A band from St Petersburg captivates hearts in Oman

T-Mag Thursday 23/May/2024 14:31 PM
By: Times News Service
A band from St Petersburg captivates hearts in Oman

Muscat – The renowned Saint Petersburg ensemble Quintet of Four has concluded a series of concerts in Oman, treating audiences to unforgettable performances filled with vibrant music, dynamic dances, and heartfelt warmth. Over four days, the group performed at various venues across the country, including the Spring Festival at Al Mouj Muscat, attended by over 16,000 people.

The ensemble also took part in a Victory Day celebration organized by the Russian-speaking community and the Russian Embassy. They further performed for the representatives of diplomatic missions at the Muscat Diplomatic Club during a special concert featuring both classical and contemporary pieces played on traditional Russian instruments.

"'Music speaks a universal language,' says Igor Egorov, head of the Russian community in Oman. 'Cultural exchanges like the Quintet of Four’s visit play a significant role in strengthening friendship and understanding between our peoples. As we approach the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Oman and Russia, we can expect even more collaborative humanitarian initiatives.'"

"Al Mouj Muscat is a place where all cultures come together, and hosting the festival that showcased this beautifully," says Nasser Al Sheibani, CEO of Al Mouj. "The performances, interactive engagements, workshops, and marketplace buzzed with energy and excitement. The tremendous attendance and positive feedback solidified the success of the event, leaving a lasting impression on all who attended."

Weaving together Russian folk traditions with modern influences, as well as European and Arab cultures, the Saint Petersburg troupe presented captivating works.

The Spring Festival pulsed with interactive energy, transforming attendees from spectators into active participants. Guests eagerly embraced Russian culture through hands-on experiences: learning traditional games, mastering folk instruments in workshops, and even joining in lively dance interactions like the iconic round dance and flowing stream dance.

Creativity blossomed as visitors painted vibrant designs on matryoshka dolls, while skilled artists adorned hands with henna and face painting patterns inspired by Russian motifs.

At the festival's marketplace, Russian businesses in Oman presented their products and services, featuring tastings of traditional dishes.

A photo area with traditional Russian costumes and kokoshniki, the jeweled headpieces, was a big hit with the guests.

The Quintet of Four transcends the boundaries of a typical ensemble. They are a true phenomenon in Russian folk music. Their programs showcase a masterful fusion of traditional melodies with modern genres like jazz, drum and bass, dubstep, funk, swing, and more.

Their concerts became a sensation in Oman, with audiences enthusiastically receiving each performance and clamoring for more after every song. This diverse audience, reflecting Oman's multicultural population with nearly half being foreign citizens, actively participated in the interactive activities, attracting attendees from neighboring Arab countries, India, Pakistan, Iran, Africa, and beyond.

The successful series of concerts in Oman resulted from a productive collaboration between the Saint Petersburg Committee for External Relations, the Russian House in Oman, the Russian Embassy in Oman, the Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots (CCORC), and Al Mouj Muscat.

Based in Saint Petersburg, Russia's cultural heart and birthplace of the concert balalaika instrument. Quintet of Four is a progressive ensemble of performers on Russian folk instruments. It is the only ensemble in Russia that masters jazz improvisation on the balalaika, bayan (accordion) , bass domra, and contrabass balalaika.

Cultural and business cooperation between Saint Petersburg and Oman is currently actively developing. Over the years, joint projects have been implemented by the State Hermitage Museum and the National Museum of the Sultanate of Oman.

Oman will also be the guest country at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2024.