Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra selling out shows in Germany

The 65 members of the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra were all forced to flee to Europe because of the civil war in their country which has been raging for five years. But they are determined to share their music with audiences and display a positive side to a country that only recently had a reputation as being one of the most cultured in the Arab world.

Konzerthaus
The Konzerthaus Berlin, where the orchestra played. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The orchestra was founded last year in Germany by bassist Raed Jazbeh. It now includes musicians from other countries, such as soprano Rasha Rizk who lives in Paris. Many of the orchestra’s members studied at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus.

“I feel that it is my responsibility as a musician to present our culture, our music and show that we can be together in peace in Europe,” commented Mohamad Fityan, who plays the Ney, a traditional Middle Eastern flute. To this end, the orchestra’s programme last Sunday at Konzerthaus Berlin consisted of works by Syrian composers.

The orchestra has played concerts around Germany and soon plans  a tour to Sweden.

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