Abu Dhabi Festival premieres musical production in Los Angeles

The fusion of music and art celebrates the legacy of iconic artist Bob Peak

By CT Desk

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Published: Tue 18 Jun 2024, 3:27 PM

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles hosted an extraordinary event last weekend with the world premiere of Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak. This unique musical commission, produced by the Abu Dhabi Festival in collaboration with Robert Townson Productions, bridges generations, genres, and cultures to honour the late Bob Peak, a legendary artist whose work continues to inspire.

The evening began with a tribute to classic film scores paired with Bob Peak's iconic illustrations. The orchestra delivered powerful performances of selections from 20th-century greats, including Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, John Williams’ Superman: The Movie, Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and other legendary works, vividly bringing Peak’s artwork to life.


The highlight of the night was the world premiere of Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak, an innovative musical suite inspired by Peak’s masterpieces. This project brought together ten esteemed composers, including Emirati artist Ihab Darwish. Darwish’s composition, Curva Grande, Fastest Corners in Car Racing, highlighted the UAE’s burgeoning influence on the global cultural stage. Other featured composers included Maria Newman, Jeff Beal, Michael Abels, Marco Beltrami, Marc Shaiman, Don Davis, Bill Conti, Mychael Danna, and Harry Gregson-Williams. Each composition offered a unique interpretation of Peak’s art, such as the Time Magazine cover portrait of Mother Teresa and the 1964 New York World's Fair.

Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, praised the event’s success: “It is with great pride and excitement that Abu Dhabi Festival collaborates once more with Robert Townson Productions to present 'Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak,' underscoring the international prominence of the Abu Dhabi Festival and its commitment to enhancing Emirati cultural presence globally. This grand musical commission brings together the distinctive work of ten internationally renowned composers. In the spirit of Bob Peak’s vibrant artworks, the concert celebrates the best of 20th-century culture, including film, architecture, sport, and iconic individuals."


The event underscored Abu Dhabi Festival’s role as a leader in promoting cultural and artistic innovation.

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