Lydie Solomon Pianiste

Classic makes a capital comeback – Abu Dhabi World

2 October 2014


« The stage is set for the return of Abu Dhabi's classical music season. We take a look at what's in store across the emirate during the next eight months

When the return of Abu Dhabi Classics was announced recently, it was music to our ears. The original series, last seen three years ago, was an imaginative way of asserting Abu Dhabi's burgeoning position on the arts scene. Now it's back, with an eight-month season from October to May that will bring some of the world's top classical musicians, orchestras and conductors to Abu Dhabi.

The emirate-wide showcase, hosted by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), keeps the tradition of Abu Dhabi Classics alive while continuing to establish Abu Dhabi as a centre for music.

“We're not a simple festival, we are trying to create a true music season,” says Dr Ronald Perlwitz, Head of Music Program for TCA Abu Dhabi. “We want to educate people, we want to create an awareness and an appreciation of classical music.”

Abu Dhabi Classics will feature a mix of styles from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries along with a taste of contemporary music.

The season will also focus on the idea of ‘East meets West', with artists like the Grammy award-winning Spanish musician Jordi Savall sharing a stage with oud masters from the Middle East.

“We really want to create world-class events. We believe that in Abu Dhabi we can have a musical life that is as good as anything in London, Paris and New York, and we are proving it by bringing concerts like Jordi Savall.”

The highly anticipated series has already garnered international interest with foreign media planning to cover the event. Some of the concerts will also be recorded for live albums.

Expressive ensembles

This year's instalment hits all the right notes with an impressive line-up of international artists.

The journey begins on 14th October with a concert from star French pianist Lydie Solomon as she pays homage to Frédéric Chopin, exploring pieces that the composer and musician wrote while travelling through Europe.

Later in the month, on 28th October, renowned violinist and composer Gidon Kremer from Latvia takes the stage with the award-winning ensemble he founded for young players from the Baltic, the Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra.

Another highlight is a world premiere by Spanish conductor and Grammy-award winning musician Jordi Savall. On 20th November, the talented artist pays homage to the fabled Arabic traveller Ibn Battuta in ‘Ibn Battuta: A voyager of Islam' with the help of Hesperion XXI, an ensemble of 16 musicians playing traditional Arabic instruments including the rebab, kanun and oud. »

« Check out our exclusive interview with piano prodigy, Lydie Solomon here. »

Abu Dhabi World, 2014-10-02