A tribute to Lahore blast victims by German artist, Icelandic pianist


Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—German Ambassador Ina Lepel Thursday organized a musical evening or what we call in German ‘Liederabend’ at the German embassy to give the audience a taste of German music as well as the embassy’s hospitality. Noted German classical artist Thomas Stimmel and his Icelandic companion on piano Bjarni Frimann gave a spell-binding performance of German as well English classical lyrics to make the evening a memorable one.
One could see a good number of music lovers, art aficionados, Capital’s German speaking community and of course members of diplomatic community that had turned up to enjoy themselves the deep masculine voice of Thomas Stimmel who had arrived in Islamabad only a couple of days earlier. His Icelandic companion was no less masterful in rendition of classical notes. Listening to these pure notes, those sitting in the big hall of the embassy felt themselves transported to a world of hope, joy and ecstasy.
Thomas Stimmel also gave rendition to Shakespeare’s famous song from Twelfth Night: ‘Come away, come away death; Fly away, fly away, breath.” Another song that the audience enjoyed most was ‘In every heart there is a room…’
However, the most powerful tracks were that sung in the memory of Lahore blast victims. Thomas Stimmel and Frimann gave a pause in their performance to remember and pray for the innocent victims of the March 27, 2016 suicide blast in Lahore. Our songs may give a message for lasting peace in Pakistan said Stimmel before rendering the powerful performance.
Later, talking to Pakistan Observer, Thomas Stimmel regretted he was to give a performance at Lahore too but due to the recent unfortunate incident in Lahore he had to call it off. I have found the people of Pakistan very loving, kind and hospitable and it gives me immense joy to be in Pakistan, said he. About his performances he said he had performed in the entire Europe, Scandinavian countries.
“After Pakistan I am travelling to South American country Chile to give a performance.” About his compositions he said he carefully selected the songs of Austrian and German compositions and devoted hours to tune them in a classical way.
German envoy, Ina Lepel the hostess of the evening, expressed her joy at the response of the audience that had come in a large number. The musical evening is part of German embassy’s interactive programmes to introduce German art and culture to the people of Pakistan in general and of Islamabad in particular, she said. About Thomas Stimmel, she said German baritone and choral conductor, Thomas Stimmel is a celebrity in Germany and all German speaking communities around the world.
He was born and grew up in Munich and completed his school with the Abitur diploma. He made his first steps in singing with the Tölzer Knabenchor, to which he belonged until his voice changed. After his voice breaking, he joined in 2000 the Wolfratshauser Jugendchor under the direction of Yosihisa Kinoshita, and in Christian Preissler gave Thomas Stimmel his first classical singing lessons. It is a privilege to have such a maestro at our embassy. His co-artist is also a star in his own right, she said.

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