Shkelzen Doli to perform in new 'Albanian Soul' Tirana concert

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 29, 2017 16:41

Shkelzen Doli to perform in new 'Albanian Soul' Tirana concert

TIRANA, Aug. 29 - Tirana's newly reconstructed Skanderbeg central square is set to turn into a giant pan-Albanian open-air stage on Sept. 23 when more than 70 virtuosos from Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia will perform at an Albanian Soul gala concert featuring internationally renowned Shkelzen Doli, a Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra violinist.

The concert is the second Shkelzen Doli will be giving in Tirana this year following the January 2 performance with his private Philharmonic Ensemble Vienna band, only one day after the Albanian violin virtuoso performed with the world famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra as a second violin.

"The musical show will kick off at 20:30 when about 70 virtuoso instrumentalists from Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia led by maestro Doli will step on the stage. The performance will open with Albanian music to continue with some international classical music pieces and conclude with some pan-Albanian parts," organizers write on Shkelzen Doli's Facebook fan page.

"It's a big pan-Albanian art event that is expected to turn into an annual tradition not only in Tirana, but also in other cities in Albania and outside it," they add.

Doli, 46, regularly performs traditional Albanian music in his tours around the world, being one of the best ambassador of Albanian art and culture.

At the 2015 New Year Vienna Philharmonic concert, Shkelzen Doli featured Albanian traditional music at a special musical break during the concert broadcast. He masterfully performed melodies based on traditional Albanian folk music, put together in a four-minute video played during the program's intermission.

On January 2 this year, dozens of Austria-based artists joined the Philharmonic Ensemble Vienna, a band established by Shkelzen Doli in 2013, to perform in Tirana in a concert that Doli described as "bringing to Albania for the first time native pearls of Austrian art to wish all Albanians a happy and harmonious year."

Performing the famous Strauss 'Blue Danube' waltz, Austrian artists wore Albanian traditional hats and drank local raki alcoholic drink in their debut Tirana concert with Shkelzen Doli.

"The Albanian people has music diversity. Albanian songs are really beautiful, but in my case it's also nostalgia that drives me to listen to them quite often which makes my relation with music from all Albanian territories natural," Doli has earlier said.

Born to a Kosovo father from Gjakova and an Albanian mother from Permet in Elbasan, Doli left Albania in the 1980s when he was only seven to settle in Kosovo where he took his first music lessons before graduating from Vienna's prestigious University of Music and Performing Arts in the early 1990s.

The Sept. 23 concert is also an opportunity to promote Tirana and its newly reconstructed square among Albanians in the region, the Diaspora and international tourists fond of classical music.

Tirana's landmark Skanderbeg square, the most important public space linked to a number of historical events and manifestations from King Zog's reign until WWII, to the communist takeover and the early 1990s protests for democratic changes, was given a facelift in mid-2017 under a €13 million government-funded project.

The new square named after the country's 15th century national hero is 90,000m2 space, of which 28,000m2 in stone collected from Albanian-speaking territories and another 32,000m2 of trees, bushes and decorative flowers. The square also showcases some 100 water fountains in its stone area, serving as an oasis in hot summer days. An underground parking lot with a capacity of 358 cars has also been made available to somehow settle the capital's parking stress.

Tickets for Shkelzen Doli's Sept. 23 concert are already available for sale in Tirana, Kosovo's Prishtina and Gjokova and Macedonia's Skopje and can also be reserved online.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 29, 2017 16:41