News Date:Wednesday, 22 March 2017
The curtain came down on the first edition of The Fifth String Festival on Tuesday, the 21st of March, in the presence of a large gathering of media personnel, musicians, and audiences from all walks of life.
The festival which kicked off on the 18th of March, witnessed the participation of fourteen renowned musicians whose performances held the audiences spell-bound.
The festival's finale presented performances by maestros such as Mohamed Al-Sulaiti from Qatar, Mehmet Bitmez from Turkey, Arten Elyaz from Kosovo, and finally, the much-awaited dual performances of Abbadi Al-Jawher from Saudi Arabia and Ahmad Fathi from Yemen.
The finale also witnessed performances by Al-Salam Group from Tanzania. The Hejaz Kar Group from France too, took centre stage at Katara's Amphitheatre.
Monday, the 20th of March, saw audiences enjoy solo and group performances by musicians representing Iraq, Syria, Turkey and France.
The organizers of the event had made-arrangements for an array of events that were guaranteed to please all music lovers. These included concerts at Katara's Opera House, Ziryab's theatre and an Oud exhibition. These events featured performances by Arab musicians including famous names such as Khalid Al-Shaikh from Bahrain, Dr. Ibrahim Tami from Kuwait, Salem Al-Meqarshi from Oman, Ehab Mohammed from Saudi Arabia, to name a few.
On the side, five stages had been set up at the Cultural Village premises, where groups of skilled Oud makers presented their unique oud-making techniques, providing visitors a chance to interact with them. The craftsmen, called oud luthiers, were from Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria and Germany.
The Festival's Manager, Mr. Mohamed Abdullah Al-Marzooqi, awarded all the participants with an oud-like figure as a memorable souvenir for their outstanding performances and participations throughout the Fifth String Festival.
While the festival drew in a-large-number of enthusiasts, it also served to highlight the position and value of the Oud, in Arab history and culture. Through seminars and exhibitions; the event created an opportunity to discuss the technical and scientific methods most suited to the Oud industry. Discussions touched on the various styles popular in playing and performing the instrument.
The festival's tremendous success reflects Katara's efforts in promoting artists from both the east and west, by providing a world-class platform to display their talents. The Fifth String festival successfully brought together some of the best musicians from Oud schools, bands and groups across the world, to bridge the cultural divide through the medium of music.
The festival, which proved popular amongst the residents of the country, was given detailed coverage by media companies such as Qatar TV and Sout Al-Khaleej.