Dutch pianist Van Poucke cancels Tehran gig after testing positive for COVID-19 

February 12, 2022 - 19:39

TEHRAN – The 37th Fajr Music Festival said on Saturday that Dutch pianist Nicolas van Poucke has called off his Tehran performance after testing for COVID-19.

Replacing Van Poucke is German pianist Moritz Ernst, whose performance will take place at the Niavaran Cultural Center on Sunday.

Ernst will play a repertoire of works by George Frideric Handel, Claude Debussy, Beethoven and Brahms.

He will also perform Emanuel Melik-Aslanian’s “Butterfly” in memory of the celebrated Armenian-Iranian composer and pianist.

Previously in August 2015, Ernst joined Iran’s Nilper Orchestra for a concert of contemporary and classical music by world composers at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall.

He also performed during the 36th Fajr Music Festival, which was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

36-year-old Ernst gave his debut performance in June 2013 with the Symphony Orchestra of Bern (Switzerland) under the baton of Mario Venzago with a performance of the 2nd Piano Concerto by Edward Staempfli.

His highly acclaimed Asian debut took place in 2014 at the University of Malaysia and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where he also held master classes and lectures.

In 2017, his commitment to ostracized music led him to an appearance at Deutscher Bundestag.

Since 2018 his concert appearances have led him to perform on a worldwide scale, commuting between his native Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Several overseas musicians from across the globe are scheduled to perform at the Fajr Music Festival this year.

Najmeddin, an Afghan qawwali group, is among the guests of the festival. The band features Javad Tabesh, Asef Habibi, Abdolqader Azizi, Abdolkhaleq Azizi, Gholamsakhi Rasuli, Hushang Javid and Nematollah Hosseinzadeh.

Egyptian oud virtuoso Mohamed Abozekry and Macedonian percussionist Ersoj Kazimov have also been invited to give a duet at the Niavaran Cultural Center on Sunday.

Abozekry is the leader of Mohamed Abozekry & Heejaz, a Franco-Egyptian quartet of instrumental music formed in 2010.

Photo: A file photo shows Dutch pianist Nicolas van Poucke.


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