May 6, 2010 | 11:06 am

Thursday – East Meets West through Music


 
Oman is steeped in traditional culture and has gone to great lengths to preserve its heritage as it undergoes massive modernization. From architectural styles to daily dress, this preservationist emphasis can be seen. Not far from our home, a striking new building is taking shape. As more of its character is revealed, one can see that it too will be traditional in style, yet grand in scale. It is the Royal Oman Opera House, and it will host something new to Omani culture: the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra (ROSO).
 
ROSO holds the distinction of being the first Arabic symphony orchestra, and it is comprised entirely of Omani citizens. With no tradition of western classical music, it was started from scratch twenty-five years ago with the selection of one hundred Omani children who began their training as musicians. Today, ROSO represents Oman to the world and the world to Oman. They embody the possible synergy and exchange between cultures. Without every uttering a word, they have forged bonds among diverse peoples through a shared appreciation of music.
 
Random thought of the day: Rumi, a Muslim mystic, said, “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” Sharing the things that bring us joy has a way of spreading joy to others.