Muswell Hill community orchestra to be joined by Berlin-based violinist

The Fortismere Orchestra has invited Bilal Alnemr, originally from Syria, to perform with them next month

A community orchestra in Muswell Hill have invited a Berlin-based violinist of “prodigious talent” to join them in performance next month.

Music director of the Fortismere Orchestra Thomas Gregory said he been trying “repeatedly” to get violinist Bilal Alnemr (based at the Barenboïm-Saïd Academy in Berlin) “over for a concert”.

Next month, Bilal is finally set to arrive and will be performing alongside the orchestra at St Andrew’s Church in Muswell Hill on 18th November.

Thomas said: “I first encountered Bilal in 2008 in Damascus, and then again in 2009, when I was teaching with the Syrian Children’s Orchestra. He was only 12 or 13 at the time, yet I was struck by his prodigious talent and deep connection with the violin. We have tried repeatedly to get him over for a concert but travel restrictions always scuppered our plans. It is only now that Bilal has French citizenship that we can finally go ahead.”

Bilal, born in Damascus in Syria, has been playing the violin since he was small. He said: “Every time I pick up the violin, I feel at home wherever I am. The sound of the violin is extremely important to me. Since my childhood, it was the only thing I had to play with, so without it I feel lost.”

The musician is also a member of the Divan Orchestra in Berlin, founded by Daniel Barenboim and made up of Israeli, Palestinian and Arabic musicians.

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