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Moroccan Pianist Rita Saher performs at Carnegie Hall for High Atlas benefit

Young Moroccan pianist Rita Saher made her "debut" in New York on Saturday night at Carnegie Hall

Young Moroccan pianist Rita Saher made her “debut” in NYC Saturday night at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall.org, Musicality-Club, Maghreb Arab Press (New York, NY, Dec. 17, 2012) — Young Moroccan pianist Rita Saher made her “debut” in New York on Saturday night at Carnegie Hall, giving a concert benefiting the High Atlas Foundation, an organization which works to promote development in rural disadvantaged communities in Morocco.

The artist, mentored by prominent figures in the world of classical music, such as Jacques lagarde, Guigla Katsarava, and Monique Mercier, performed a recital of major works of Mozart, Schubert, Poulenc, Albéniz, Granados, Falla and others.

For Saher, who played with rich colorings and flair, this concert was the culmination of a career started at the age of 9, in Casablanca, in a musical family: her father, a banker and a lute player, and her mother an amateur singer.

Moroccan pianist Rita Saher

Moroccan pianist Rita Saher

Half of the proceedings of this event went to fund projects by the High Atlas Foundation in Morocco, including planting fruit tree nurseries, building irrigation systems, and securing organic certification that increase rural families’ income 400% over a 5 year period.

The High Atlas Foundation, a non-profit Moroccan and U.S. organization, founded in 2000 by former Peace Corps Volunteers, establishes development projects in Morocco that local communities design and manage, and that are in partnership with government and non-government agencies.

Saher was very young when she started winning competitions that included First Prize for the Young International Pianist Competition, chaired by France Clidat pianist. She won a special prize as a finalist and received congratulations from the Jury and the first prize for the Chopin National Competition in Casablanca.

Moroccan pianist Rita Saher

Moroccan pianist Rita Saher

In 1997, she was chosen to take part in a concert commemorating the birth of Frederic Chopin in Austria. After graduation, she devoted herself entirely to study the piano, and enrolled at the prestigious Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot in Paris, where she studied with accomplished specialists, most recently Gabriel Tacchino at the Salzburg Festival.  She then began a career as a concert and chamber pianist in France and Europe.

Since 2000, she has given several concerts in France and participated in prestigious festivals such as “the Musical in Tunis in October”, the “Cultural Festival of Asilah”, “Printemps Musical des Alizées in Essaouira.” She was invited by Proquartet (European Chamber Music Center) to give a recital on December 12, 2009 at the Invalides Army Museum in Paris under the patronage of the Embassy of Morocco in Paris.

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