German musicians enthrall with captivating performance in Saudi Arabia

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Lea Maria Loffler on the harp while Myriam Ghani plays the flute at a concert in Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The New Year’s Concert of the German Consulate General hosted the musicians as a gift to the people of Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The New Year’s Concert of the German Consulate General hosted the musicians as a gift to the people of Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The New Year’s Concert of the German Consulate General hosted the musicians as a gift to the people of Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The New Year’s Concert of the German Consulate General hosted the musicians as a gift to the people of Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The New Year’s Concert of the German Consulate General hosted the musicians as a gift to the people of Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The New Year’s Concert of the German Consulate General hosted the musicians as a gift to the people of Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 07 January 2020

German musicians enthrall with captivating performance in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: A night of classical music performed by a German duo on Sunday enchanted guests in Jeddah, taking them on a full experience of the flute and harp, a first in the Kingdom’s coastal city.

The New Year’s Concert of the German Consulate General hosted the musicians as a gift to the people of Jeddah. Playing the harp was Lea Maria Loffler and the flute was played by Myriam Ghani.

Held under the stars, the young duo presented original works from classical greats such as Schumann, Ravel and Bach, adapting them to their instruments for the crowd in a perfect winter setting.

As the night went on, the crowd were transfixed by the beauty of the harp and flute combination, transporting them in time as they listened to Beethoven’s “Schone Minka,” Ravel’s “Vocalise-Etude en from de Habaera,” Christoph Gluck’s “Dance of the Blessed Spirits and Minuet” from the opera Orpheus and Eurydice, and Nino Rota’s title theme for the classic film “The Godfather” by Francis Ford Coppola.

German Consul General in Jeddah Holger Ziegeler was keen on bringing a taste of Germany’s finest musicians to Saudi
Arabia.

“I like to surprise my guests, I like to bring in something that is different, something that has never been heard before (live) in Saudi Arabia, or in my garden!” he told Arab News. “I don’t believe the harp has ever been (played) in Jeddah.

“What we’ve heard tonight is a very high standard of art. The music that was chosen will immediately enclose in your heart — you don’t need to attend a hundred concerts or understand music,” he said. “As a fan of classical music, the message we intended to send was that classical music is just as popular as modern music, and it transcends time.”

A member of the Cologne Chamber Orchestra and the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, it was Ghani’s first performance in the Kingdom, and she was delighted to “bring in new music, as it connects different cultures.”

“Musicians tell a story and I found that I was able to express that through the flute,” said Ghani. “I found my connection with it and it’s great to see how the audience connected with the sounds. After the concert, the audience was very curious to know more about the flute and how long I’ve been playing, it’s wonderful to see such inquisitive people.”

Discovering her love for the harp at the age of five, and performing her first public solo concerto with orchestra at age 12, Lea Maria Loffler granted the audience a fantastic performance. 

She told Arab News that it pleased her to see how the audience was able to feel the melodies. “The most important and rewarding thing about music is when you get on stage and you want to tell the story and connect with their emotions, you get to connect with the audience and imagine the tales told by the melodies,” she said.

“Music transcends time and boundaries, touching people’s hearts and minds.”


Saudi Arabia to extend visa validity for expats

Updated 08 April 2020

Saudi Arabia to extend visa validity for expats

  • The extension will continue for an additional three months for expats

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports will extend the validity of exit and return visas – that expire between Feb. 25 until May 24 of 2020 – at no charge, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.
The extension will continue for an additional three months for expats. The decision will cover residents of commercial and industrial professions in the Kingdom and those whose visas have not been used during the suspension of the entry and exit period.
The General Directorate of Passports said that the extension will be done automatically from the system without reviewing the passports.
People can enter their accounts on the “Absher” platform to view the service provided to them electronically, it added.