Abu Dhabi Festival returns

International performers are back for the 15th year Discuss this article

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Abu Dhabi will be alive with the sound of music for a whole month after a stellar line-up was announced for the hotly-awaited return of Abu Dhabi Festival.

The massive musical extravaganza, organised by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, will be back for a fantastic 15th year, with more than 500 artists from 30 countries taking part in more than 100 events in 30 different venues.

The global music scene will be taking centre stage from February 19 until March 30 – and will be a huge part of 2018’s Year of Zayed celebrations.

The carnival of culture will include a headline performance by world-renowned violinist Nicola Benedetti, who will be performing in the grand surroundings of the Emirates Palace Auditorium on February 19.

One of the most gifted violinists of her generation, Benedetti will be wowing the crowds alongside one of the UK’s finest ensembles, Orchestra of Enlightenment, who have won a firm following for their innovative approach to classical music using period instruments from the 18th and 19th century.

This year’s festival will celebrate India as its Country of Honour – and the nation’s influence will be felt throughout the duration of the event.

One of the highlights of the packed programme will a colourful all-singing, all-dancing theatrical spectacular, Merchants of Bollywood.

The fun-packed riot of colour, which will also light up the stage at Emirates Palace on March 8 and 9, pays homage to the world’s most prolific film industry through dazzling dance displays.

Classical music aficionados will be in for a treat as The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, one of the oldest musical institutions in the world, having been founded in 1585, will be coming to the emirate for two unforgettable evenings of entertainment conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, music director of the Royal Opera House London. Support will come from pianist Beatrice Rana and violinist Kyung Wha Chung and the concerts will be held on March 11 at 12, with Emirates Palace again providing the venue.

The two-day Festival in the Park looks set to be a smash hit once again.

Held at Umm Al Emarat Park on March 22 and 23, the outdoor bonanza will feature evenings full of live music, plus workshops, film screenings and community events.

There is so much on the cultural calendar, too, including a beautiful ballet inspired by the adventures of Don Quixote and a night of jazz with Omar Kamal. www.abudhabifestival.ae.


Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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