The best of high cul­ture com­ing to the cap­i­tal

▶ Abu Dhabi Fes­ti­val and Abu Dhabi Clas­sics prom­ise to be en­ter­tain­ing show­cases of the world’s mu­si­cal greats, while shin­ing a spotlight on the emi­rate’s ren­o­vated Cul­tural Foun­da­tion, writes Saeed Saeed

The National - News - - FRONT PAGE -

Some of the big­gest names in clas­si­cal mu­sic, jazz and dance are set to ap­pear as part of next year’s Abu Dhabi Fes­ti­val. The an­nual event, which runs from Tues­day, March 31 to Thurs­day, April 9 and is or­gan­ised by Abu Dhabi Mu­sic and Arts Foun­da­tion, will fea­ture about a dozen per­for­mances held in both Emirates Palace and NYU Abu Dhabi.

Some of the artists tak­ing to the stage next year in­clude US jazz star Gre­gory Porter, Chi­nese-Amer­i­can cel­list Yo-Yo Ma, two per­for­mances by the ac­claimed Amer­i­can Bal­let Theatre, as well as a clas­si­cal con­cert by the cel­e­brated Cleve­land Or­ches­tra.

With the fes­ti­val theme of Unity: Cel­e­brat­ing the Cul­tural Foun­da­tion, the event will pay trib­ute to the re­cently re­launched Abu Dhabi in­sti­tu­tion and the role it con­tin­ues to play in en­hanc­ing the coun­try’s artis­tic land­scape. Be­low are the ma­jor per­for­mances com­ing to the cap­i­tal next year.

Bri­tish bari­tone Keenly­side to join top Amer­i­can or­ches­tra

Abu Dhabi Fes­ti­val’s per­for­mance pro­gramme be­gins with the re­gional de­but of The Cleve­land Or­ches­tra. De­scribed by the New York Times as “Amer­ica’s great­est or­ches­tra”, the en­sem­ble are renowned for their ex­pan­sive reper­toire and tech­ni­cal ex­cel­lence. This will be on dis­play in their Emirates Palace per­for­mance on Tues­day, March 31, when they take on Tchaikovsk­y’s Sym­phony No. 5 in E mi­nor, Opus 64.

Join­ing them in the cap­i­tal is Si­mon Keenly­side. The Bri­tish bari­tone is a sea­soned stage­hand, hav­ing been ac­tively tour­ing for three decades. With crit­ics hail­ing the warmth and clar­ity of his vo­cals, Keenly­side will per­form var­i­ous arias from the high-pro­file pro­duc­tions he starred in over the years, such as in La Bo­heme (Mar­cello), The Merry Widow (Danilo) and as Fi­garo in The Bar­ber of Seville.

Cel­e­brated cel­list Yo-Yo Ma re­turns to the fes­ti­val stage

One of the hard­est-work­ing peo­ple in the clas­si­cal mu­sic busi­ness, the cel­e­brated Chi­nese-Amer­i­can cel­list re­turns to the Abu Dhabi Fes­ti­val with an Emirates Palace con­cert on Wed­nes­day, April 1.

This will be a markedly dif­fer­ent fes­ti­val con­cert than the one in 2017, when he was joined by The Silk Road En­sem­ble. Where that con­cert was more ex­per­i­men­tal, next year’s gig is tai­lored for the purists. Backed by The Cleve­land Or­ches­tra, Ma will per­form Dvo­rak’s Cello Con­certo in B mi­nor, Opus 104 and Schu­bert’s Sym­phony No. 9 in C Ma­jor ‘The Great’, D 944.

Emirates Youth Sym­phony Or­ches­tra to hit the right note

This shall be an in­spir­ing evening on all counts. Es­tab­lished in 1994 by Syr­ian-Czech vi­olin­ist Riad Kudsi, the en­sem­ble was one of the ear­li­est clas­si­cal mu­sic groups in the UAE and has per­formed at var­i­ous festivals over the years. The play­ers are top­notch, too, as the or­ches­tra has an ac­cred­i­ta­tion with the Pre­miere Mu­sic Col­lege of Prague.

The pres­ti­gious con­ser­va­tory wel­comes or­ches­tra mem­bers each year where they are put through their paces in a se­ries of ex­ams. Their UAE per­for­mance, on Mon­day April 6 at NYU Abu Dhabi’s Red Theatre, also serves as the per­fect in­tro­duc­tion to clas­si­cal mu­sic. The pro­gramme con­sists of a con­cise se­ries of much-loved works in­clud­ing Mau­rice Ravel’s Bolero and Beethoven’s Vi­olin Con­certo in D ma­jor.

ADMAF, Red­ferns

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