Abu Dhabi Classics are back to town

Silvia Radan/staff Reporter
Filed on October 16, 2014
Abu Dhabi Classics are back to town

The eight-month season of classical concerts brought back after three years, will continue till May.

Abu Dhabi Classics are back to town (/assets/oldimages/thconcert1410.jpg)

French piano prodigy Lydie Solomon. — Supplied photo

After much talk about its come back, the re-launch of Abu Dhabi Classics finally happened last night with a Chopin concert by the French piano prodigy Lydie Solomon.

The concert already sold out over Eid Al Adha. According to Ronald Perlwitz, head of Music Programming, Culture Sector at Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), which organises Abu Dhabi Classics, the national and international interest in the new season of classical music has taken even the organisers by surprise.

“Immediately following the launch we were inundated with interest from media internationally, additional venues wishing to feature in future programmes and travel trade wanting to package around it. This all bodes extremely well for a series that has been well received on the classical music circuit,” he added.

For years, the Abu Dhabi Classics, an eight-month season of classical concerts that took place mostly in Abu Dhabi, but also Al Ain, was one of the most popular cultural events in the emirate.

After a three-year break, the Classics season, which runs from October till May, is once again brought back by TCA, in the same format of monthly concerts and educational workshops on the side for school and university students.

This time around, though, there are a few changes. To start with, apart from Emirates Palace, traditionally the only auditorium for Abu Dhabi Classics, concerts will also take place at Manarat al Saadiyat and Abu Dhabi Theatre, as well as Al Jahli Fort and Rotana Hotel in Al Ain.

These venues will host 12 concerts this season featuring orchestras and soloists from more than 20 countries.

Also new in the 2014/2015 season is a theme, something that the Classics never had before, and the theme is “The Traveller”.

The “traveller” theme is meant to offer a wide range of musical explorations, from the prestigious ensemble Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Christian Thielemann or the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, to renowned artists such as Grammy Award winner Jordi Savall, exceptional young concert pianists Khatia Buniatishvili and David Fray, oud virtuoso Nasser Shamma and the acclaimed Emirati oud master Faisal Al Saari, alongside today’s leading violinists Gidon Kremer and James Ehnes.

Last night’s Lydie Solomon’s concert — Chopin’s Journey — was especially created for Abu Dhabi by Solomon.

Even though the musical pieces performed at Manarat Al Saadiyat have been written in different times of Chopin’s musical life, they all express the ambivalent core of romantic longing, the aspiration of foreign realms and, at the same time, the nostalgia of a true homeland.

Abu Dhabi Classics will continue on October 28 at the Abu Dhabi Theatre with a concert inspired by Vivaldi’s Four Season and performed by the Latvian classical violinist and conductor Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra that he founded in 1997.

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