A Concertini that lets young, talented Omanis to shine

Young Omani pianist Mohammed al Balushi cannot forget the time that he once performed for hundreds of people at Muscat University. To him, as a young pianist from Oman trying to make a name for himself, it was a career highlight he will not forget.
The performance was delivered during the celebration of the National Day and the number of people not only kept him on his toes, he felt the stage fright creep in a little — something that he has struggled with when he was young.
At 15, he was watching tutorials online inspired by a close friend and family members to pursue his passion for music.
“My parents were very supportive of my desire to perform. However, in the beginning, I had stage fright, which was my main challenge,” he shared.
He added, “I tend to practice 4-5 days a week for an average of 3 hours as it takes a month to learn a new piece.”
Not a shadow of the stage fright was apparent when he took the stage and performed at the Kempinski Concertini held at the hotel’s posh and luxurious Amwaj Lounge early last week and his dedication to perfecting his craft has become apparent to the guests who attended the evening’s affair.
Mohammed was the pioneering performer for the Concertini described by the organisers as a series of interactive mini-concerts, aimed at introducing international guests staying at the hotel to the local musical talents in the Sultanate.
“Although I do play Oriental music, I prefer performing Western and Classical music as it is widely popular and translates well with most demographics, with Chopin and Richard Clayderman being some of my favourite pianists,” Mohammed said.
The years of practice welded Mohammed to become an excellent pianist which resulted in many of the guests taking notice.
“Our guests and attendees were swept away with this magical piano performance of this very talented young musician,” said Carsten Wiegandt, General Manager of Kempinski Hotel Muscat.
“His beautiful performance cast a spell over the audience, and we are delighted to present our property as a stage to budding local musical talents in Oman as well as crafting memorable moments for our guest.”
Amit Sharma, the hotel’s Executive Assistant Manager said that “The Concertini… aims to create memorable experiences for our guests that blends European flair with local Omani flavour.”
He emphasised that it is their way of providing the musicians a platform for exposure with their instrument and music of choice.
“It is great to have an initiative as Kempinski Concertini that encourages and promotes up-and-coming Omani musicians. Although I had an idea about the initiative, I was surprised to realise that people were focused on my performance and applauded when it ended,” Mohammed said.
The Concertini was launched in 2017 to mark the 120th anniversary of the international chain. It showcased the organisation’s commitment to the arts as it is an essential component of its role in the community.
Over the coming months, at least once a month, the Amwaj Lounge will be transformed into a music hall allowing not only singers or classical pianists to perform, but young musical artists playing diverse and different genres of music.
These young performers can take pride in knowing that they are of the same notable calibre as their counterparts from Budapest, Vilnius, Marsa Malaz and Doha where Kempinski also have Concertini performances held at the lounges of hotels in these respective international destinations.