Katrin Meingast studied cello from 1994 to 1999 with Prof. Peter Buck of the Melos Quartet at the State University of Music & Performing Arts in Stuttgart. In addition she studied at both Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge in the United States and at the University of Music & Theatre, Leipzig where she focused on baroque cello.
Katrin teaches, plays in chamber groups and in orchestras – but her passion is baroque. She lived in Doha from 2010 to 2016 where she founded the Qatar Concert Choir, co-founded the Doha Baroque Ensemble and started both the German Music Project and the ‘Baroque in Qatar’ concert series. She has now returned to her native Germany but her legacy lives on, to the benefit of the whole cultural community in Qatar.
Conductor and Artistic Director
Italian, originally from Sardinia, Giovanni had his first taste of conducting in 2010 by Christopher Seaman after being selected by the Australia-based Symphony Services International’s Conductor Development Program. After several masterclasses across Europe, including with Atso Almila from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, he studied for his Masters in conducting at the Katarina Gurska Foundation in Madrid under the mentorship of the renowned conductor and teacher George Pehlivanian.
During his studies, Giovanni has built his repertoire while conducting several orchestras around the world – like the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia, Sydney Sinfonia, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic and the Cairo Symphony Orchestra.
Giovanni has held Principal Viola positions in several major orchestras across four continents – and has occupies this position at the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) since 2014. He is also currently Conductor of the Qatar Concert Choir and the Qatar Youth Orchestra (which he co-founded) – as well as the Doha Baroque Ensemble and the Cinemoon Ensemble, both of which are comprised of his fellow QPO musicians.
Irish born, Alena has studied and been involved in music all her life and is passionate about music education especially for children. She read music at Trinity College Dublin, is a qualified piano teacher and also studied the Irish harp for a while. Alena is also founder and conductor of Qatar Youth and Junior Choir and has completed many choral conducting courses.
Jennifer hales from Canada where she studied piano, voice, and music theory at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has many years’ experience singing in choirs and as a soloist in Canada, the United States and the PR of China. She has placed in both regional and provincial level competitions and festivals in Canada, and in provincial and national amateur competition in the PR China. In Qatar Jennifer sings with the Qatar Concert Choir and the Doha Chamber Choir.
Voice and Diction Coach
Zack is from California and gained his M.M. degree in Vocal Performance from Mannes College of Music in New York City and his B.A. in International Business and Music from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles. He worked as a professional opera and concert singer in Los Angeles and New York with some of America’s master conductors, directors and coaches – at the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Mannes Opera, Flora Thornton Opera Studio, Mozarteum Salzburg and Pittsburg Opera.
As a recitalist, Zack has performed in English, Italian, German, French, Russian and Spanish. He now runs a private voice studio and coaches diction and technique for the Qatar Youth and Junior Choir and Qatar Concert Choir. He also produces and hosts a podcast called Voice Talks, showcasing young professionals in opera.
Béatrice is Belgian and has lived in Qatar since 2005. She’s a freelance web designer and a licensed Qatar tour guide. Béatrice has considerable experience of choral singing, both in Belgium and in Qatar and has been a member of the Qatar Concert Choir since 2015.
Media & Communications Officer
Andy has worked in film and TV for over 30 years and is an experienced Executive Producer of factual programmes. He has worked primarily for the BBC but also for UK cable and satellite broadcasters and Channel 4. He was part of the team that set up BBC World as well as the BBC’s first Arabic TV News channel – many of whose staff came to Doha to start Aljazeera Arabic.
Andy had been in Doha for four years and produces the weekly documentary series ‘Aljazeera World’ for Aljazeera English. He’s an amateur musician who played in rock bands in his mis-spent youth but has since sung in amateur choirs and occasionally as a soloist in the UK.