On July 1, a gala concert was held in the "Bulgaria" hall for the closing of the season, dedicated to 30 years of Postbank and 30 years of the New Symphony Orchestra.

Conducted by Petko Dimitrov and with soloists - Veselin Demirev and Dora Dimitrova, it was a great success.

E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Republic of Bulgaria, as honorary patron of the New Symphony Orchestra, opened the concert with a speech:

Excellences, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

As the patron of the New Symphony Orchestra, it is an honor for me to welcome and thank all of you for attending this Gala season closing concert.

I am sure that we will spend good time together in company of the professors and young musicians from the New Symphony Orchestra, which is both a school and an institution taking care of Bulgarian talented musicians.

I am so happy, proud and grateful to have the Moroccan Embassy to be part of this fantastic project, because we believe in, with our passion for music, with our longstanding desire to make our contribution, whenever possible, to peace and partnership through arts and culture.

I am convinced that this event will contribute to strengthening the ties of friendship between Morocco and Bulgaria, and will be an opportunity to further develop cultural exchanges between our two beautiful countries.

Excellences, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how important the culture and especially music is motivating people during difficult times. While hundreds of millions of people were confined to their homes, many turned to music and other forms of art for entertainment. Yet, at the same time, it was extremely difficult to continue cultural production, from live performances to recorded productions, since the cultural sector was badly affected by unemployment and the closure of cultural structures.

In fact, the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on music and culture are both dramatic and frightening. In 2020, culture lost 31% of its turnover in Europe, which is almost 199 billion euros compared to 2019. Overall, it is the second economic sector most affected by the health crisis, compared to the aeronautical industry and tourism.

The economic consequences of this crisis, which are lasting, will be accompanied for several years by loss of income for musicians, artists and for copyright collection companies.

Excellences, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

For culture and performing arts, hope has returned but everything remains to be done. Many artists are back on stage like this evening, because it is essential to give a decisive impetus to live performance to allow the full success of this recovery.

It is for this purpose that I encourage you to find your way back to concert halls, in particular, and shows, in general. It's time to find the musicians and artists, the melodies in real life to allow culture and entertainment to once again fully play their unifying role for our society.

Please let me know if you would like more information on how to become involved in supporting the New Symphony Orchestra music program. You can also contact its founder, Ms Julia Hristova, with any questions about how you can support music.

Finally, I would like to thank all the co-sponsors of New Symphony Orchestra, in particular Post Bank as the 1st sponsor since 1991. That why I sincerely thank Mr. Dimitar Shumarov, Director of Post Bank for the precious support of his institution to the New Symphony Orchestra.

Thank you for being here tonight, I hope you will enjoy the hard work these professors and young musicians have put into making this program possible.

After the greeting, the audience enjoyed magnificent performances of the Overture "Consecration of the Home", Op. 124, by Ludwig van Beethoven, on Concerto for Double Violin Concerto, BWV1043, by Johann Sebastian Bach and on Symphony No. 1, Op. 68, by Johannes Brahms.

Photo courtesy of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco.