‘East Meets West’ in BMG Foundation’s digital concert

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Representing the G20 group of nations, 20 musicians from the Nova Orchester Wien came together to play a concert of Eastern and Western music. (Supplied)
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Representing the G20 group of nations, 20 musicians from the Nova Orchester Wien came together to play a concert of Eastern and Western music. (Supplied)
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Representing the G20 group of nations, 20 musicians from the Nova Orchester Wien came together to play a concert of Eastern and Western music. (Supplied)
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Updated 10 August 2020

‘East Meets West’ in BMG Foundation’s digital concert

  • The program featured the young Saudi musician Albara Banoun, who played his traditional Arabian oud to accompany the contemporary compositions
  • Under the direction of William Garfield Walker, the ensemble performed in a music hall where Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler have presented their masterpieces

Following its tradition of holding charitable summer retreats in London for more than 25 years, this year — in wake of the global pandemic — BMG Foundation, the CSR and cultural arm of BMG Financial Group, united international musicians in the BMG Economic Forum’s new digital format.
Representing the G20 group of nations, 20 musicians from the Nova Orchester Wien came together to play a concert of Eastern and Western music, led by William Garfield Walker, an award-winning American conductor based in Vienna. The special commission featured Syrian-Argentinian composer Diego Collatti, synthesizing traditional Arabic music and Western music in the classical tradition, in homage to Saudi Arabia, which currently holds the G20 presidency.
This concert took place on July 15 in a live broadcast highlighting the end of the BMG Economic Forum, at an iconic musical hall in Vienna, the Ehrbar Saal. In “East Meets West,” the audience enjoyed listening to music inspired by traditional songs from Saudi Arabia, such as My Beloved Country, Long Live Salman and You Are King. The program, performed by an orchestral formation representing the G20 countries, included the young Saudi musician Albara Banoun, who played his traditional Arabian oud to accompany the contemporary compositions.
Under the direction of Walker, the group performed both modern and classical pieces in a music hall where Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler, among many others have presented their masterpieces and Steinway got his start.
Prince Abdullah bin Khaled bin Sultan, Saudi ambassador to Austria, attended the concert alongside guests from the Saudi Embassy in Vienna. Prince Abdullah said that he was pleased to see the collaboration between Saudi musicians and other participants from the G20 countries, and hoped that the platform is used to further promote Saudi heritage on a global stage.
The concert ended with the perfectly performed Serenade for Strings by Tchaikovsky, in which the composer started out with a nod to Mozart.
BMG Foundation has been building bridges between the East and West via sports, music and art for more than 25 years. In a world that constantly reminds us of what sets us apart, the vision of BMG Foundation is to transcend differences through the mutual language of culture.


Middle East’s top 50 workplaces revealed

Updated 26 September 2020

Middle East’s top 50 workplaces revealed

SAS has, for the second consecu- tive time, been officially recog- nized as one of the Middle East’s best workplaces for 2020, by global workplace culture authority Great Place to Work Middle East. Taking place for the first time in the region, Great Place To Work recognized 50 organizations in the Middle East.

The recognition is based on SAS’ adoption of a workplace ethos that focuses on employee engagement and empowerment. This com- mitment is demonstrated by SAS’ continued investment in modern collaborative workspaces and at- tractive employee benefits.

SAS’ corporate principles embrace the right mix of innovation, creativity, inclusivity and work/ life balance to create a work environment that motivates employees toward cementing the company’s status as a leader in analytics.

Shukri Dabaghi, regional vice president, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, SAS, said: “We are honored to be named one of the Great Places to Work in the region, ratifying that our talented employees feel supported and challenged to reach their full potential. The ranking confirms our continuous effort and focus on cultivating an organizational culture that emboldens and motivates creativity and fosters a collaborative work environment where our employees can learn, grow, and prosper.”

All certified organizations were considered for the list, but the 50 best workplaces were selected by focusing on the Trust Index survey averages, along with the number of countries where the organization is certified in the Middle East and local population.

Ibrahim Mougharbel, managing director, Great Place to Work UAE, said: “We are very proud to be launching for the first time in the region the Middle East’s top 50 best workplaces, and in line with our 2020 strategy of recognizing organizations across the region that sustain a high trust, high performing culture for employees; our objective remains to evolve the work culture in the Middle East countries and the GCC by offering insights to leaders in order to make data-driven people decisions.” “Rebuilding mutual trust and creating an innovative, positive and happy workplace in these challenging times should be at the top of the agenda for organizations; being a great workplace helps GCC entities quantify their culture and produce better business results,” said Tanzeel Rahman, managing director, Great Place to Work Saudi Arabia.

Mazen Harb, managing director, Great Place To Work Middle East, said: “To be considered in the list, organizations had to meet the Great Place to Work-Certified standard with a minimum score of 85 percent based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and ability to reach their full potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do, along with the number of countries where the orga-nization is certified in the Middle East and local population.”