Ali Abdulla Al Afeefi |
April 01, 2011
Maxim Beloserkovsky and Irina Dvorovenko, principal dancers at the American Ballet Theatre, perform at Emirates Palace together with artists from the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky.
Always searching ‘the best’ and ‘the new’
| By Reem Mohammed Al Meqbali |
March 29, 2011
Reem Al Meqbali interviews the innovative Lebanese composer Oussama Rahbani before his Abu Dhabi Festival performance.
|Photo by Mohammed Farah |
On Tuesday March 29, 2011, Zaha Hadid
Pavilion hosted ‘An
evening with Oussama Rahbani’ – the last of the series of cultural events held
in the Pavilion as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival. The evening brought together the
innovative Lebanese composer Oussama Rahbani, playing the piano, and the
soprano Hiba Tawaji and baritone Wadih Abi Raad. Rahbani’s introduction and
explanation of each musical piece heightened the audience’s appreciation of the
singers and enhanced a fantastic atmosphere.
Before the concert, I had the
chance to meet Oussama Rahbani and to ask him a few questions.
RM: Could you summarise your
approach to your career?
OR: Life is hard,
there is a lot of anxiety, but I always look for the opportunity to create
something new, different and better than what I did before. I believe that one
has to leave everything behind before taking one step forward. And if success
is finally achieved, people should not dwell on it, but should forget about it
and look forward to the next challenge. One should always be on the look out
for the best and the new.
RM: How do you feel when you
play the piano?
OR: There is no certain feeling, but a pianist
must be very focused when he is playing
and when he plays with another artist he must focus on him or her
too, so that both of them give
their best to the audience. However, if a musician is performing on his own, he must isolate himself so that he can focus on
playing. Think, for example, of a warrior in a battle -
he never stops and thinks – ‘should I attack now or not’, because if he does
that he is wasting time and risks getting hurt. I feel
like that when I am playing the piano. If I need to think about my performance,
I must do this before I start playing.
RM: What did you learn from
your father Mansour Rahbani?
OR: I certainly
learned a lot from him. I learned about art, in general, about dealing with
people, about nobility and culture. He always said that in order to be a great
artist one must be an avid reader of books - books on religion, history, geography, psychology, poetry
and literature. An artist who is a poor reader will always be a limited artist.
RM: How does a pianist become skilful?
discipline and learning from a great teacher.
RM: As it is the first time you
will perform at the Abu Dhabi Festival, what do you think of the event?
OR: I salute those
who have worked on this Festival, because in order to cultivate heritage and
traditions, we need to pay more attention to culture, to music and art
originating from different parts of the world.
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