August 10, 2013
Warm greetings from Palestine.
A brief note re our Concert at the proms, Royal Albert Hall, London
Sorry I have no photos to share, hopefully later ( P.s , August 23 watch the Concert on BBC TV Four)
The concert was indeed a major event, packed over 5000 , in the middle of the hall, a big ring area facing the stage, the place for the standing tickets, last minute,, maybe 400 standing for 1 hr 45 min,
The kids were very well received when they came on stage, applause! Radio 3 Aired the concert live, and the presenter introduced the Concert on stage and said a few words about Conservatory, he give good information and introduced the Palestine Strings, ages 13 to 22 yrs, bug applause.
Nigel is very good at putting them at ease, they relax and give their best, the concert master, English woman violinist, worked with them and thinks the world of them, in fact with rehearsals in PAL, and then in London with Nigel, they really have come a long way, as they grew up in a short period.
The improvisation s which Nigel introduces, in between the Vivaldi Sections adds vivacity to the whole. . Making the performance more interesting, full of surprises and creative, sometimes it’s jazz and then Arabic music improvisations, only Nigel dares to play around classical pieces in this manner. He is very playful and communicative on stage with the musicians and the audience. But it is planned in his head, it is this side of his personality that attracts people, free and unpredictable!
At one point he said something to this effect, addressing the audience ” in this beautiful Albert Hall, all here want equality for all people, but some still are under apartheid” or ” even under apartheid, see what these young people can produce.” Applause. I think with one comment from the audience “bullshit” ? I am sure he would have wanted to say much more, but this is a BBC festival, and the message to us was clear, no politics!
At the very end long applause, and three big PAL flags appeared from the middle ring with the standing group, three ,next to each other, raised high! I hope we will have a photo of this.
This Concert came about after Nigel’s visit to PAL last year,, invited to perform at a Jerusalem music festival, he met the PAL Strings, and promised to bring them to London, and proposed this Concert to the BBC, who supported it and were very cooperative and appreciative.
Indeed this happening at the Royal Albert Hall is a milestone in the mission of the Conservatory in Palestine, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and a milestone in the professional training of our youth, and for this we are indebted to Nigel.
We hope this Concert wil travel to other countries in the near future.
Please visit the links below:
lena Saleh – Board Member
Mohammed A’war – Director of Fundraising & Development