The Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture was officially inaugurated with joint concert by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) and the US Air Forces Central Band (AFCENT Band) at the Katara Cultural Village Opera House.
The event, hosted by Qatar Museums and the United States Embassy in Qatar, was attended by HE Chairperson of Qatar Museums Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, HE Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, HE Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United States Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, and HE Charge d'Affaires of United States Embassy in Qatar Greta C. Holtz. The concert marked the beginning of a year of specially curated exhibitions, festivals, bilateral exchanges, and events to be held in both nations.
The Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture is intended to enhance cultural and artistic exchange and exemplifies the renewed commitment of the two nations to foster mutual understanding and promote intercultural dialogue. The launch follows the signing of a cooperative agreement on September 14, 2020 between Qatar and the United States of America during the 2020 Qatar-United States Strategic Dialogue in Washington, D.C.
Excerpts from the 2021 Qatari American Cultural Year concert for #Qatar_Philharmonic_Orchestra at the #Opera_House at #Katara Building 16#QatarUSA2021@USEmbassyDoha@QatarEmbassyUSA#YourSafetyisMySafety#covid19#Qatar #Roadto2022 pic.twitter.com/sSovHUe00c— كتارا | Katara (@kataraqatar) January 16, 2021
Commenting on the concert, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani said,
"Music truly is a universal language, speaking directly to the heart, as we learned once again through this stirring inaugural concert for the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture," adding "We expect this Year of Culture to deepen the understanding between the people of our two nations, expressing our shared humanity and strengthening the already substantial ties between Qatar and the United States."
HE Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali said,
"It is important to nurture arts and culture as they play a key role in uplifting the values of human dignity based on freedom, justice and the acceptance of others regardless of their color, religion and ethnicity. Arts and culture assist in the continuous discovery and promotion of knowledge."
مقتطفات من حفل افتتاح السنة الثقافية القطرية الأمريكية 2021 في #دار_الأوبرا بـ #كتارا مبنى 16 #قطر_أمريكا2021— كتارا | Katara (@kataraqatar) January 15, 2021
A part of the opening ceremony of the Qatari-American Cultural Year 2021 at the #Opera_House at #Katara Building 16#QatarUSA2021@USEmbassyDoha@QatarEmbassyUSA pic.twitter.com/twS6i6KUGh
HE Charge d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Qatar Greta C. Holtz said,
"The Year of Culture program provides an extraordinary framework within which our two nations can come together to celebrate our longstanding relationship and forge new connections through people-to-people exchanges. Nothing could better symbolize the Year of Culture's spirit of harmony than this musical collaboration between the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and the US Air Forces Central Band."
Commenting on the opening, Head of Year of Culture Aisha Ghanem Al Attiya said,
"These beautiful performances by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and US Air Forces Central Band have given us our first experience of the rich and extensive slate of programs, exhibitions, and events planned over next twelve months, as our platform for new dialogues and bilateral exchanges."
"I am pleased to join our partner Qatar Museums today at the official launch of Qatar-USA Year of Culture 2021, and to announce ExxonMobil Qatar as its platinum sponsor," said Dominic Genetti, President and General Manager for ExxonMobil Qatar.
"As a US company and an active participant in the local community for over three decades, Qatar-USA Year of Culture 2021 is particularly important to us. It emphasizes the strong partnership between our people and our two countries that has extended beyond economics and grown into a true friendship and community," he added.
جانب من حفل افتتاح السنة الثقافية القطرية الأمريكية 2021 في #دار_الأوبرا بـ #كتارا مبنى 16 #قطر_أمريكا2021— كتارا | Katara (@kataraqatar) January 15, 2021
A part of the opening ceremony of the Qatari-American Cultural Year 2021 at the #Opera_House at #Katara Building 16#QatarUSA2021@USEmbassyDoha@QatarEmbassyUSA#Qatar pic.twitter.com/OrFmdobIdg
The concert was led by Joo Young Oh, the recently appointed Concertmaster of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, who performs internationally as a violin soloist and member of the New York Philharmonic. The program, which began with the national anthems of both countries, featured a variety of Qatari and American compositions.
The Year of Culture program was first launched in 2012 with Qatar-Japan 2012 followed by Qatar-UK 2013, Qatar-Brazil 2014, Qatar-Turkey 2015, Qatar-China 2016, Qatar-Germany 2017, Qatar-Russia 2018, Qatar-India 2019, and Qatar-France 2020.
Cover image: Katara
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