Alma Chamber Orchestra Concert pour la paix

Durban concert for peace, unity and tolerance on April 23th 2015

A unique collaboration between Paris-based Alma Chamber Orchestra and KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO) will use the power of music to help unite citizens of Africa, in a concert that will raise funds for victims of xenophobic attacks.

This performance is the second of three in the concert series, and takes place on Thursday 23 April 2015 at Durban’s City Hall, which is home to one of South Africa’s leading orchestras, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO). Presented by The Ichikowitz Family Foundation and The Alma Nostra Foundation in Paris, the concert will feature the collaboration between KZNPO and 49-piece Alma Chamber Orchestra, as well as performances by solo violinist Anne Gravoin, Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire and conductor Lionel Bringuier.

The Durban programme pays homage to those suffering during the recent spate of xenophobic attacks across the country, and will include works that bring the message of a common humanity across to the masses.

As part of the nation’s outreach initiatives, The Ichikowitz Family Foundation have pledged to donate proceeds from the Durban concert in support of relief aid for victims of xenophobia.

Chairman of the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, Ivor Ichikowitz says: “The liberation struggle in South Africa would not have been possible without the sacrifices of all our neighbours. The resolution of the highly complex differences that we had in South Africa came about due to dialogue and because of people finding each other. Music is one of many ways that our Foundation is helping to create conversations and we are very privileged to bring together these amazing performers to convey a message of peace and unity on such a historic occasion.”

“We are moved by the commitment of the Ichikowitz Family Foundation and the Alma Nostra Foundation on this project, and believe that now is the time to find ways ways to remind people of the idea of oneness. What better way to deliver a powerful message than through music, which is an equally powerful medium,” adds CEO of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bongani Tembe.

To continue with the community outreach programme, on Friday 24 April 2015, members of The Alma Chamber Orchestra will host masterclasses with young musicians from Umlazi and surrounds at Umlazi Secondary School. This is aimed at facilitating collaborative education, inspiring and engaging with a new generation of musical talent. Umlazi Secondary School, one of the oldest schools in the township, is one of the few community schools that introduced music as a subject more than 10 years ago.

In addition, special workshops, run by the Artistic Director and world-renowned solo violinist Anne Gravoin will also be conducted for the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s National Cadetship Programme. The workshops will present diverse musical excerpts – from symphonic masterpieces to intimate chamber works. Through the workshop the KZNPO aims to address the limited representation of and increasing demand for local artists in the pool of present and future full-time musicians in our country's orchestras by equipping very talented young musicians with the tools to meet requirements of a professional orchestra career.

The Alma Chamber Orchestra’s tour to South Africa, in the spirit of unity, has also launched the European Union’s Europefest 2015 programme where European Embassies have gathered their cultural events together during the month of May under one umbrella. Their vision is to celebrate cultural diversity.

The final ‘World Tour for Unity’ concert in Soweto on Saturday 25 April will see the Alma Chamber Orchestra share a stage with internationally-renowned, Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble at the Regina Mundi Church at 15h00.

© Gilly Hemphill 
The Famous Idea

The Alma Chamber Orchestra will perform at the Opera House - Katara on March 30th 2015

Under the high patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage of the State of Qatar, Dr Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, The Alma Chamber Orchestra will perform at the Opera House - Katara.

After the Maghreb and Europe, the Alma Chamber Orchestra continues its prodigious international tour, to support music and peace from one continent to another, by performing in Qatar a unique concert on Monday, March 30, 2015 at 8:00 PM at the Opera House.

Under the baton of young and brilliant conductor Lionel Bringuier and the bow of artistic director Anne Gravoin, violin solo, the Alma Chamber Orchestra with its fifty musicians will feature as soloist the flutist Vincent Lucas.

With music open to the world, to each and every culture, repertoire and generation, the Alma Chamber Orchestra will play for the first time in Qatar the work of the talented Qatari composer Wael Binali: “Earth”. “It is an immense pride to be able to introduce my compositions to Qatar, especially those bearing a message of hope, with an orchestra as renowned as the Alma Chamber Orchestra": points out Qatari composer Wael Binali.

Conductor Lionel Bringuier, welcomes tour in Qatar: "Classical music inspires to a New World and brings to the front stage a message of peace and brotherhood”.
For Anne Gravoin, “the unique goal, for the Alma Chamber Orchestra, is to bring a message of peace with the excellence of the orchestra”.

Programme :

Beethoven - Egmont Ouverture
Mozart – Flute Concerto No 1 in G Major (K.313) with flute soloist Vincent Lucas
Wael Binali - Earth
Mendelssohn - Symphony No 4

© French Embassy in Doha

French orchestra performs musical diplomacy in Algiers on February 17th 2015

France's Alma Chamber Orchestra played the Radio Algeria auditorium on Tuesday under conductor Lionel Bringuier and the artistic direction of lead violinist Anne Gravoin, the wife of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

It was the first time the orchestra played in Algiers since its creation two years ago.

"It's a coming together. People can unite around music, listen to the same music together, and each person can experience it in a different way. That's why we make music. We'll give it our all for everything we play this evening," Gravoin said.

It was a first trip to Algeria for Lionel Bringuier, the orchestra's youthful conductor.

"I'm very happy and honoured to be here," Bringuier said. "It's the first time I've come to Algeria. And we played tonight in front of the Algerian public, live on radio – so the whole country can listen to us, even online."

Along with concert staples like Mozart and Beethoven, the Alma Chamber Orchestra played an Algerian piece.

"This has been a special moment," said Algeria's Culture Minister Nadia Labidi. "The orchestra has played us some of the greatest symphonies in classical music. It was a surprise to hear an Algerian score played, and I'm very happy with the performance. This kind of event allows French and Algerian musicians to come together."

© France 24
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