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Abu Dhabi Classics 20016-17

When : Oct 06, 2016 to May 10, 2017

Where : Emirates Palace

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The season brings a dynamic new season of classical and traditional music featuring world-class performers and orchestras from around the world incorporating Abu Dhabi Classics, the Emirati Music Series, Umsiyat and the Bait Al Oud Concert Series.

The diverse programme of events will be held at leading venues across the emirate and include performances, talks, masterclasses and lectures from some of the leading contemporary musicians from across the world.

Returning for a third consecutive year, Abu Dhabi Classics promises a superb selection of artists and orchestras under the theme of ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ including a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – currently regarded as the best and most prestigious orchestra in the world.

The season launches on October 6 with a performance by the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra at Emirates Palace Auditorium with a Richard Wagner Gala Night. The orchestra, welcomed for the first time to the UAE, is one of the leading ensembles of the Asia-Pacific region and will be accompanied by world renowned tenor Simon O’Neil.

Four days later, the Abu Dhabi Classics season continues with a solo piano recital by virtuoso Helene Grimaud from France.

With her first appearance in the capital, Grimaud will present pieces from her new album, Water, which combines music from nine composers from the 19th and 20th centuries that are linked by transitions that draw various musical cultures together in one performance.

Highlights of the eight-month-long season include the return to Abu Dhabi of award-winning Catalan composer Jordi Savall, accompanied by his ensemble of Arabic and Western musicians Hesperion XXI, with his interpretations of famed traveller Ibn Battuta’s journey from India to China in the 14th Century. In 2014 the Grammy winner performed the widely acclaimed world premiere of ‘Ibn Battuta: Voyager of Islam’ in the capital, which due to its success was repeated last year. The new performance depicts the continuation of Ibn Battuta’s epic journey.

Other highlights for the season include the return of the Symphony Orchestra of India; and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse in Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain. Another special night will feature Grammy and Academy Award-nominated composer and pianist, Stephan Moccio, who is considered today one the most prominent names in the music world as he has written and produced some of the biggest pop hits of the last 20 years.

He will perform both his classical and pop music together with an international orchestra of young soloists this December at Emirates Palace.

Not only will the season cover most of the musical pieces inspired by the Arabian Nights, but also, through works like Mozart’s Don Giovanni or some of Wagner’s great operas, Abu Dhabi Classics will look at the different ways folk tales and the famous ‘story within a story’ technique have been integrated in musical dramas. It will be a programme of emotions and dreams deeply rooted in the imagery of the Middle East.
The Umsiyat performances will again take place and starts in January 2017 with open-air performances at Abu Dhabi’s Mother of the Nation Park.

The Emirati Music Series will include a string of traditional Ayalah performances on Abu Dhabi Corniche as well as oud and voice performances in different locations throughout the Emirate. A full season from Bait Al Oud - the Abu Dhabi-based music institution dedicated to the teaching and learning of the traditional Oud and Qanun instruments - is to be held with a schedule of events to be released soon.
The Abu Dhabi Classics season is brought to you by TCA Abu Dhabi.

Tickets for the Abu Dhabi Classics performances, as well as Season Tickets, are available on