Author: Toplica

Gjylaci brothers to perform tonight in Sheffield

Where: St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church, S11 8YL, Sheffield, When and what time: 19 November 2017, 7pm Albanian brothers Esen-Nikolas Gjylaci (Violin) and Jon Gjylaci (Guitar) will present an evening recital at ‘St Andrew’s Music Festival’ in Sheffield this Sunday (19th November) at 7pm. Their programme will include the UK PREMIERE of Albanian Folksong ‘Moj e Bukura Moré’ (My Beautiful Morea) transcribed by renown Albanian composer Prof. Thoma Simaku. The tune has its origin in Southern Italy, in Calabria, where an Albanian community has lived for more than 500 years, and so has the song! The tenderness of the melodic lines expresses the love for the distant homeland, which according to legend can be seen from the Calabrian mountain-tops. Multi award–winning composer Thomas Simaku (b.1958) graduated from the Albanian State Conservatoire in Tirana (1983), and gained a PhD in Composition from University of York (1996) where he studied with David Blake. Simaku was the Leonard Bernstein Fellow in Composition at Tanglewood Music Centre, USA (1996) studying with Bernard Rands, and a fellow at the Composers’ Workshop, California State University (1998), with Brian Ferneyhough. In 2013 Simaku won the first prize of the International Competition for Lutosławski’s 100th Birthday with Concerto for Orchestra, chosen from 160 compositions submitted anonymously from 37 countries. Simaku holds a senior position as Reader in Composition at the University of York. Born in Tirana and currently...

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Albanian owned bar and cafe in Soho, wins again a London Lifestyle Award

My Place Soho, a cute and vibrant cafe/bar in London, owned by Sam Maqedonci and Dini Shahini,  two nights ago won again the Coffee Shop of the Year award, at The London Lifestyle Awards. For seven years the London Lifestyle Awards have been celebrating the achievements of the lifestyle industry in London, from the stand-out restaurants and bars to the best theater and cultural venues, by awarding those who have had the greatest impact on the city. My Place Soho has proven over several years that London would be a poorer place without them and what they deliver to Londoners and visitors alike. Those who have attended have had the chance to run shoulders with celebrities at an exclusive drinks reception and lavish three-course meal followed by table drinks and live entertainment. Links:

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The Albanian man who single-handedly built a church at 82-years of age

Earlier this year I read an article about a man in Spain who had devoted his life’s work to build a cathedral. It was a fascinating story – worthy of media attention! Though, it got me thinking that I knew of someone in a remote village in northern Albania who had single-handedly built a church which had gone largely unnoticed even within Albania. So I decided that on my next trip to Kryezi, in the district of Puka, I will try to meet the man who single-handedly built a church. I was curious to find out a bit about what had driven him to do this. And so I did. Ylli Rrapi, a vivacious man of 86 years, showed up on a hot autumn day, I must say he was dressed very dapper. He sports a moustache and a hat. He’s all buttoned up but no tie. So much for the formal clothing, you can but sense there is a lot of strength in him, not least from his handshake. He is a stone mason, a master by all means, who has built more than 100 homes over a career spanning about 70 years. He was 82 years of age when he built the church. One would expect to meet a tired man, Ylli is quite the contrary. He showed me around the detail of his work on the...

Read More Kafeneja më e mirë në Londër si një “copë” Kosove në Angli, e gjitha produkt kosovar

Shqiptarët kanë pushtuar edhe njëherë ballinat e gazetave në Angli. Në kryeqytetin mbretëror, Londër, shqiptarët jetojnë në numër të madh. Secili prej tyre ka një vend ku mëngjesin e fillon me kafe, apo kohën e çajit që anglezët nuk e humbin, e kalojnë në atë kafene. Për këtë, dy djem nga Kosova, Sam Maqedonci dhe Dini Shahini kanë hapur kafenenë me emrin “My Place”. Agnesa Sejdiu “My Place” i shumë shqiptarëve, pa përjashtuar edhe londinezët, ka një njohje të gjerë. Ai arriti që të zgjidhet kafeneja më e mirë e vitit, në edicionin e tetë të London Lifestyle Awards,...

Read More Visiting Prishtina in Kosovo? Why (the hell) not!

The first thing that everyone asked me when I told them what my next destination would be was: “Why THERE? Out of all places?” Well… Why the hell not?! … is what I wanted to say. However, I saw where the confusion was coming from. When people think of Kosovo, the first things that spring to mind are not exactly ‘those beautiful old towns’ or ‘the most incredible sandy beaches’ or ‘the first-class culinary experience’. Not quite. What comes to mind almost immediately: images of a war zone, of people fleeing their country, of violence, hate, destruction. So, instead...

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