Art Alert: Renowned Egyptian pianist Ramzi Yassa to perform in Cairo

Ahram Online, Wednesday 19 Mar 2014

Works by Chopin and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata are among highlights of an upcoming concert by internationally-acclaimed pianist Ramzi Yassa, Tuesday, 25 March

Ramzi Yassa
Ramzi Yassa performing at the Cairo Opera House, during a special event commemorating Abdel-Moneim Kamel. 21 April 2013. (Photo courtesy: Cairo Opera House)

The upcoming concert of internationally acclaimed pianist Ramzi Yassa is scheduled to take place Tuesday, 25 March, at the Arabic Music Institute.

The programme will include Antonio Soler's Sonata in G minor and Sonata in D major; Beethoven's Sonata No 14 in C sharp minor Op 27 No 2 'Moonlight' and Rachmaninov's two Etudes Tableaux (Op 39, No 5 in E flat minor and Op 39, No 9 in D major).

The second half of the evening will be entirely dedicated to Chopin. Yassa will play Sonata No 2 in B flat minor Op 35, Nocturne Op 9, No 1 in B flat minor and Scherzo No 2 Op 31 in B flat minor.

The recital is part of the International Music Centre's (IMC) monthly activities, a dynamic music institution of which Yassa is artistic director. Since its founding in 2002, the IMC has presented numerous world class pianists as well as provided a platform for Egyptian musicians. In the centre's programme notes Yassa says: "Meeting the Masters at Carnegie Hall or Théâtre des Champs-Élysées is a privilege. To witness their performance at Manasterly is a unique experience."

For many years, concerts of the IMC were held at the historic Manasterly Palace and in three seasons at the Prince Mohamed Ali Palace. Current renovations of the Manasterly Palace are the reason for IMC's activities being moved to the Arabic Music Institute.

Among the Cairo Conservatory's first graduates following its inauguration in the 1950s, Ramzi Yassa became one of the most remarkable musicians of his generation.

He pursued his formal education at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and received an honorary certificate at the 1974 Tchaikovsky competition. 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. He relocated to Paris in the 1970s, where he resides to date. 

Yassa's extensive performances the world over, in which he cooperated with renowned conductors Zubin Mehta, Charles Groves, Vladimir Ashkenazy, among others, have seen him delight audiences of some of the most prestigious concert halls. These include the John F Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts, the Barbican Centre, the Royal Albert Hall, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Berliner Philharmonic Hall, to name a few. 

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

Yassa frequently performs in Cairo while on visit to his native Egypt. 

Tuesday, 25 March at 8pm
Arabic Music Institute, 22 Ramses Street, Downtown, Cairo
For tickets contact the Cultural Development Fund, tel (02) 27357001 / 27354234, or inquire at the performance location

Short link: