Thursday, April 28, 2011

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra at Katara Cultural Village

Went to see the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra playing at Katara Cultural Village. One of the signature instruments used was the rababa.

The rababa (الربابة) is a type of string instrument so named no later than the 8th century and spread via Islamic trading routes over much of North Africa, the Middle East, parts of Europe, and the Far East. The bowed variety often has a spike at the bottom to rest on the ground, and is thus called a spike fiddle in certain areas, but there exist plucked versions like the kabuli rababa.  The rababa usually consists of a small, usually rounded body, the front of which is covered in a membrane such as parchment or sheepskin and has a long neck attached. There is a long thin neck with a pegbox at the end and there are one, two or three strings. There is no fingerboard. The instrument is held upright, either resting on the lap or on the floor. The bow is usually more curved than that of the violin.

"Arabic Riches to the World"
Concerto for Rababa and Orchestra
Marcel Khalife, composer
Nader Abbassi, conductor
Hassan Moataz El Molla, rababa

Katara Cultural Village
Drama Theatre, Building No. 16

The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra is the flagship orchestra for the State of Qatar and a leading professional ensemble in the Middle East. The orchestra is one of the centers of the Qatar Foundation, contributing to the Foundation’s goals of education, science and research, and community development. It was founded by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned in 2007.  The orchestra of 101 musicians was chosen from more than 3,000 applicants through auditions held in European and Arab countries. The best of them were chosen by a jury consisting of international music professionals. Selection criteria were driven by musician quality. The Philharmonic held its Inaugural Concert on October 30th, 2008, conducted by the world-renowned Maestro Lorin Maazel.

The ceiling of the theater sparkled like the night sky!


  1. that looks like fun too. I like going to philharmonic concerts

  2. I think that I saw Draco the Dragon in the ceiling!