JEDDAH: Lebanese composer and pianist Michel Fadel entertained his Saudi fans with a two-hour performance at Juman Park on Thursday.
This was the second concert for a famous Arab pianist to be held at Juman Park in the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). The first, for the well-known musician Omar Khairat, was in March.
Michel Fadel told Arab News afterward: “I am so glad and proud to be here tonight in Jeddah; I feel like it is the first concert ever in my life. Everyone was asking me ‘what are you going to do in Saudi Arabia, is it true that concerts are possible there?’ The audience was awesome and people here were really enjoying it.”
Fadel performed a number of songs by legends of Arabic and international music, such as Umm Kulthum, Fairuz and Andrea Bocelli.
Afnan Al-Najjar, a Saudi housewife, said: “I really enjoyed this classy, well-organized night.”
Faris Eskandarany, a project manager at KAEC, told Arab News: “This is not my first time attending a concert in Jeddah, as the first was for the great musician Omar Khairat. But what attracted me to today’s concert was that we are from the same generation and I used to see him on Star Academy on TV, but I never had the chance to attend any of his shows. So, it is a wonderful chance to have him here today.”
Fadel has been playing the piano since the age of three. He received his master’s degree in piano from the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music in 1998.
He studied musical composition and orchestra leadership in France at the Bologna Conservatory. In 2000, he took part in the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood as an instrumentalist composer and won first prize in this category.
Fadel has worked with singers such as Elissa, Nancy Ajram, Carole Samaha, Nawal Al-Zoghbi, Ziad Botros, Adam and Nabil Shuail. He has played the piano at the concerts of Fairuz, Magda El-Roumi and Julia Boutros and has written soundtracks for several series, films and advertisements.
The concert was sponsored by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and E Plus, a Saudi entertainment company under the Okaz umbrella of companies that specializes in creating new events and concepts, and organizes international shows.
GEA has announced three similar concerts to be held by the end of the year for music legends Yanni, Khadim Al-Saher and Balqees.