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Posted On: 13 January 2020 09:52 am
Updated On: 3 March 2020 12:01 pm

Qatar-France Year of Culture kicks off with music from QF

Binu Cherian
Binu Cherian
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As Qatar and France come together for a year of building bridges through the power of culture and creativity, Qatar Foundation will be at the forefront of a program of events and activities designed to bring the two countries and their people even closer together.

The Qatar-France Year of Culture 2020 is the latest edition of an annual cultural exchange program run by Qatar Museums, which aims to showcase Qatar to an international audience and promote ties of mutual understanding and knowledge that stretch beyond borders and across continents.

And throughout the year, Qatar Foundation (QF) will be organizing and contributing to an array of activities that enable the people of Qatar, France, and other countries to explore, appreciate, and celebrate both their cultural similarities and differences.

The Qatar-France Year of Culture 2020 was ushered in with a concert that saw Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, a QF member, take to the stage at Katara Opera House to perform a composition by Qatari artist Hamed Naama, and two pieces by French composers Hector Berlioz and Camille Saint-Saëns. Led by French conductor Marc Piollet and featuring piano soloist Lise de la Salle, the performance gave a taste of how music will be a central thread running through the year of Qatari-French cultural collaboration.

Outlining QF’s contribution to the Qatar-France Year of Culture 2020, Hend Al-Mousawi, Head of Arts, Culture and Heritage Programming at QF, said: “Qatar Foundation believes that cultural exchange is vital to us learning both about others, and about ourselves.

“It broadens our perspectives, develops our understanding of the world, encourages us to recognize what unites us while also celebrating what makes us different and unique, and acts as a channel for dialogue and interaction.

“As an open, inclusive, diverse, and multicultural organization, QF is once again delighted to support the Years of Culture program led by Qatar Museums, which has proved extremely successful in promoting Qatar to a global audience. The range of events and activities we are organizing during the Qatar-France Year of Culture 2020 aim to bring people from Qatar’s community and beyond together in an atmosphere of creativity, discovery, and friendship, where experiences can be shared and cross-cultural connections made.”

During the year, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra will also be performing two concerts of French chamber music; one featuring the work of Gabriel-Urbain Fauré and Claude Debussy at Qatar National Library on January 23, and the second, titled April in Paris, featuring pieces by Debussy and Maurice Ravel at the Museum of Islamic Art on April 9. A further concert by the orchestra, at Katara Opera House on February 29, will perform Ravel’s ballet Daphnis et Chloé.

The musical theme continues on March 5 at Katara Opera House, as the Paris Cultural Magnet Extraordinaire concert – taking place in partnership with QF member Qatar Music Academy – will see musicians provide glimpses of major musical events that took place in Paris from the 1830s to the midpoint of the 20th Century.

From March 24, QF member Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art will host the Gulf region’s first solo exhibition of the work of Yto Barrada, a French-Moroccan multimedia visual artist, as part of the Qatar France Year of Culture 2020. Barrada was born in Paris, and the exhibition will be launched at a special February event at the Palais de Tokyo in her home city, ahead of its official opening at Education City the following month.

Yto Barrada: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nougat, the exhibition will feature photography, video, sculptures, and art installations created between 2009 and 2019, and will be on display at Mathaf until August 26.

Meanwhile, the Mathaf collection of modern artworks will be showcased at the Palais de Tokyo – Europe’s largest contemporary art museum – from February 21 to May 17 through an exhibition titled Our World Is Burning, allowing visitors to explore the transformation of Middle Eastern society through the lens of art.

QF’s commitment to fostering dialogue and offering thought-leadership will also be reflected in its contribution to the Qatar-France Year of Culture 2020, with Dr. Amal Al-Malki, Founding Dean of QF member Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Dr. Khalid Fakhro, Director of the Precision Medicine Program at Sidra Medicine – also a QF member – participating in a multidisciplinary debate blending culture and science on January 30.

Under the theme Being Human, the event at Msheireb Museums in Doha will feature panelists from a range of different backgrounds, including Guillian Graves, a designer and teacher at Paris-based design school ENSCI-Les Ateliers.

And just as it formed part of the opening, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra will bring the curtain down on the cultural celebration in December with a closing concert led by French conductor Christophe Rousset.

Previous Years of Culture have seen Qatar strengthen its cultural ties with Japan, the UK, Brazil, Turkey, China, Germany, Russia, and India. Further exhibitions, programs, and events as part of the Qatar-France Year of Culture will be announced over the coming weeks and months, and more information is available at www.yearsofculture.qa.

Source: Press release