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Monday, March 8, 2021

PHOTOS: The BBC Symphony Orchestra debuts in Qatar

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PHOTOS: The BBC Symphony Orchestra debuts in Qatar

The BBC Symphony Orchestra made its Qatar debut last night at Katara‘s Opera House, performing the first of two concerts as part of the Qatar-UK year of culture program.

In keeping with the theme, the world-renowned UK orchestra performed an exclusively British set, including Elgar’s Cockaigne overture and Vaughan Williams’ A London Symphony.

The orchestra lived up to its reputation, performing a polished, poised program, and received a standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience. 

The second concert tonight will feature popular classics including Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance March No.1 and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis told Doha News that the orchestra’s Doha program includes some of his favorite pieces of music: 

“Pieces like the London Symphony have so much description in them, like Big Ben striking. We’ve also got the sea interludes from Peter Grimes, by Benjamin Britten – the first true British opera since Purcell wrote Dido and Aeneas.

And there’s something about the best English music – beautiful folk tunes, and reflection – so often Elgar is thought of just ‘pomp and circumstance,’ but the heart of Elgar is in his reflective moods, and a sort of melancholy.”

Both performances are technically sold out (you can no longer buy tickets online), but we counted at least 25 free seats in the stalls last night, perhaps belonging to VIP guests.

We have asked concert organisers whether they have plans to sell tickets at the door tonight to fill the hall, but have not yet received a response. 

Were you there? Thoughts?

Credit: Photos of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s pre-show rehearsal by Omar Chatriwala

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