On Friday 27 April and Saturday 28 April two Saudi-German music events drew audiences of more than 1500 Saudi music lovers to the King Fahad Cultural Centre. Both concerts were presented by Cultural Activities, a General Culture Authority Initiative and organised in cooperation with the German Embassy in Riyadh. On 27 April a Saudi-German Jazz band, with two musicians from Saudi Arabia - Mr. Mohammad Mahmoud Hakeem and Mr. Sultan Abdulmohsin Alfard - and three musicians from Germany - Ms. Birgitta Flick, Mr. Max Andrzejewski, and Mr. James Banner - played free jazz improvisation on musical themes originating from Europe and Saudi Arabia. It is the first fusion concert of its kind in Saudi Arabia. The event at King Fahad Cultural Centre highlighted the benefits of bridging German and Saudi culture through the universal language of music explained His Excellency Mr. Dieter Haller, Ambassador of Germany to Saudi Arabia. “Music is an international, language and we listened to an extraordinary Saudi-German Jazz Fusion Concert. I would like to thank whole-heartedly the General Culture Authority and I hope this is the start of a successful future cooperation. The musicians have shown how much Saudis and Germans can achieve together and I would like to see this group performing also in Berlin,” he went on.
On Saturday 28 April the Cologne Academy Orchestra from the city of Cologne in the west of Germany under the conductor Michael Alexander Willens played works by the German composers Wagner, Beethoven and Brahms. After the romantic opening orchestral piece “Siegfried Idyll” by Richard Wagner, the concert aria “A Perfido” by Ludwig van Beethoven with soloist Johanna Winkel was received passionately by the audience. The evening concluded with Johannes Brahms’ Serenade N° 1, again a romantic orchestral piece. With 33 musicians, it is the largest German orchestra coming to Saudi Arabia so far and its visit reflects the thriving cultural exchange between Saudi Arabia and Germany. “I think we have seen that German and European music being played tonight in Riyadh opens a new page. It reflects the far-reaching transformation of the Saudi society in the course of the implementation of the vision 2030 and I hope we will see in the future more many more exchanges between musicians from Saudi Arabia and Germany”, said Ambassador Haller. The orchestra played on 29 April in Dammam while on 30 April the Jazz band will play at the Goethe Institute in Riyadh and the orchestra on the corniche in Jeddah.