See all results

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

For the latest COVID-19 information and updates from Qatar Foundation, please visit our Statements page

Story | Community
26 March 2020

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘virtual’ performance drives home a coronavirus message


Musicians use famous symphony to encourage people to stay at home amid COVID-19 crisis

They’ve played at the United Nations, the Royal Albert Hall in London, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, but this might be one of the most important shows the musicians of Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra have ever performed – from their own homes.

The orchestra, a Qatar Foundation member, is using the power of music to send a message to people about the need to stay at home and help Qatar tackle the coronavirus crisis, through a video that shows its members performing the second movement from Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No.9 (From The New World), which was adapted into a song called Goin’ Home, in their living rooms.

With social distancing measures now in force due to COVID-19, the musicians are continuing to rehearse in their homes. And the video – posted on the orchestra’s social media channels with the hashtag #StayHome – aims to encourage people to follow health guidance and support Qatar in coming through coronavirus.

“We wanted to show people that, despite the current situation, the orchestra is still working, still rehearsing, and still preparing for the time when we can all come together again,” said Kurt Meister, Executive Director of Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

“We have hundreds of videos that our musicians have filmed of themselves rehearsing, and it was decided to create a film that sends a message to people about how, while we may be separated at the moment, we are still together.

“The New World Symphony, as it is known, is a very peaceful, relaxing piece of music that many people know. It’s one of the most famous melodies in music, and we hope people will enjoy it at a time when there is so much bad news and it is possible to feel a little lost. We have been surprised and delighted at the reaction it has already received, with so many positive responses.

“For our musicians, playing is like breathing, and just because we cannot rehearse together at the moment, we don’t stop working. They all want to make sure they are ready for when we can perform again, and I’m very proud of them.”

The video features 94 of the orchestra’s 95 musicians, with the only instrument not featured being the harp, which is not played on Dvorak’s famous symphony. Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra is currently scheduled to perform it at Katara Opera House on June 13, with a performance of Schubert’s Symphony No.4 planned for the same venue on June 6.

The orchestra also plans to soon release more videos of its musicians’ virtual rehearsals. You can view their home performance of the New World Symphony on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Related Stories