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Eric Clapton to kick off Abu Dhabi concert season

Eric Clapton to kick off Abu Dhabi concert season

The World Orchestra for Peace launched the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011 at the Emirates Palace last night with a selection of much loved classics.

The mixed audience of young Emiratis and music connoisseurs were treated to a breathtaking performance from some of the world’s most eminent performers.

Pictured: Maestro Valerie Gergiev conducts the World Orchestra for Peace in Abu Dhabi

These musicians travelled from more than 30 countries and more than 60 internationally acclaimed orchestras.

Her excellency Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, founder of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and artistic director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, commented: “Abu Dhabi Festival is extremely proud to have presented the World Orchestra for Peace, led by Maestro Valery Gergiev.

“From start to finish, the playing was thoroughly involved and involving.

“In fact, the whole performance was one in which orchestral virtuosity and panache were to the fore.

“This was an exhilarating evening, with the World Orchestra for Peace evincing a joy of music-making that was utterly compelling.

“The artists really brought alive the spirit of the theme for the Abu Dhabi Festival in 2011 ‘Harmony for Humanity’.”

The concert was the latest in a string of high profile events for Emirates Palace, which was last year recognised by the World Travel Awards as the World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Hotel among a host of other titles.

Pictured: Maestro Valerie Gergiev concludes his performance with the World Orchestra for Peace in Abu Dhabi

Also in attendance at last night’s performance was his excellency Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, minister of higher education and scientific research and president and patron Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, his excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, minister for foreign Trade, UNESCO representative to Arab Gulf Countries and Yemen Dr Hamad Yusef Al Hamami, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall, Sir Clive Gillinson and Paul Dujardin, director general of the Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) in Brussels.

“The World Orchestra for Peace was delighted to receive an invite to play in Abu Dhabi,” said Lady Valerie Solti, patron of the World Orchestra for Peace.

“Over the past few days spent here I have gained a greater understanding of the vision of Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation and I have the utmost admiration for our host, Mrs Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, and the efforts she is making to transform the cultural landscape of Abu Dhabi.

“I have no doubt that her efforts will be rewarded.

“It has been a pleasure supporting the vision of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011. When the Orchestra first performed in 1995, we would never have expected this opportunity.

“The world has changed so much since then, but my late husband’s ideals are still vitally important for us all”, said Lady Valerie Solti, patron of the World Orchestra for Peace.”

Festival Highlights

Among the highlights of the festival will be a performance from Globe Education at the Shakespeare’s Globe Company.

The troupe will perform a youth-inspired version of Macbeth.

This specially-commissioned production is aimed at young people and forms part of the Playing Shakespeare Project (alongside Deutsche Bank).

In dance, the critically acclaimed Sadler’s Wells production PUSH will feature dance legends Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant as it makes its regional debut at the Festival. 

Music fans are also sure to enjoy the British workshop group Between the Notes as its founder, cellist Matthew Barley, once again leads the Festival’s in-classroom music and arts sessions.

Further information on the Abu Dhabi Festival can be found here.