Dana Al Fardan concert in Moscow, performed by members of the Russia Orchestra featuring guests from the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and the Qatari’s drummers performing Danas composition Fjiri; representing traditional Qatari sea base percussion uniquely fused in an orchestral blend.
The event, which was hosted by the Ambassador of Qatar to Russia H.E. Fahad bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, was also attended by high-ranking officials from partnering Year of Culture stakeholders including Qatar Museums, Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Airways along with the leading figures from the Russian cultural sector.
The Year of Culture programme, led by Qatar Museums, aims to build bridges between Qatar and Russia different cultures, thereby promoting mutual cultural understanding and appreciation between them, and helping people explore and appreciate their cultural similarities and differences.
2017 ended on a celebratory note for Dana when she was voted Woman of the Year by readers of Grazia Qatar. The award was given in recognition of her role in shaping a national narrative - her vision for a nation proud of its cultural heritage and potential future cultural offering and legacy. The award pays tribute to Dana's own musical talent, commitment and passion. All these elements have driven her determination to shine a spotlight on the burgeoning music scene here in Qatar through supporting the existing music initiatives in the country and contributing to the establishment of new infrastructure from the creation of Qatar's first and only record label to endorsing music education programmes and competitions for our next generation of talent.
Thanks to her most recent album release, Sandstorm, her appointment as the official composer to Qatar Airways, and to the overwhelming success of her debut London concert performing to a sold out audience at the prestigious Theatre Royal Haymarket, she is garnering incredible international acclaim. In a recent interview with Grazia, Dana says of the power of music, “Art is a compelling storyteller, a representation of human emotion, human development, of history, of the truth of people’s circumstances. It’s the most compelling and purest way to communicate with other cultures.”
Meet Dana Al Fardan, classical composer and founder of the first and only record label in Qatar, DNA records.
Earlier in September she performed her latest work ‘Sandstorm’ with the London Metropolitan Orchestra at The Theatre Royal Haymarket in London.. so I was intrigued to learn more about this (sold out) show, her influences and her experiences as an artist and business woman in the Middle East.
Is this the first time ‘Sandstorm’ has been performed live?
Actually, no, it had its debut at the Katara Opera House in Doha, performed by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. We then performed a selection of pieces from the work at the Cadogan Hall in London last year and the response was so warm we decided we had to come back to the UK! It was such a privilege to perform at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and the fact we eventually played to a full house and received such an incredible reaction, well, I’m wondering when I’m going to wake up from the dream!
When you were writing Sandstorm what were your main inspirational touchpoints – musically / personally –
I'm inspired from a blend of sources - my own cultural heritage is incredibly important to me, but so are the characteristics of the music, people and landscapes I have experienced around the world. Personally, becoming a mother was the most crucial moment in my musical evolution. It was when I discovered I was pregnant that I realised I had to be entirely true to myself and in that moment of self-evaluation, I realised that the only version of myself I could offer my daughter was as an artist and creator.
What in a word / or a couple (!) would you love an audience member to have felt when leaving your show?
I would love them to feel a connection to the music and to feel moved in some way..
Correct me if I am wrong, but am I right in thinking that you had written or thought about writing a musical …?
I am in the process of writing my first musical, yes. I can’t say too much about it now but I am working with an incredibly talented team on the show and we can’t wait to bring it to life for a London audience in the latter part of 2018..
Not only are you an artist, but you also started the first ever record label in Qatar? What prompted you to do this?
Even though Qatar's creativity community is growing at an impressively fast rate, the infrastructure of a western style music industry just doesn't exist. So, in order to produce and distribute my own work and that of other artists I believe in, creating a label seemed the best solution!
What would you like to accomplish with DNA?
We want to support emerging talent that deserves to be heard and to contribute to Qatar’s growing music industry. We want to work with collaborators in the UK, Europe and the States, and of course Doha.
Can you give us any insight about the Middle Eastern music landscape and any experiences/ difficulties you have faced ..?
Although I am the only female composer I know of in Qatar, there are many other Arab women composing music and writing songs such as Jordanian-born, half Syrian, half Bosnian-Palestinian Suad Bushnaq, and British-Lebanese Bushra El Turk, both doing brilliant work. So I consider myself privileged to stand amongst these international Arab women of immense talent, representing our culture across the world; this, to me, is one of the most exciting developments on the music landscape in my region.
I hope that I can use my own experience and the lessons I have learned to inspire young talents to express themselves. I believe passionately in the development of Qatar’s music and arts communities and industries whilst also recognising the vital importance of preserving the rich cultural legacy of our ancestors that has made us who we are today.
We are working together as a society to drive forward with incredible progress in these areas and it is my true belief that future generations will not face restrictions but, as I have been blessed with support and encouragement, so must they.
The concert entitled ‘Brave New World’ is a message of solidarity and a symbolic partnership between Italy and Qatar joining forces to support displaced Syrian families and children currently living in refugee camps in Jordan. The funds gathered through this event will be used to support the growth and sustainability of existing psycho-social education programmes for children and families currently living in refugee camps in Jordan, under the umbrella of the Italian NGO Vento di Terra. In addition to providing psychological support to help them overcome their trauma from the war, the centres will provide a wide variety of educational and creative activities. Education, hobbies and artistic activities can play a major role not only in the recovery process but also in bringing a sense of dignity to those refugee families trying to find shelter, a place to live and some semblance of a normal life again.
The concert will be staged at the Qatar National Convention Centre on FEbruary 1st, 2018. It already is receiving strong support from the local and global music community. Prestigious local artists such as Ali Abdulsattar and Fahad Al Kubaisi have embraced the project with their full commitment to the forthcoming concert. Moreover, the highly respected composer Dana Al Fardan has written and composed the song ‘Brave New World’, as a result of her collaboration with the Pavarotti Foundation. Nicoletta Mantovani, President & Founder of Luciano Pavarotti Foundation and wife of the late Italian Maestro showed her gratefulness to the Qatari composer: “Dana Al Fardan captured the emotions of this cause and the courage needed to pursue a new world - a brave one - into the lyrics in an exceptional manner. I would like to express my highest gratitude for her generosity, creativity and commitment to this fund raising concert”.
Additional international artists, musicians and performers have pledged their support and will be announced later this year.
DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Airways today named artist Dana Al Fardan, globally renowned composer and artist, as the official composer for Qatar Airways Group. This recognition caps a series of highly successful engagements, including the composition and 2016 performance of The Beginning for Hamad International Airport, its official theme song.
More recently, Ms. Al Fardan’s original composition, Art of Flight, is prominently featured in the airline’s new television commercial featuring the innovative and game-changing Qsuite – Qatar Airways’ new Business Class product that allows passengers to customise their experience on board. Parties of four can create their own cabin-within-a-cabin by lowering privacy panels and joining their Qsuites together. This product also features the first-ever double bed option in Business Class, all of which combine to bring elements of First Class to Business Class.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Ms. Al Fardan’s talent is well recognised around the world, and we at Qatar Airways are happy to provide another stage for her inspiring and beautiful music, and to pair it with our world-class service. At Qatar Airways, we look after the details in order to earn our best-in-class reputation.”
Qatari musician Dana AlFardan will be giving an opening performance at the concert.
Dana said, “I am excited to share a stage with regional star Hussain Al Jassmi. Shop Qatar’s entertainment schedule offers a great platform for enriching Qatar’s cultural offerings and sowing the seeds for more home-grown talent.” She added, “Culture and heritage cannot be separated from the artistic process and I am happy to see that it has a prominent role in the development of the country’s tourism sector.”
The concert come as part of Shop Qatar’s colourful live entertainment schedule, offering a rich array of cultural shows, performances and unlimited family-friendly entertainment.
Qatar Primary School Choir of the Year (QPSCoY) has announced Qatari composer Dana Al Fardan as its ambassador.
QPSCoY has also said that Dana has agreed to compose a short piece especially for this year’s competition, which will be sung by all choirs competing in the final.
The Qatar Primary School Choir of the Year competition was officially launched at the Shangri-La Hotel Doha in December 2016. Shangri-La Hotel is the official hotel partner for the competition and will host many of the heats and the final.
The committee of Qatar’s inaugural primary school singing competition met with Dana al-Fardan last week to discuss her new role as ambassador and were “thrilled with her positivity and commitment to the cause”.
Dana said: “I want children to grow up in an environment where they are taught about music. It means so much to me… We have so much talent in Qatar… Qatar should be a hub, a producer of talent which then radiates worldwide. I will do anything at all to help the competition.”
When speaking about the opportunity that the competition presents to school children in Qatar, she also reflected on choral events she attended as a child in Doha: “They were the highlight of our year, we all absolutely loved performing at them and were so excited to go.”
The album will be performed live in Doha for the first time with 2 new songs Lustre and Fjiri.
Lustre, a collaboration between solo violinist and prominent member of the QPO, Maias Alyamani, with Al Fardan writing the music and Alyamani arranging it.
"This song is a reference to the lustrous, silvery-white substance that is emitted from pearls and is also a nod to the Al Fardan family’s heritage and pearl trading background.
Dana's second new piece, Fijiri, is a traditional genre of music synonymous with pearl diving and this featured local Qatari drummers performing the rhythmic patterns characteristic of “Fijiri”, and a “nahham” chanting about the stories of the sea, alongside the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.
The event, also titled ‘The Beginning’, highlighted HIA’s journey over the years, including its official inauguration as well as the launch of the official music theme.
The music for ‘The Beginning’ was composed by Dana Alfardan, with the musical piece performed by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) in front of the iconic Lamp Bear at HIA as well as next to the airport’s runway.
During the event, a special video was also shown with footage of QPO performing ‘The Beginning’ at various locations around HIA.
Dana Alfardan has confirmed that through this exclusive partnership with HIA, ‘The Beginning’ will played around the whole airport including its lounges, lifts and the special video will also be shown on board as part of the in-flight entertainment on Qatar Airways flights.
Dana Al Fardan's latest album is finally out. After .....
Hamad International Airport (HIA) has hosted an Airport Stakeholders Appreciation Dinner this week to commemorate all airport partners and stakeholders who have been part of Qatar’s award-winning airport, which completed two years of operations last month.
HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti attended the event to present airport stakeholders and partners with appreciation certificates on behalf of HIA.
HIA staff and representatives from a number of airport stakeholders were present at the event, including representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, Qatar Tourism Authority, Qatar Museums, Ministry of Interior, Airport Immigration, General Authority of Customs, CID, Qatar Airways, Qatar Duty Free and Qatar Airways Cargo.
Al-Sulaiti said: “Hamad International Airport has achieved tremendous success since its opening and has made the country proud as the gateway into Qatar and to the rest of the world. I am happy the airport has organised this appreciation event to recognise all their partners who have played an integral role in the airport’s success.”
Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said: “Hamad International Airport is a major part of the Qatar Airways group. In a short period of time, the Qatar Airways hub became one of the main airports in the region and across the world, and a destination by itself. We extend our special thanks to the Ministry of Transport, all partners and stakeholders for presenting this good image of Qatar, and we look forward to more achievements.”
Badr Mohamed al-Meer, chief operating officer of HIA, said: “It is our honour to work alongside partners who have made our growth and success possible.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our airport stakeholders for their tireless efforts and constant support. We are proud and grateful for all that we have accomplished together - but this is only the beginning. We will reach greater heights together.”
HIA’s official theme music, ‘The Beginning’, was also exclusively revealed to guests. The music has been composed by Dana Alfardan, founder and CEO of DNA Records, an independent music label based in Doha and London.
The musical piece was performed by Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in front of the iconic Lamp Bear at HIA and beside the airport runway, and guests at the dinner became the first to view the new video.
HIA has been acknowledged as the “Best Airport in the Middle East” by the Skytrax World Airport Awards for 2015 and 2016, and is also the first in the Middle East to enter the world’s top 10 best airports in the Skytrax World Airport Ranking.
Guy Manoukian - Live in Concert
Featuring the music of Dana Al Fardan performed by artists from the Peace and Prosperity Trust.
A Night of Oriental & Western Fusion Music.
Back by popular demand, the British Lebanese Association is proud to present Guy Manoukian live in concert performing his greatest and a selection of new hits. The opening of the evening features the music of Dana Al Fardan, for the first time in London, performed by artists from the Peace and Prosperity Trust.