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This year's Al Bustan Festival, Beit Mery's annual showcase of classical and romantic-flavored Western music, looks to the past and it does so in terms which appear unexpectedly political. Past programs for the monthlong event have centered on innocent themes – one European city or another, "Nature" or, most recently, "Shakespeare". "Queens and Empresses of the Orient" is situated in "the East" as imagined by late 19th-century European composers.This year's program is peppered with a number of performances that retreat to an even more traditional repertoire by the 19th-century European composers the festival favors.Pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and violinist Renuda Capucon will perform concertos by Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) and Edward Elgar (1857-1934) concertos respectively on March 1; the following evening will be devoted to Romantic-era sonatas performed by the same musicians.Most participating musicians come from abroad and many of the soloists hail from Europe.
‘Rondo di Primavera’ – chamber music spring welcome
Young artists play it safe at Al-Bustan
A study in revenge with ‘Medea’
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