Posted 22 February 2010 by Frances Guy
If music be the food of love, play on.. so Shakespeare wrote. Sometimes, a player or a show is so good that that is how you feel, transported by love in its widest possible sense. In Lebanon we are blessed with many different musical festivals, winter and summer. This week I have been twice to the al Bustan festival www.albustanfestival.com
; once for the opening night and once for Ray Chen, a young violin soloist. He was pure magic and truly transported the audience to another place. But the Lebanese philharmonic orchestra were great too and as the Italian conductor said at the end: Lebanon you have a great orchestra; support them! Around the orchestra different projects are built: to bring musical instruments to deprived kids; to raise money for charities through the annual Christmas concerts etc.. and to promote Lebanese composers and Lebanese musicians. So Lebanon.. support your orchestra (and your football team, and your basketball team... and your winter olympic team... and.....)
and in case you thought I had forgotten about politics: Myrna Bustani who is the inspiration behind the festival was the first woman MP in the Lebanese parliament in 1963. Today there are still only three women. May God give them strength.
22 February 2010
Posted 21 July 2008 by Frances Guy
Oh wonderful world of coincidences. Nearly four years ago during my last job Oliver Butterworth from Musicstage Productions came to talk to me about an idea he had for a project to bring Arabic composers into the European classical music circuit. This was more than other East meets West projects. More about showing to the elite of the West their Eastern counterparts, exposing the latter to the European classical music scene and bringing in some new dimensions. Tonight I meet Hiba al Kawas, diva of Lebanon who has recently returned from the first of the Al Farabi concerts at the Cadogan hall. Thing is I didn't know I was coming to her house until a few hours before and she had no idea that I knew all about Oliver and his inspiring ideas. She sings for guests in her garden.. a new idea of heaven in Lebanon.
21 July 2008