Ayman Jarjour

24th February 2016



Ayman Jarjour hails from Syria but fell in love with a Perthshire lass and was married in Crieff Parish Church. That is in fact the basic background biographical note to the latest concert in the current Strathearn Music Society series, rather than the beginning of a local-interest story – and it was his distinguished international reputation rather than this convenient piece of happenstance which drew the largest audience of the season to St Andrew’s Hall last Wednesday night. On stage his affable and gentle personality was matched by an intimate and poetic musicality which fully vindicated the extent and enthusiasm of the SMS members’ support.

With music by thirteen different composers and a couple of dozen separate movements in total this programme was a fascinating procession of musical flavours, from arrangements of familiar favourites (Satie’s first Gymnopédie and a Bach fugue) through a variety of Spanish/Latin-American cameo pieces and an Italian Rossini-tribute, to the moody and unsettling Usher Waltz of Nikita Koshkin. There was even time en route for a brief set of Scottish Tunes arranged by David Russell. Wearing his remarkable virtuosity with the utmost modesty, Ayman Jarjour was a beguiling and impeccably-mannered guide through his world of subtle imagination and colours, and left his listeners charmed and extremely contented. On his own part perhaps there was also a special sense of belonging which enhanced and intensified the whole experience for all.

Next concert  (up a notch or two on the volume scale): Wed 16 March – Pure Brass (music by Dukas, James MacMillan, Purcell, Mahler, Lutoslawski , Moussorgsky, Mascagni and Mozart).

Howard Duthie