Exclusive: Qatar Philharmonic sheds 25 players

Exclusive: Qatar Philharmonic sheds 25 players


norman lebrecht

September 16, 2020

We are hearing that two dozen players have been dismissed by the sheikh-funded Gulf orchestra amid worsening financial conditions. The Philharmonic gives about 40 concerts a year and the players are mostly European.

Among those leaving are Daniel Edelhoff, Christoph Leroux, Kamil Musaev, Lilya and Alya Bekirova. Veronika Papai and Aniko Kovacs. We are trying to reach the players for confirmation.

From the website:
The orchestra was founded by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned in 2007. The orchestra of 101 musicians was chosen by a jury of international music professionals through auditions held in European and Arab countries. Selection criteria were driven by musician quality. The Philharmonic held its Inaugural Concert on October 30th, 2008, conducted by Lorin Maazel.



  • V. Lind says:

    *Selection criteria were driven by musician quality.*

    How old-fashioned. That orchestra is doomed.

    • Krispollux says:

      Check your sources before spreading rumours. And keep your venom. And if you intend to use my name you should ask first. And spell it properly.

      • Guest says:

        Oh sorry, please correct the information. Your name is spelled with an “e” on the end. So what part of the “venom” was incorrect? please correct. I’m sure it’s a terrible experience. I hope you and your family gets through this. Hopefully they won’t lay-off more of the orchestra to save money during these horrible times.

  • Sharon says:

    These classical orchestras are vanity projects for some Gulf sheikhs like Al-Missned and the late Omani sultan Qaboos.

    In Oman, Qaboos, a classical music lover who had spent a number of years of military academy, college, and graduate work in England and Europe, at one point had an Omani government radio station play nothing but western classical music. However the concerts of the orchestra were not heavily advertised in Oman and appear to have been primarily for tourists and those Omanis who already had some ties to classical music.

    When the money is low or the Sheikh or Sheikha move on to other interests the orchestra suffers.

  • John Borstlap says:

    In the background of the picture we see a visualisation of the beginning of the finale of Beethoven V.

  • MWnyc says:

    I do wish the Gulf’s wealthy monarchs would spend as much money and effort promoting the (sophisticated and often marvelous) art music of the Arab world as they do promoting European orchestral music.

  • Dave says:

    You mean to say that all those petro dollars can’t keep 25 musicians properly funded?