France and Switzerland.

El-Mahdy was professor of violin and chamber music at the Cairo Conservatory until 2005. From 1993 onwards, he has been a professor of violin at the Talent Development Centre of Cairo Opera House, where he teaches Suzuki method.

The Cairo Opera House Quartet also includes Yasser Ghoneim on violin, Essam Abdel Hamid on viola and Mohamed Salah on cello.

Monday, 3 February, 8pm
Cairo Opera House, Small Hall, Zamalek, Cairo

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