Did you know there is such a thing as the World Doctors Orchestra? Neither did I until a friend called to see if I could play with the international group a few years ago when they were giving a concert in the U.S. and needed a harpist. These days they don’t have to call around thanks to Nawid Salimi, a harpist/doctor from Germany who now plays with them. After working as an Internist, Nawid started his own business developing learning software for medical students. But he continues to play the harp and keep music a part of his life. I asked him to tell me more about his dual occupations…
Can you tell us about the World Doctors Orchestra?
The World Doctors Orchestra was founded 2007. Doctors from all over the world meet several times a year to play charity concerts for projects with medical aims. A lot of information is [on their website], if anybody is interested: www.world-doctors-orchestra.org.
How long have you played with them, and how did they find out about you?
I joined the orchestra 2009. The orchestra needed a harp for the first time and some of the player knew me from the European Medical Students Orchestra. So it was my luck, that I was asked to play with WDO. Especially as we played Mahler 5. Symphony in Berlin Philharmony.
Where else and what have you played with them?
In 2011 I played for the second time with the orchestra, this time Mahler Symphony No. 2 in Washington. This year we played Strauss, Tod und Verklärung. All the concerts are always great experiences. Time for rehearsal is small, but everybody is well prepared. So although we are amateurs, in the end we can play very nice music.
You’ve been playing the harp since you were 7—did you ever consider it as a career?
When I was younger I thought of studying harp, but then I preferred to let music be my passion without being my business. I was afraid that business could disturb the passion.
Do you have a chance to do any other harp playing in addition to the WDO? How else do you keep music in your life?
Beside playing in WDO, I play some small concerts from time to time. Weddings, fairy tale evenings, accompanying choirs etc. Making music is the best hobby I can imagine—recovery from any stress I have in my business.