(Jordan Times) Amman, Jordan, March 22, 2016 – The Palestine Youth Orchestra with a full set of 75 musicians, along with twelve young women singers from the Palestine Choir, played at a unique concert on the March 22 at Al Hussein Cultural Centre in Amman (Ras Al Ain) at 7pm.
The event was presented by the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) in cooperation with Friends of Jordan Festivals. The orchestra performed under the baton of French conductor Nicolas Simon.
Speaking to The Jordan Times, Professor Suhail Khoury, the director of the Conservatory pointed out that the orchestra had played the entire Symphony No. 2 by Tchaikovsky. The composition is one of the great master’s joyful works, though it is essentially in C minor. It consists of four movements: andante sostenuto allegro vivo, andantino marziale quasi moderato, scherzo allegro molto vivace and finally moderato assai allegro vivo. The fourth and last movement is in C major. The orchestra also played King Lear, an overture by French romantic composer Hector Berlioz.
Last but not least, the twelve female singers accompanied by the orchestra interpreted three songs in Arabic, of which one was “A Salute to Gaza”, an original piece for which the music was composed by Professor Suhair Khoury himself and the lyrics written by the renowned, inspired poet Fuad Srouji. They also sang “Zahrat Al Mada’en” (Flower of the Cities), a poignant, popular hymn to Jerusalem, made famous by the celebrated Lebanese singer Fairuz and composed by the Rahbani Brothers.
Khoury also explained that the musicians, who had arrived in Jordan on March 18, stayed at a hotel in Jerash, where they found a pleasant place for all the rehearsals that went particularly well given the very pleasant atmosphere of the city. He added that the orchestra presented the same programme (except for the songs in Arabic) in France last summer where it was warmly received.
The Conservatory was first established in Ramallah and was initially named the National Conservatory of Music. In 2004, so as to honour “the invaluable intellectual and cultural contributions to humanity of the late Edward Said“, it was renamed the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. Its motto speaks for itself: “Making Music Happen in Palestine.”