The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians with special guests Damon Albarn and Mounir Troudi play the Phil, Getintothis’ Howard Doupé is here with the news.
They present an alternative vision of their country and culture, the performance will have special resonance on the day that celebrates Britain’s patron saint, St George, who may have come from Syria.
The event will highlight and celebrate the remarkable music culture of Syria, providing a more positive perspective than the tragic events currently seen in the news.
Performing both traditional Arabic music as well as contemporary compositions, the orchestra’s joyful performances have been lauded across Europe.
The Orchestra includes musicians forced to flee their country by civil war, most of whom now live in Britain. Their show is an expression of the irrepressibility of music, showing once again how culture can surpass politics and conflict to bring people together.
This special performance, commissioned by Liverpool’s own Rapid Response Unit, offers a fresh perspective on notions of national identity for St George’s Day. Members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will join the Syrian musicians alongside guest appearances from the charismatic Tunisian performer Mounir Troudi and songwriter and musician Damon Albarn.
The orchestra has collaborated with Albarn since 2008, performing on the Gorillaz’s White Flag and joining the group’s 2010 world tour. Two years ago Africa Express invited members of the Orchestra still in Syria and those in Europe to reunite for a tour of Europe that included opening the Glastonbury and Roskilde festivals and a show broadcast worldwide from London’s Royal Festival Hall by YouTube.
Mark Donne, Bureau Editor of RRU highlights the cultural significance of this night: “St George is of course the symbol of English nationalism, but he was also an immigrant, and remains the patron saint of England, Bulgaria, Palestine, Ethiopia, Greece and Lithuania. On the 23rd of April this truly multi-cultural city will come together in an unforgettable celebration of art, music and unity; of that I’ve absolutely no doubt.”
Michael Eakin, Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic had this to say: “Liverpool Philharmonic is honoured to be welcoming the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, Damon Albarn and Mounir Troudi to perform on St George’s Day. It is a perfect fit with our mission which is all about the power of music to transform lives, and to connect across cultural boundaries, and we are looking forward to a memorable night”
The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians with special guests Damon Albarn and Mounir Troudi play The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Monday April 23.