Long-awaited proposals to establish a full-fledged music library in Abu Dhabi that will complement the existing National Library at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation and provide a storehouse of resources in classical and traditional Arabic music will come to fruition in May 2004, ...

By Anupama V. Chand

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Published: Wed 7 Apr 2004, 2:38 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:31 AM

with the delivery of the first batch of materials, the chairperson of the Abu Dhabi Music Foundation (ADMF) has revealed.

In an interview with City Times, Hoda Khamis Kanoo said the ADMF's library drive, involving embassies and corporate donors to put together a library having CDs, videos, dictionaries and encyclopaedias and other audio-visual materials, started with a Dh5, 000 donation, under the patronage of the ADMF President and Patron, Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. She noted that it would presently be located in the same premises that housed the national library, as this was easily accessible to the public.

Hoda said that the music library would be the first of its kind in the region, and would greatly help in advancing the ADMF's objective of spreading a culture of music, particularly among the nationals in the country.

"Music has a great unifying and harmonising influence, it brings together people of different nationalities and cultures, all bound together by a cause and goal that transcends all barriers, and I feel this tool should be used to forge world peace," Hoda Kanoo said, feelingly.

First established in 1998, with a mission to advance all aspects of classical and traditional music as a means to promote cultural creativity had seen a rapid growth in membership, from just under 200 in 1998 to 2,000 in 2002, a figure which has today grown to over 3200. Students from the higher education institutions like Zayed University, Abu Dhabi Men's College, Abu Dhabi Women's College and the Ministry of Information and Culture, among the other prominent art lovers, diplomats and music aficionados are its most active members.

Speaking of the upcoming first Abu Dhabi Classical Music Festival, which is being organised by the ADMF from April 11 to 20, on the theme "Crossroads on the bridge of Culture", to highlight the cultural interaction between the West and the East, Hoda noted that the festival would include both Arab and international classical music, and see renowned names from the music industry converging in Abu Dhabi for a ten-day musical odyssey.

The event is expected to bring together names like French pianist Racha Arodaky, American cellist Gary Hoffman, the Tubingen Chamber Orchestra, renowned Egyptian writer, publisher Nazih Girgis, amazing Iraqi oud maestro Naseer Shamma and The Al-Oyoin Group, among others, and is being held at venues that include the Cultural Foundation's Grand Theatre and the National Theatre of the Ministry of Information & Culture.

Reverting to the subject of the music library, Hoda said the first delivery of materials in May would include 161 audiocassettes and CD’s, 12 videos, and some 145 books on music, all contributed by the different embassies in Abu Dhabi.

Commenting on whether the ADMF had fulfilled its initial objectives, Hoda said: "I notice there is a growing movement, especially among the young national students to attend music lectures and concerts, imbibe classical music, where earlier classic music was perceived as boring. I like to believe that to a large extent we have been successful in building a bridge of culture, reaching out to these students, going into these colleges, and bringing them to cultural programmes," she said.

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