Times of Oman
Nov 30, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 03:22 AM GMT
GCC's first pipe organ makes its musical debut at ROHM
November 28, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Times News Service

The Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) will take audiences on a compelling and breathtaking journey when the harmonious sound of the new majestic pipe organ fills the air at the Royal Opera House Muscat Pipe Organ Recital on Monday, next week.

The magnificent musical wonder of the pipe organ will be unveiled at the concert to bring to light the surprising musical versatility of the majestic pipe organ.

Unrivalled in its potential for musical majesty, the pipe organ has earned its moniker as the 'King of Instruments'.

The ROHM organ, the first to be installed in an opera house in the gulf region, comprises more than 4,500 pipes, some of which are nearly 10m long.

The concert will feature the Budapest Symphony Orchestra (MAV) and five pipe organ soloists, including Jean Guillou, Isabelle Demers, Ian Hockley and Zuzana Ferjencikova.

Oman will be represented by soloist Rashid Salim bin Salim al Rashidy, a keyboard student at the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra who has achieved Grade 8 Passes with distinction in organ and piano. The program includes Bach's iconic Toccata & Fugue in D minor, as well as works by Puccini, Prokofiev, Mozart, Mussorgsky, Tschaikovsky and Händel.

In addition to the concert, a symposium will be held with local cultural and academic partners, to let invitees to share thoughts on the fascinating history of the instrument.

Four international experts will explain and demonstrate the history and function of the pipe organ. Prof Dr. Schmitt and Prof Schnorr will focus on the heritage and demonstrate music pieces. Philipp Klais, the creator of the ROHM pipe organ, will give insights into this specific instrument and how it was built especially for Oman.

This will be followed by Kaets demonstrating one of the most popular uses for the organ, showing a part of the Charlie Chaplin silent movie 'Goldrush'. The day will also feature a special appearance by ROHM acoustic designer Nicholas Edwards, who will give a short introduction to the organ's acoustic design.

Christina Scheppelmann, CEO of the Royal Opera House Muscat, commented: "The pipe organ was at the heart of the Opera House design and we wanted the introduction to this very unique instrument to be suitably grand. ROHM's pipe organ was built by the famous Pipe Organ builder Orgelbau Klais based in Bonn, Germany. As we have the musical debut of the instrument at the concert, we hope the Omani audience will enjoy and appreciate what this extraordinary and versatile instrument offers when the concert celebrates the majesty of the pipe organ. We are, in fact, proud to have this remarkable instrument in our opera house."

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