Syrian Expat Philharmonic OrchestraBelgian National OrchestraGhassan Alaboud director – Ivan Meylemans director – Lubana Al Quntar soprano – Kinan Azmeh clarinet – Jehad Jazbeh violin – Olsi Leka cello

Salaam Syria! In Arabic, salaam is not only a greeting but also the word for peace. So it is at once a welcome and a wish for peace. That is precisely the intent of this concert: on the eve of the commemoration of the 22 March 2016 attacks in Brussels, Klarafestival presents the Belgian debut of the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra. This orchestra project is made up of professional Syrian musicians. They live all over Europe, on the run from the protracted civil war in their native country. To commemorate 22 March 2016, the orchestra will be joining forces with the National Orchestra of Belgium. Together the two ensembles will be staging a unique concert in the spirit of reconciliation and solidarity. The programme features Giacomo Puccini alongside the Catalan Pablo Casals and a number of contemporary Syrian composers including Suad Bushnaq, Dia Succari and Kareem Roustom.