Hungarian composer returns to the Kingdom to perform, mentor Saudi students

Hungarian composer returns  to the Kingdom to perform,  mentor Saudi students
Hungarian composer and pianist Gergely Boganyi has dedicated his career to performing worldwide and passing on his knowledge through mentoring. (AFP)
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Updated 12 May 2022

Hungarian composer returns to the Kingdom to perform, mentor Saudi students

Hungarian composer returns  to the Kingdom to perform,  mentor Saudi students
  • Gergely Boganyi discusses his creative composing process and insights into the growing music industry in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Hungarian composer and pianist Gergely Boganyi has returned to Saudi Arabia, where he originally drew his inspiration to compose the 33-minute full orchestra symphony dedicated to AlUla.

“You know, it is easy to say that you like a place, and there are several places in the world that I like very much, but there was only one place that I was inspired by, to write a symphonic poem for a full-size orchestra and that was AlUla,” Boganyi said.

The musician and composer has dedicated his career to performing worldwide and passing on his knowledge through mentoring.

Visiting Arab News headquarters in Riyadh, Boganyi discussed his love for performing in the Kingdom, his creative composing process, and his insights into the growing music industry in Saudi Arabia.




Hungarian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Balázs Selmeci with composer and pianist Gergely Boganyi at Arab News headquarters in Riyadh. (AN photo by Lama Alhamawi)

Boganyi is also the inventor of the Boganyi piano, the style of which preserves the traditional integrity of the instrument’s structure but uses modern materials such as carbon fiber composite in the design.

Boganyi played his creation in the Kingdom during his first visit.

 

 

“It was absolutely amazing to come here with our new piano, to present the piano, and to play the first concert in the history of Saudi Arabia back in 2017, both in Riyadh and in Jeddah,” he said.

“It felt like I am a part of history … and I tried to be humble and responsible enough to fulfill this mission.”

On his first day back in Riyadh, the maestro performed a concert at the German Embassy, followed by a lecture and master class for pianists at the Saudi Music Commission.

 

 

“After the concert, I was listening to some of the Saudi students, which was an absolutely unique experience, a great action I would have never expected,” Boganyi expressed.

With the cultural and art sector in the Kingdom quickly expanding and empowering young talents, there is so much potential to be discovered.

“Our culture and our life in the world are usually somewhat overcooked sometimes. Therefore, I see a historical chance here where musical education has not been a part of hundreds of years of education,” he added.

When mentoring the Saudi students, the composer saw an “honest” and simple methodology to their performances.

“Well, it was a fantastic experience to see the dedication and the honest attitude of the Saudi students. I was really moved by it straight away,” Boganyi said.

He highlighted that with such talents and simplicity, there is an opportunity to develop something extraordinary in the Kingdom.

“I have seen great developments already since I have been here the last time (in 2019). There is a historic chance to direct musical and educational life in a really powerful way at this moment,” he said.




Gergely Boganyi (photo by Saad Alenzi)

On his visit to the Kingdom in 2019, Boganyi self-composed a symphony inspired by the beautiful landscapes of AlUla.

“I have visited AlUla, the historical place, city, and surroundings, and I was deeply moved by what I had seen,” he said.

Boganyi composed a symphony dedicated to the four elements of AlUla that he drew inspiration from — the land, flavors and smells, night sky and the rising sun.

“The smells, not only of the food and the coffee which I like very much, but the smell of nature as well,” he stated. “The night, which is silent in the desert, but still there is a mystical message within the silence because the silence is not a dead silence.”

Boganyi also shed light on his creative process.

“Composition is the most complex inspiration, which targets the audience in the first place. So, for example, for the AlUla symphony poem, I was trying to combine the Western musical culture with the Arabic musical flavor and present it in a musically understandable manner,” he said.

The composer aimed to create a “romantic movie approach” to the symphony that developed a spiritual connection to each person.

“The essence of the composition is through the soul of a person, so I need to be very open-minded, but also the soul must be open toward the people that are going to listen to it,” he explained.

The composer dedicated three months, day and night, to the 33-minute symphony.

 

 

“I am moved by the power of the scene, of the space and the sand and the dunes and the rock, and then the sun as well, and when it rises it is such an emotional moment, and the fourth movement is like the victory of the light over the darkness,” he said

The composer told Arab News that he was born into a musical family, so he took up the piano and other instruments quickly.

“We are four siblings, and we were all born within five years, so we are very close to each other, and we were all born into the music, so I don’t even remember when I started to play the piano,” Boganyi stated.

“Right away going to the piano and it had such an attraction that I couldn’t resist, and then it was the most natural thing that I became a musician,” he highlighted.

On Tuesday evening, he concluded his visit with his second performance in Riyadh, featuring music by some of the greatest composers, such as Chopin and Liszt.

When asked if he would make any future visits or performances to the Kingdom, he said: “As far as I am concerned, I am ready to come back next week.”


Japanese delegation completes training program in Saudi Arabia

Japanese delegation completes training program in Saudi Arabia
Updated 24 May 2022

Japanese delegation completes training program in Saudi Arabia

Japanese delegation completes training program in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A number of young Japanese diplomats completed a training program organized by Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies and Jouf University.

The program was part of an initiative aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Japan and included field visits, educational lectures, and tours in Riyadh and Jouf.

The Japanese diplomats visited a large number of public and private agencies including the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Shoura Council, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy and Planning, the Ministry of Culture, the headquarters of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Princess Noura bint Abdul Rahman University and the headquarters of Arab News.

They also attended lectures on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and its most important achievements since its launching.

The diplomats learned about Saudi Arabia’s energy sector and its future prospects, as well as the Kingdom’s efforts in combatting terrorism, and combatting financing extremism.

Jouf University organized lectures on pre-Islamic Arabic literature, and organized a distinguished touristic program to present the civilizational heritage of the region.

At the end of the training program, the Japanese delegation praised the economic, social and cultural achievements of Vision 2030, which has opened new horizons for economic diversification and income diversity, and rendered the Saudi economy a role model to achieve the objectives of sustainable development.

They also praised the beauty of the Jouf region and the touristic, archeological and historical landmarks that it includes.

The program organized by Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies to train Japanese diplomats was launched in 2015 based on a joint statement by Japan and Saudi Arabia on the occasion of the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Japan in 2014.

This story was originally published on Arab News Japan


Saudi deputy defense minister, US central command chief discuss defense coordination

Saudi deputy defense minister, US central command chief discuss defense coordination
Updated 24 May 2022

Saudi deputy defense minister, US central command chief discuss defense coordination

Saudi deputy defense minister, US central command chief discuss defense coordination
  • Prince Khalid visited the Central Command’s headquarters in Tampa, Florida, as part of the official visit to the US of his delegation, which began last Tuesday

RIYADH: Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister, on Monday met the commander of the US Central Command, General Michael Kurilla, to discuss developments in the Middle East.

“We discussed our joint defense coordination, addressing regional challenges, and stressed the need to work together on preserving regional and global stability,” Prince Khalid said on Twitter.

Prince Khalid visited the Central Command’s headquarters in Tampa, Florida, as part of the official visit to the US of his delegation, which began last Tuesday.

The CentCom’s area of responsibility covers the Middle East, including Egypt in Africa, and Central Asia and parts of South Asia.

On Sunday, Prince Khalid met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington during which they affirmed their countries’ common vision to confront Iran’s destabilizing policies in the region.

They also discussed the latest developments in Yemen, with Prince Khalid reaffirming Saudi Arabia’s aspirations for the Yemenis “to reach a comprehensive political solution that would move Yemen to peace and development.”

He said the UN and world organizations need “to put pressure on Houthi militias to open Taiz roads, deposit the revenues of Hodeidah port and engage seriously in peace efforts to move Yemen to security, stability, construction and prosperity.”
 


Saudi leaders congratulate new Australian PM on being sworn in

Saudi leaders congratulate new Australian PM on being sworn in
Updated 24 May 2022

Saudi leaders congratulate new Australian PM on being sworn in

Saudi leaders congratulate new Australian PM on being sworn in
  • Australia’s new prime minister was sworn in Monday and flew to Tokyo for a summit with US President Joe Biden

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman congratulated Anthony Albanese on his being sworn in as the new prime minister of Australia, the Saudi Press Agency reported early Tuesday.

In a cable, the king wished the prime minister success and the Australian people further progress and prosperity.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also sent a similar cable to Albanese.

Australia’s new prime minister was sworn in Monday and flew to Tokyo for a summit with US President Joe Biden while vote counting continued to determine whether he will control a majority in a Parliament that is demanding tougher action on climate change.

“I want to lead a government that has the same sentiment of optimism and hope that I think defines the Australian people,” Albanese said in his hometown of Sydney before flying to the national capital Canberra to be sworn in.

Albanese and Malaysian-born Penny Wong, Australia’s first foreign minister to be born overseas, were sworn into office by Governor-General David Hurley before the pair flew to Tokyo for a security summit on Tuesday with Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We will return (from Japan) on Wednesday and set about implementing our agenda, our agenda that received the endorsement of the Australian people,” Albanese said, highlighting items such as climate change, affordable child care and strengthening Medicare.

(With AP)


Saudi FM visits Misk Youth Council pavilion, Saudi Cafe at Davos

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan attends events on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. (SPA)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan attends events on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. (SPA)
Updated 24 May 2022

Saudi FM visits Misk Youth Council pavilion, Saudi Cafe at Davos

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan attends events on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. (SPA)

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan visited the Youth Council pavilion of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Misk Foundation, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
Prince Faisal also the Saudi Tourism Authority booth, during his participation in the World Economic Forum (Davos), in Switzerland.
The foreign minister was briefed on the youth dialogue sessions, with the aim of developing young people and enabling them to find creative solutions that seek to address future challenges facing the world.
He also toured the “Saudi Cafe” managed by the Saudi Tourism Authority, represented by the national tourism promotion of “Spirit of Saudi Arabia,” where Saudi coffee is served.
The initiative also includes presenting integrated information about tourism in the Kingdom, to raise awareness about the Kingdom as a tourist destination, for the participants in the Davos forum.


1,339 Houthi mines dismantled in Yemen

Since the beginning of the project, as many as 339,431 mines have been dismantled. (SPA)
Since the beginning of the project, as many as 339,431 mines have been dismantled. (SPA)
Updated 24 May 2022

1,339 Houthi mines dismantled in Yemen

Since the beginning of the project, as many as 339,431 mines have been dismantled. (SPA)
  • The project aims to assist the Yemeni people to effectively address the human tragedy caused by landmines, UXO and IEDs, create resilience within communities and empower them to take long-term responsibility

ADEN: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center’s Masam project during the third week of May dismantled 1,339 mines planted by the Houthi militia across Yemen.
It included 65 anti-personnel mines, 577 anti-tank mines, 692 unexploded ordnance and five explosive devices.
Since the beginning of the project, as many as 339,431 mines have been dismantled.
Saudi Arabia, represented by the center, seeks to use the project to clear Yemen of mines planted by the Houthi militia, which have caused deaths and injuries to innocent children, women and the elderly.
The project aims to assist the Yemeni people to effectively address the human tragedy caused by landmines, UXO and IEDs, create resilience within communities and empower them to take long-term responsibility.
Last week, Yemeni Minister of Information Muammar Al-Eryani said that the mines laid by the Houthi militia are preventing millions of people from returning to their homes, villages and farms to lead their normal lives.