Mozart hasn't challenged cultural taboos for more than 200 years, but last night he caused quite a stir in Saudi Arabia. A German-based quartet gave the nation its first public classical concert where men were allowed to hear Mozart and sit next to, gasp, women. "The concert is a sign that things are changing rapidly here," a German ambassador told the AP.
Other portents of change are afoot in Saudi: Folk musicians recently played at a book festival, and Western music was allowed at a February economic forum. Last month, King Abdullah even called for a dialogue between Christians and Jews. How did Amadeus add to the mix? "I was amazed at the sounds coming from the musical instruments," said an 11-year-old rock fan at the concert. "I've never been to a live concert before."