BBC Symphony Orchestra as part of Qatar UK 2013
BBC Symphony Orchestra as part of Qatar UK 2013 ©

British Council and Qatar Museum Authority

Main photo credit: BBC Symphony Orchestra, 30 September – 1 October 2013, Katara Opera House, Doha, Qatar . © Qatar Museums Authority

The performing arts pillar of the Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture brought a number of firsts to Qatar :  the first performance by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the first Scottish culture festival and the first visit of the UK street theatre group, STOMP.

BBC Symphony Orchestra concert

The BBC Symphony Orchestra’s first visit to Doha brought the opportunity to present the very best of British classical music to Qatar. The programmes focused on three of England's finest composers, with whom the orchestra has had a long and fruitful relationship. The compositions reflected British landscapes in pieces such as The Lark Ascending, the Four Sea Interludes and the Enigma Variations, while two works painted vivid portraits of the City of London - the Cockaigne Overture and the London Symphony. Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No 1, a favourite of audiences around the world, concluded the two performances.

Scotland day

The Scotland Day event, held at the Katara Cultural Village Foundation, was an opportunity for cultural exchange. Coinciding with a visit to Qatar by the Scottish Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Humza Yousaf, Scotland Day aimed to celebrate and further good relations between Qatar and Scotland, open up further trading opportunities and promote extended cultural exchange.

The event showcased Scottish culture in a multitude of genres including:

  • a headline concert by the award-winning Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson Band, traditional Scottish music with a twist;
  • Iconic Scottish photography exhibition, providing stunning photographs of Scotland;
  • Traditional Scottish folk songs performed by local schoolchildren and displays of traditional Scottish dancing;
  • Literature and information promoting Scottish tourism and international trade links;
  • Opportunities for visitors to sample Scottish cuisine and  products.



Having entertained over 15 million people worldwide, the hugely successful Stomp!! celebrated their first public appearance in Qatar last June as part of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture.

Originally created as a street show in the Lanes of Brighton, its thrilling acrobatics, furious choreographies and blow-away rhythms, saw the artistes using a variety of everyday objects as percussion instruments. The show was as much an expression of eight individuals with very strong personalities as it was a vision of rhythm that has left behind speechless audiences around the world.

The show was brought to Doha by The Art of Business/AHB and Premium Projects in association with Stomp Productions and Glynis Henderson Productions.