The Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra (SEPO) is the first Symphony Orchestra for the Syrian professional and academic musicians who live in European Union countries and diaspora as a ''Syrian Exile Orchestra''. Founded in September 2015 in Germany by the Syrian musician ''Raed Jazbeh'', he lives in Germany since 2013.
SEPO is trying the best to collect the Syrian musicians together whatever ideological differences to trying save the Syrian music faced with the big cultural and civilizational destruction in Syria now, this is what we can do at this phase, unite our efforts to give hope, love and peace message, to make a great music and something beautiful in this life.
SEPO performs the symphonic music by the Syrian composers beside the classical music, SEPO is also interested to perform the Syrian, Arabic, oriental heritage music in symphonic forms along with the contemporary music.
SEPO includes all the orchestral instruments: string, woodwind, brass and percussion. In addition to the Syrian oriental traditional instruments sometimes. The SEPO members are about 75 musicians.
In 2021, SEPO and the Syrian woman film composer Suad Bushnaq won the Hollywood Music in Media Awards ''Exceptional Instrumental Performance (Orchestra)'' for her symphonic composition ''Tomorrow'', performed live at Konzerthaus Berlin by Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Ghassan Alaboud.
Suad Bushnaq said: WE WON!!! Thank you Hollywood Music in Media Awards for this incredible honour! I dedicate this award to every member of the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra (SEPO), who not only brought my music to life, but who also made it their mandate to spread a message of hope, love, peace, and beauty during a time of war, bloodshed, and crisis. This award goes to them. Thank you for the music, thank you for the passion. Thank you Raed Jazbeh for founding this orchestra and making this seemingly impossible dream come true, and thank you Maestro Ghassan Alaboud for conducting my music and for your generous spirit. WE DID IT!!!
SEPO performed in all over Europe: Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, France, Poland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most notably:
- The Day of German Unity at Brandenburg Gate Berlin,
- Berliner Philharmoniker Open Air at Kulturforum of Berliner Philharmonie,
- Ravenna Festival with the international conductor Riccardo Muti,
- Elbphilharmonie Hamburg,
- Malmö Live Konserthus Sweden,
- Konzerthaus Berlin,
- Klara Festival in Bozar Concert Hall Brussels with the ''Belgian National Orchestra'',
- Megaron Concert Hall Greece with the ''Athens State Orchestra'',
- Brave Festival in Wroclaw Opera House Poland with the ''NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra'',
- International Weeks Against Racism Osnabrück,
- Bern Yehudi Menuhin Forum Switzerland,
- UdK Konzertsaal Berlin,
- Meudon Centre d'Art et de Culture Paris,
- Deutsches Theater Göttingen,
- Verdo Concert Hall Hitzacker,
- Bremen, Hanover, Vechta, Darmstadt and others.
Emerged from SEPO ''Damascus String Quintet'' (DSQ), it's the first Syrian string quintet in the world, it performed and represented SEPO in several of international forums and festivals, political, economic, cultural events and conferences in all over Europe:
Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Brussels (Belgium), Geneva (Switzerland), Malmo, Gothenburg (Sweden), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Milan (Italy), Bucharest (Romania), and Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Essen, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Koblenz, Weimar, Osnabrück, Göttingen, Oldenburg, Kassel, Rosbach, Bielefeld, Bamberg, Wuppertal, Meerbusch, Wardenburg, Zweibrücken, Burg Lichtenfels, Dorsten (Germany). Most notably:
- Berlinale ''Berlin International Film Festival'',
- Edinburgh Arts Festival at the Scottish Parliament,
- EU Brussels / European Commission / European Economic and Social Committee (EESC),
- UNHCR Geneva / United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (the UN refugee agency),
- Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) at Maison de la Paix,
- UNHCR Italia at Teatro Franco Parenti Milano,
- The Ceremony of Active Citizenship Award Berlin,
- The 5th European History Forum at Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Berlin,
- The 150th anniversary of Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (DRK) at Hamburg Rathaus,
- Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum / Schnütgen Museum Köln,
- West Östlichen Diwan Festival Weimar,
- Sankt Goar International Music Festival,
- Bucharest Art Week,
- Celebrate Life Festival,
- Schauspielhaus Wuppertal,
- Palladium concert hall Malmö,
- Kulturhuset Oceanen Gothenburg,
- Kasseler Musiktage,
- Bremen Theater,
- Syrianale Festival.
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