at Katara’s Opera House comprising ministers, diplomats, music lovers and a number of other dignitaries.
The opening ceremony also heard an important announcement by Katara's General Manager HE Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti about the decision to open a special center for Oud in the premises of Katara Cultural Village.
" During the First Oud Festival last year, we promised to set up a special center for Oud. We have started work on the project and one of the buildings at Katara has been selected to host the center. Now we are working on deciding the structure and activities of the center before announcing it officially. The center will play an important role in promoting Oud instrument and preserving its rich cultural heritage," said Al Sulaiti in his opening address.
He said the Second Oud Festival was inspired by the success of the First edition of the Festival held in March last year.
This year's Festival is dedicated to renowned Islamic philosopher Abu Nasr Al Farabi (the Second Master), who is known for his important contributions to culture, philosophy and music. Al Farabi's Grand Book of Music and other works have greatly influenced Europe through translations, said Al Sulaiti.
"We hope you will enjoy the four-day Festival featuring renowned Oud players and Oud makers from across the globe," he added.
Commenting on the Festival earlier, Mohammed Al Marzouqi, Manager of the Festival said that the event offered a rare treat to music lovers and would play an important role in promoting art and culture in Qatar.
" Katara Oud Festival boasts an important place in the Arab and international musical map. It is considered a key platform for renowned Oud players and Oud makers in the Arab and Islamic world. The Festival provides a rare opportunity for exchange of expertise in Oud and for introducing innovative ideas in playing this stringed instrument," said Al Marzouqi.
The opening address was followed by screening of a short documentary film on the life and contributions of Al Farabi, with a special focus on the Oud. Mehmet Bitmez, a world-renowned Turkish musician, accompanied by popular band Istanbul Sazkar enthralled the audience through a special musical performance, dedicated to Al Farabi.
Famous Oud musicians Abdulazeez Al Haidous (Qatar), Mohammed Al Majri (Tunisia), Negar Bouban (Iran), Beraber (Greece), Amir Haddad ( Spain) also performed in the opening ceremony.
Earlier on the day, an Indonesian team performed at Al Farabi theatre set up in the Amphitheatre boulevard. Musicians from Indonesia, Malaysia and Mauritania will perform at the same venue in the remaining days from 4pm.
Opera House will see daily performances by renowned Oud musicians and bands from 8pm. Famous Oud makers from Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria and Greece are introducing their instruments at kiosks across the Al Masrah street near the Amphitheatre.
Lectures and workshops on Oud will take place in the afternoon at Building No 19 over the next three days. Some of the most ancient and most modern Oud instruments are on display in the same building, which also houses the Festival Majlis.
The four-day Festival will conclude on Sunday with a grand musical treat involving all the participating musicians. More than 80 Oud players and Oud makers from across the globe are attending the Festival.