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Mawaheb Festival – a Weekend with Music from the MENA Region

Olya Korsun. Stills from Mawaheb Teaser Video, 2021

Mawaheb (Arabic for "talents") is a series of multi-genre events at key venues in St. Petersburg. The festival will run from June 4th to 6th and will feature symphony and audiovisual concerts, a residence for international and local musicians, parties, a musical picnic by the water, and an educational program.

The festival will open with a concert Mawaheb x Sound Up: Music of Oasis, which is a journey through the musical culture of Qatar and the Arab world. It will take place on the stage of the State Academic Capella of St. Petersburg on June 4th. Visitors will hear the traditional instruments of the region: kanun, rebab, oud, nai, as well as darbuka percussion. In the second portion, viewers will get acquainted with the works of contemporary Russian composers Vladimir Martynov, Nastasya Khrushcheva, Pavel Karmanov, and others, written specifically for the event. The compositions will be performed by musicians from the Qatar Academy of Music and the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. The opening party of the festival with DJ sets and a showcase from EastEast Radio will take place on June 4th at the Kuznyahouse club on New Holland Island.

On June 5th at the Mirage audiovisual concert, electronic musicians and media artists from Qatar, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen will present projects prepared for the Planetarium No. 1 dome screen. In addition, the K-30 space will host a concert by the Cultural Exchange Laboratory, a special project for the exchange of experience between performers from the MENA region and Russia, and a night program from the curators of Roots United.

June 6th will be an all day event called EastEast Picnic with concerts and an educational platform curated by the music editorial staff of EastEast magazine.  There will be live performances, lectures and panel discussions with the participation of artists and musical ethnographers from around the world, as well as workshops and screenings of documentaries on regional musical traditions and strategies for their preservation.

Read more on the website.