„New Year ushered in with joy, skill and vigour“, read Maurice Gent’s music review, published on the Oman Daily Observer website immediately after our concert in Muscat.
Everyone came to enjoy themselves and they did. The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra was in fine form clearly enjoying a trip to the Sultanate of Oman as part of their unusual weekend break. As one of the well known and appreciated orchestras in East and Central Europe, they were happy to be here and greeted as well by a packed and enthusiastic audience. It went well from the start with everyone determined to enjoy themselves.
It was not difficult. The orchestra immediately struck a note of confidence and vigour making it clear why they are so much respected as a powerful and inspiring force on the European scene.
They were magnificent. No faltering, no half measures. Here an orchestra conducted by David Levi performed with both confidence and panache.
Egyptian Soprano Fatma Said has participated in many concerts and recitals in Egypt, Germany, France, Turkey, Oman, Finland, Austria, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. She has won prizes in many international opera competitions.
Tenor Michael Schade is hailed as one of the world’s leading tenors. German-Canadian tenor Michael performs on every major opera stage and in the most prestigious concert halls of the world.
Anna Tifu in terms of presence and instrument control must be considered as one of the best violinists of her generation. She made her debut as a soloist at the tender age of eleven. She has now worked and studied worldwide, winning international acclaim.
But this was not a mixed group in terms of ability. It was a team effort conducted by David Levi with all clearly aspiring for excellence.
The auditorium was packed and I saw nobody, bored to distraction leaving at the interval. People were kept in their seats by skilled artists, who performed with vigour, determination and skill.
The Belgrade Philharmonic is also known for promoting musical co-operation between different communities and this has led to new forms of co-operation both at music and community levels.
It turned out to be a performance that could be enjoyed in many ways and many levels. Old friendships were also renewed and refreshed by people, who had been out of touch with each other for some time. Old friendships were renewed and perhaps new ones formed for the future.
Certainly I saw no rush for the doors during the interval and the Belgrade Philharmonic provided a programme, which was deeply appreciated and enjoyed.
Certainly regular visitors are being offered a rich choice of possibilities this January. There will be a free open air concert in the outdoor courtyard in front when the Royal Band for Music and Foklore will be put to the test for the first time on January 5.
Inside the ROHM there will be the Indian star Anoushka Shankar showing her skills on January 7. That will be followed by Donizetti’s famous opera Lucia Di Lammermoor. On January 19 baritone concert by Dmitri Hvorostovsky, a famous Russian baritone star.
In an action packed month Helene Grimaud performs on January 21 and Salif Keita, the golden voice of Africa, on January 28.
Photo credit: Khalid Al Busaidi, ROHM.