It's a completely new orchestra (which incidentally had a name change to the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra this week).
The program for the inaugural concert which Maazel will conduct is Beethoven - Symphony No 5, Ravel - Bolero and work by Arab composer Marcel Khalife - Arabian Concert for Oud, Kanoun, Ney, Riq and the orchestra.
The Orchestra will launch as the National Orchestra of Qatar but as I mentioned before featuring international players (twelve from the Middle East but none from Qatar itself). There are high hopes though, that by having this orchestra based permanently in Doha and by performing a ‘friendly' program of concerts that an appreciation for classical music will be created.
The players themselves along with academics will also be training keen musicians once the planned music academy is up and running. All to encourage the next generation of Qatari's to become engaged with classical music. So it's a long-term project.
Happy to provide more details and let me know if you'd be interested in attending.
I read your article two weeks back about what Lorin Maazel will be doing post NY Philharmonic. You might be interested to know that Maazel will be coming to Doha, Qatar in the Middle East to conduct the Qatar Symphony Orchestra's opening concerts at the end of this month.
I'm a PR consultant here in Doha and I'm working with the Orchestra. It's a fascinating project which is being led by the Government of Qatar to bring together players from around the world to form a national orchestra. The country is hoping to raise an appreciation of the arts and classical music, eventually it wants the orchestra to be home to many Qatari players but for now they have auditioned and relocated players internationally.
To give you an idea; amongst the group there are 21 German players, 7 Russians, 13 Hungarians, 3 Italian and 3 Japanese, 2 Swiss, 2 French and 2 British, 1 American, 2 from Uzbekistan and 1 musician from Kazakhstan Twelve players are from the Middle East region, Egypt mainly. All are professionals who have left prominent orchestras for a chance to do something they believe will be revolutionary.
Lorin Maazel will conduct on the 30th and 31st of October. A program, which is yet to be revealed, will use both European classical tradition and Arabic canon. There will also be a new piece of music featured by Arabic composer Marcel Khalife.
Qatar is ambitiously trying to put itself on the map for more than LNG, excess and bling, it wants to be a cultural center and the Government very keenly wants its people to appreciate the arts and particularly classical music. This orchestra will signal a new era in classical art for the region and it's hoped the success of this orchestra will go far to improving the sometimes negative image of the region.