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6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival


 for the  

·       Strong education programme set to inspire UAE students

·       Festival runs from 21 March to  2 April 2009; tickets on sale from today


Abu Dhabi, UAE, 3 February 2009: The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) today announced a stunning line-up of performers for the 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.  The Festival will feature a varied programme of ballet, opera, classical and Arabic music, a visual arts component and a strong educational programme which forms the festival’s backbone.


The two week festival runs from 21 March to 2 April 2009 and is primarily hosted at the Emirates Palace. Tickets go on sale from today, with tickets for the Bocelli concert available on Wednesday 11 February.


The Festival is presented by ADMAF with executive producer IMG Artists, the world’s leading performing artist management company. The festival is supported by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) which is the title sponsor of the 6th Festival.  This year’s Festival is also the first to involve collaboration with Flash Entertainment who, together with ADMAF, are bringing Andrea Bocelli to Abu Dhabi for the first time on 27 March 2009.


The festival is an integral part of ADMAF’s year-long efforts to complement Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision.  The festival aims to feature Abu Dhabi as a prominent cultural destination, while promoting the unique role of music and arts in cultural cooperation.


This year’s festival will be the first to take the theme of Bilad Al Khair. The UAE is known as ‘Bilad Al Khair’ – the land of blessings, owning to the fact of a just leader, secure citizens, and natural resources. Fundamental to a secure citizen is a distinguished education, cultural sensitivity and respect in order to sow tolerance and compassion. The Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival this year and in years to come will become a celebration of this by bringing together leading cultural organisations and community groups from all over the UAE to recognize their efforts in benefiting society, in line with the ethos of Bilad Al Khair.


The programme

Performing arts and visual arts

A special Opera Gala will kick off the Festival with a performance by the most gifted opera singer of our time, Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu and internationally acclaimed German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, accompanied by the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra under the majestic leadership of Austrian conductor Ion Marin.


Following their enormous success last year, The Bolshoi Ballet will return to Abu Dhabi for a second year to deliver a brilliant Ballet Gala and two performances of the Yuri Grigorovic interpretation of Giselle.


Andrea Bocelli, the biggest selling tenor of all time, will give a one-night only outdoor concert on the lawns of the Emirates Palace, accompanied by the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra. Andrea will be joined on stage by Conductor M° Marcello Rota, soprano Paola Sanguinetti and baritone Gianfranco Montresor and will feature songs from his new album “Incanto”.  The concert is brought to the Festival by Flash Entertainment and is sponsored by Mubadala, Aldar and Du in association with Etihad Airways.


Welcomed back to the UAE capital is Oud virtuoso, Naseer Shamma, who will accompany World Music Award Winner, Tunisian actress and singer, Latifa, in  a world premiere performance featuring new songs with Andalusian themes and inspired by Arab poets.


Following his successful show in 2008, French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet will perform a concert alongside the world’s best known solo flautist, Sir James Galway, and the passionate and inspiring Russian cellist Nina Kotova, in a unique collaboration. The festival will also feature a show stopping performance by the legendary Lebanese UN Goodwill Ambassador and soprano Magida El Roumi.


Closing this year’s festival is Karim Said, a strikingly talented young pianist who has quickly emerged at the forefront of the international concert stage.


An integral part of the festival is the visual arts element, which now in its second year features contemporary Iraqi-British artist, Dia Al-Azzawi. Exhibiting throughout the Festival at The Emirates Palace’s auditorium foyer, the public can view striking works from one of the world’s best-known contemporary Arab artists.


Mrs Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, comments:


“We are thrilled to launch the 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival and what is undoubtedly our most inspiring programme of international artists to date.


“With the firm commitment of the Government, Abu Dhabi continues to develop as the region’s centre for culture.  We are proud that the festival and our year-round programme of events and educational activities contribute to educating and inspiring UAE students, audiences and local artists alike. We extend a huge thank you to our title sponsor the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and our supporter, Mubadala.  Their valued support ensures that we can continue to delight audiences with the most talented performers of our time.”

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