Basque txistu player Garikoitz Mendizabal will give a concert in Beirut on the 3rd of May, along with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra. The event will premiere a composition by organist and composer Naji Hakim, written particularly for orchestra and txistu, a traditional Basque wind instrument.
Mendizabal and Hakim met three years ago. Shortly after that, Hakim decided to compose a concert for txistu and orchestra. Hakim himself and the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra asked Mendizabal to take part in the premiere this Friday. Mendizabal first presented the composition in July 2018, but as a piano and txistu version, along with pianist Ana Belén García in Baiona. This will be the world premiere of the original version by Hakim.
The Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra was founded 21 years ago and gives more than 30 performances each year under the leadership of Harout Fazlian. This concert, however, will be conducted by Fouad Fakhouri. After the premiere, the audience will have the chance to hear another Basque composition Irribarrea by Xabier Zabala, commissioned by Mendizabal for his project Txistu Symphonic.
Txistu player Garikoitz Mendizabal has enjoyed a long career as performer and composer. He was director of the Vitoria-Gasteiz Txistulari Band and presently conducts the Bilbao Txistulari Band. He has been solo artist with several prestigious orchestras and bands and has played with several folk groups including Korrontzi. He has also collaborated with renowned artists such as Kepa Junkera and Carlos Núñez. Mendizabal has released 14 solo albums, and in recent decades has taken the legacy of the txistu to the fartherst corners of the earth. The concert this Friday will be another milestone in his career, spreading Basque culture and especially the txistu.