Teenage Pianist Misses London Performance
Four Palestinian musicians were set to take the stage at Earls Court in London last night but one musician had to miss the performance due to the conflict in Gaza City.
Sara Aqel, 14, auditioned by video-link to win her place on the Choir of London Bursary scheme in April. Supported by the British Council, this scheme enables young Palestinian students to experience musical life in the UK.
As the fierce bombardment of her city intensified last week, it became clear that Aqel would be unable to travel out of Gaza.
“When I realised, I was devastated. I still am,” Aqel told The Big Issue. “I am a fourteen-year-old girl, and I have lived through three wars.”
Choir of London organisers issued a statement saying that they were “hugely disappointed that Sara has been unable to make the journey she has been so looking forward to… Her place is hers for next year.”
Aqel’s fellow Choir of London Bursary students have spent two weeks in the UK, receiving tuition alongside other British teenagers at the Pro Corda Chamber Orchestra course, as well as undertaking masterclasses with professionals at the Royal Academy of Music in London.