The famous conductor Zubin Mehta and the Belgrade Philharmonic have held their first performance in Tirana in their joint history, as part of the “Open Balkan” initiative.

As soon as he stepped on the stage of the National theatre of Opera and Ballet in Tirana, Mehta was met with standing ovation. The legendary maestro and the Belgrade Philharmonic were followed off the stage by a thundering applause after their performances of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 7 and “Symphonie fantastique” by Hector Berlioz.

The concert wrote a new page for the history books, seeing as it is the first performance in Tirana in both the 65-year-long career of the great Zubin Mehta, as well as the century-long history of the Belgrade Philharmonic.

“It is my first time in Tirana and I am so happy I’m here together with the great orchestra of the Belgrade Philharmonic – and we hope for new meetings in the future,” said maestro Mehta to the Albanian press.

“We have long awaited the great Zubin Mehta’s and the fantastic Belgrade Philharmonic’s arrival, and we feel incredibly privileged and honored by your performance as it is a historic event,” said Abigeila Voshtina, Director of the National theatre of Opera and Ballet in Tirana, welcoming the maestro and the Philharmonic.

The concert was attended by the Albanian Minister of Culture Elva Margariti, other Ministers of the Albanian government, Serbian ambassador Slobodan Vukčević, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as notable figures from public and cultural life.

As part of the “Open Balkan” initiative, Mehta’s and the Philharmonic’s concert has built new bridges through the powerful language of music that knows no borders. The tour, which started in Belgrade with the Gala Concert in the Kolarac Hall, will end in the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall in Skopje on June 24th.