Yesterday at the Sheikha Al Mayassa Theatre in the Education City, in the presence of His Excellency Salah bin Ghanem Al-Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, amid a large public attendance and in a wonderful concert, a musical evening in tribute of Riyad Al-Sunbati was held that bore the name the “Holy Trilogy.” This was an evening organized by the Ministry of Culture and Sports and presented by the Centre of Music Affairs in cooperation with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and the participation of 30 musicians from Turkey.
The concert included a presentation of a new symphonic interpretation of the famous piece (Holy Trilogy) composed by the late Riyad Al-Sunbati. The audience enjoyed listening to the Trilogy, prepared and arranged into a new symphonic interpretation by the Turkish artist, Ismail Zafer Hasenidaroglu, led by the composer and music maestro, Orhan Salyil. The wonderful choice of Al-Sunbati to be presented in the awaited concert is due to his innovative project of Arab music during the historical phase in which he lived. In appreciation of Al-Sunbati’s musical effort, the Ministry of Culture organized this concert, which is not only a normal cultural activity, but an exceptional concert. Despite the fact that it includes a huge musical work for one of the prominent figures of Arab music, yet the music that the audience listened to was not only a reproduction of Al-Sunbati’s masterpiece, but a new approach and musical interpretation of this masterpiece, as if Al-Sunbati is the inspiration of the work. The Ministry of Culture intended to put contemporary touches in such a way that the masterpiece transgresses the historical phase during which it was composed, which makes it compatible with the rhythm of modern life in the twenty-first century. Therefore, this musical work is intended to express the unity of human values and to generate the concept that what human values share is much more than its differences, and that the human bond between all peoples of all ethnic and geographic differences is a fundamental one.
The Ministry of Culture’s eagerness to present this work is rooted in its belief in the ability of music to influence and express values and ideals, and its knowledge that music has a great impact on man, and also has an important role in society, and participates with other arts in sculpting the human personality, and holds values like justice and freedom, as it urges to work and the need to control time, and understanding the meaning of time. Music is a tributary of the arts that encourages man to transcend society, refines his personality and makes him active in his field of work and among his family and society.
Khaled Al-Salem, director of the Centre for Music Affairs, said: The Ministry of Culture is moving forward with its strategy to spread awareness among the community, by opening up to cultures and providing everything that improves public taste and all that contains positive messages.
He explained that the choice of Al-Sunbati’s masterpiece to be presented in this great concert falls within the framework of cooperation with international musicians who have new artistic interpretations of our immortal Arab works and within the endeavours that aim to renew Arab music and in appreciation of Al-Sunbati’s musical heritage.
The “Holy Trilogy” refers to the three cities: Makkah, Medina, and Baytul-Maqdis (Jerusalem(, These are holy places which played a civilizational and historical role in the lives of the peoples of the region and even the whole world, since the message that emanates from these cities is a human and global message. Accordingly, the anticipated musical work carries a human message for all peoples in order to spread peace and encourage humanity to build the fundamental bonds of brotherhood, love and rapprochement among people. This is a message that also affirms that human civilization is based on a strong bond of affection.
The Egyptian composer, Riyad Al-Sunbati, is considered one of the most prominent musician philosophers, and he had a great passion for classical Arabic music. He managed to bring together popular musical genres and modern methods in his authentic works. Riyad Al-Sunbati composed more than 500 songs and also advanced Arab classical music in an unprecedented way. In addition to that he had unique contributions, which remain a source of inspiration for millions of people all over the world.
Today, international institutions and organizations, including the UNESCO have classified many of his musical masterpieces as “treasures of Arab culture.”
In addition to his unparalleled artistic production, “Riyad Al-Sunbati” had unique talent and his performance on the oud was always distinctive. He became in 1979 the first Arab musician honoured by the UNESCO by awarding him the International Music Award as the best oud player. Moreover, many of his “Taqaseem” (solo improvisations on the oud) and performances remain a guiding light for oud players and musicians who are passionate about classical Arabic music.
The orchestra and composer Orhan Saliel, born in 1968, was born in a musical family. He devoted himself to a life of music. He learned to “compose” and play the “basson” and “piano” in Istanbul, and completed his studying of musical composition and musical leading in the Netherlands, and then worked on his studying of orchestral conducting as well as of operas and choirs in Finland.
In 1993 and 1994, he worked as a band leader and assistant art director for the “Kohmo Music Chamber Festival” in Finland. Since 1995, he started his career in Turkey by performing “Salome”, by Richard Strauss, at the Turkish Opera and Ballet without conducting any rehearsals prior to that performance. This brought him great success and he then became the conductor of the Turkish and the ballet’s orchestras for the following four years.
Then he became the founding conductor of the symphony orchestra of the “Bursa region” (1999-2011), then the musical conductor of the symphony orchestra of “the City of Antalya” (2011-2015). He is also the conductor and director of the Chicherova Symphony Orchestra.
Throughout his career, he assumed musical conducting of many symphony orchestras inside and outside Turkey in many countries.
This modern interpretation is arranged by the artist Ismail Zafer Hasenidaroglu, who is a musical composer, arranger and producer belonging to a family of an artistic background. He started playing the piano when he was three years old. After years of self-learning and at 14 he started taking special jazz courses under the supervision of prominent Turkish musician Derya Wiener.
At the age of seventeen, he began performing live as a pianist. He also focused on learning percussions and playing the acoustic guitar. Meanwhile, he had graduated from high school and received a certificate of appreciation for his exceptional contributions as a founding member of the music department and a leader of the school orchestra that managed to win awards under his leadership.
In 1990 his other talents in this field emerged, and he took the lead as the first musician to perform computer-assisted live performance in Turkey.
The first piece of music of his composition and arrangement was out in 1994, during his academic studies in the field of financial management. This musical masterpiece won the award for “Best Song of the Year”.
His career as a composer and music arranger spanned over 26 years, full of successes and collaborative works with many prominent jazz, rock and pop artists as well as prominent figures of classical music and Turkish folk music as well as well-known Balkan folklore, Gulf music and flamenco artists. These works also received many awards.
In addition to his professional career, he also participated in organizing prestigious entertainment events as a creative organizer.