As you now know, Palmusic UK have welcomed a group of Palestinian students in the UK who are here to pursue their music education. Their presence here was funded by the generous support of many of our supporters, so we conducted interviews with each one of them to bring them a bit closer to you. Hopefully you will get to meet all of them in person when they perform in the UK. This time we would like to introduce to you Omar Saad, violist at and founder of The Galilee Quartet.
Palmusic UK: Tell us a little bit about you, where you come from and what you do?
Omar Saad [OS]: My name is Omar Saad, I’m Palestinian from the village of Maghar, which is located in the Galilee. I am the eldest of four siblings: Mostafa (Violin), Tibah (Cello) and Gandhi (Violin) and together we play as the Galilee Quartet.
I recently finished my bachelor degree in music and intend to continue my masters degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland alongside my sister Tibah who is going to start her Bachelor degree here as well.
Palmusic UK: Why did you decide to apply for this scholarship?
Omar Saad [OS]: Studying in the UK is very expensive especially for international students, and being a brother of 3 other musicians and knowing that musical studies cost a lot, we looked for financial help and we were lucky enough to receive it.
Palmusic UK: How did you learn about Palmusic?
Omar Saad [OS]: During the UK tour with the Palestine Youth Orchestra that was actually sponsored by Palumisc, I got the chance to meet Zina Papageorgiou and Professor Wissam Boustany who was coaching the woodwinds section. They were very kind to explain a lot about Palmusic and how they support Palestinian musicians intending to study in the UK.
Palmusic UK: Is this your first time away from home?
Omar Saad [OS]: No, I’ve lived in Italy for the past three years now and I’ve been away from home several times growing up, under different circumstances as well.
Palmusic UK: What are the things that you are looking forward to the most?
Omar Saad [OS]: I’m excited to have a new experience in a new place, getting to know new people, but I’m really looking forward to start studying with teachers and colleagues that can bring out the best of me and continue to develop my skills and knowledge in music.
Palmusic UK: What do you think will be the biggest challenges for you being away from home?
Omar Saad [OS]: Getting used to the weather and the way of life in Scotland which is already different form that in Italy and way more different from the one in Palestine.
Palmusic UK: Do you think that this experience will have a profound effect on your life?
Omar Saad [OS]: It sure will. I’m hoping to have all the members of my family quartet with me in the near future so we can start studying together at RCS which I’m sure that it’ll be the first step to making our dream of being professional musicians come true and from there on to establish a musical academy for higher musical education back in Palestine.
Palmusic UK: In what ways do you think will this experience influence your development?
Omar Saad [OS]: Being surrounded by advanced musicians and incredible teachers, orchestral projects, chamber music and so on, will change my musical point of view positively and of course the various orchestral and opera experiences that RCS is offering, in collaboration with all the major orchestras in Scotland, will contribute a lot to the professional aspect in any musical career.
Palmusic UK: What are your hopes and wishes for the future in terms of your career?
Omar Saad [OS]: I wish to fulfill my musical studies in Viola performance and in chamber music as a quartet player in order to have the chance to audition and take part in concerts carried out by great and prestigious orchestras, have the maximum musical experience and knowledge needed to come back to Palestine and give the best to it in order to help building generations of leading Palestinian musicians.