Qatar Germany 2017

Interview with David Niemann

Awardwinning and lauded German conductor David has conducted the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra for the opening concert of Qatar Germany 2017. David Niemann is rapidly emerging as one of the most promising conductors of his generation. We have asked him three questions on his work with the orchestra in Doha.

For the opening concert of Qatar Germany 2017 you were conducting a program of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra consisting of Qatari contemporary compositions and classical German pieces. How do you perceive the work with the orchestra in Doha and with the Qatari composers?

It was a real pleasure to work on a Qatari-German program with the orchestra. For musicians it is always a challenge to combine pieces of such different musical traditions in one program and to change into the respective “cosmos“ and “language” of the specific pieces harmoniously. Fortunately, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra is able to feel the respective aesthetics properly as the musicians are used to play music from both musical „worlds“ – the Arabic and the German.

A special inducement is of course to perform a piece in the presence of its composer and to work with him or her during the rehearsing period. How many questions would I love to ask Beethoven regarding his pieces! It is very precious for a conductor to have this direct connection to the composers and to be able to discuss their pieces with them.

This hasn’t been your first stay in Doha. You have been working with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra before. How did this stay differ from former projects with the orchestra?

It is always a great pleasure to come to Qatar and to work with this orchestra. Working with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra has always a very familial atmosphere which is maybe due to its members who come together far away from their home countries. Each time I come to Doha I get to know this musical family a little bit more, personally as well as musically. And each time I am mesmerized by the potential of the orchestra and the quality of its members. The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra is indeed a cultural treasure for Qatar and a great figurehead for the whole country.

Do you plan to work with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in future? Do you have pieces in mind that you would love to perform with the orchestra in Qatar?

I will come back to Doha already in April for conducting Gustav Mahler`s wonderful Forth Symphony with the orchestra. I have been looking forward to this for a long time. Regarding the future beyond, I cannot think of any piece that I would not like to conduct for the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra!