Musicians between 10 and 20 years old from Egypt, Turkey and Italy preformed Vivaldi to Mariah Carey in three different languages at the El Sawy Cultural Center in Zamalek a few days ago in front of about 60 people.
The concert showcased musicians participating in the “Jugend Musiziert, which translates to “Music by the Youth, an annual competition for young Germans and students in German schools across the globe. The DEO German school in Cairo hosted the Eastern Mediterranean regional competition last weekend, hosting about 80 Egyptians, Italians, Greeks and Turks.
The participants performed for eight judges vying for spots in the next and final round of the prestigious competition in Germany. Participants found out Monday if they will move on. Winning the “Jugend Musiziert, held annually for over 40 years, is a huge honor and garners much respect within the German musical community, judges said.
“It was much more relaxed, Natalia Banfi, a violinist from Milan, said. “It’s not important if we play well or not.
Delaney Stöckli, another violinist from the DEO German school in Cairo agreed.
“It’s been stressful but after the first two days it’s all better, she said.
The show was marked by a mix of genres, languages and styles. Two girls from Alexandria who sang an improvisation of “Rock ‘n’ Roll, clapping, bopping and “yeah-ing in jeans and T-shirts were followed by a Roman cellist performing a classical piece by Pablo de Sarasate in a turquoise, floor-length gown.
Other singers preformed in German while two Turkish students sang an Azerbaijan folk song. Two girls from Cairo acted out “A Boy Like That from the musical “West Side Story and sang a duet by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
This blend makes the event special, said judge Martin Weber from the German school in Rome.
“It’s a lovely thing that we can connect so many people from different places, he said. “They make music together and have fun together.
Matteo Della Volta, a pianist from Milan who preformed a Vivaldi piece with his 10-year-old violinist brother, has participated in “Jugend Musiziert four times. He said the competition helps him stay in touch with musicians around the world.
“It’s very nice to meet year after year and see how each other have improved, he said.
The students are in Cairo for about a week, MC and DEO student Omayma Stelzer said. Stelzer said participants were invited to learn about the Egyptian culture. The students have taken workshops on belly and Lebanese dancing as well as Egyptian chamber music. Stelzer also took the competitors on a bus tour of Cairo on Saturday.
Della Volta said the “hospitality of the Egyptian people was the best part of the trip. But violinist Fillippo Zucchiatti from Milan said the highlight was yet to come.
“Tomorrow, he quipped, “When we go to the pyramids.