Tuesday 5 March 2024

National Ballet of China

Abu Dhabi Festival 2024 unveils spectacular programmes

ABU DHABI, November 28, 2023

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation has unveiled the programme lineup for the 21st edition of Abu Dhabi Festival 2024, which will be held under the theme: “The Will for Hope” in celebration of artistic excellence and cultural diversity.

The Foundation unveiled the programme under the honorary patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Founding Honorary Patron of Abu Dhabi Festival.

The festival will be held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan.

With a spectacular lineup featuring classical ballet, jazz, opera, and traditional Arabic showcases, world and Arab and premiers, accompanied by community and educational programme, the festival promises to captivate local and global audiences.

This year, Abu Dhabi Festival has designated China as the Country of Honour, commemorating 40 years of diplomatic ties between the People’s Republic of China and the UAE, ensuring a culturally rich celebration.

The festival's theme, "The Will for Hope”, focuses on fostering hope and optimism during challenging times. It reflects the influence of art and culture, serving as a beacon that breaks through darkness and negativity, said a statement.

A portion of the 2024 revenues of Abu Dhabi Festival will be donated to Tarahum for Gaza campaign by Red Crescent. This contribution aligns with the official efforts of the United Arab Emirates to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people and aid those affected in Gaza.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah said: “The Abu Dhabi Festival embarks on its third decade of sustainable cultural progress, embodying Abu Dhabi's vision and reaffirming its commitment to elevating Emirati culture globally.

“By showcasing leading creatives and performers on the stages of Abu Dhabi, the Festival underscores the significance of culture and the arts in fostering hope, spreading values of coexistence, peace, and human fraternity, and conveys the message of the tolerant and open-minded UAE to the world.

“Celebrating the People's Republic of China as the Guest Country of Honour, this exceptional edition of the festival will be enriched with cultural brilliance, reflecting diverse traditions from the East and the West. This mirrors its pivotal role in stimulating cultural diplomacy, human interaction, and dialogue.

“The twenty-first edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival follows the celebration of the UAE's 52nd National Day and the hosting of COP28 and showcases the festival’s role in spreading environmental awareness in the UAE and worldwide. It symbolises collective effort, with institutions and inspirational creatives serving as ambassadors for environmental preservation and combating climate change, for the sake of our natural resources and the future generations.

“Proud of the significant milestones achieved to date, the festival looks forward to continuing its journey of leadership and excellence, enhancing the country's global status as a beacon of knowledge, culture, and creativity,” said His Highness Sheikh Abdullah.

Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture, said: “Through this productive collaboration with the festival and its organisers, we aim to achieve the vision and strategy of the Ministry, inspired by a concept that resonates globally. We work towards enriching the local cultural landscape through partnerships with culture, art, and heritage institutions in the UAE, supporting creators and talented individuals across various fields, and striving to enhance dialogue between cultures.”

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism-Abu Dhabi said: "As the Abu Dhabi Festival 2024 showcases a diverse programme of timeless musical masterpieces enriching the artistic scene in the emirate, we look forward to the continuation of our strategic partnership with the Foundation, contributing to enhancing Abu Dhabi's status as a beacon of cultural brilliance, welcoming creators from around the world."

Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, the founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and the founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “We unveil the programme for the 21st edition under the theme 'The Will for Hope’. This conveys a message of empowerment for culture and the arts as potent forces in promoting enlightenment, coexistence, and peace; a guiding beacon and a source of light and hope for a better future for our region and all of humanity.”

Highlighting the celebration of the People's Republic of China as guest of honour for the 2024 festival, she reiterated the festival’s commitment to presenting global masterpieces, exclusive commissioned works and joint productions.

Zhang Yiming, Chinese Ambassador to the UAE, said: “China is deeply honoured to be the Guest Country of Honor for the Abu Dhabi Festival 2024. The year 2024 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United Arab Emirates, therefore, there will be a series of wonderful performances by Chinese art groups at that time. This collaboration signifies the strong cultural ties between the two nations and showcases the richness of Chinese arts and culture heritage to the global audience.”

Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate & Human Capital Officer at Mubadala, the festival’s Lead partner said: “The festival’s commitment to supporting artistic talent aligns with Mubadala’s vision of fostering innovation and inspiration. Together, we embark on a journey to enhance cultural experiences, highlight creativity, and build bridges that connect communities through the universal language of the arts.”

GS Energy, the Festival’s Energy partner said: “We are honoured to join hands with the Abu Dhabi Festival as the energy partner. This partnership exemplifies our commitment to supporting cultural excellence and fostering creativity. Together with the Abu Dhabi Festival, we look forward to energizing and enriching the cultural landscape, bringing forth a harmonious blend of energy and artistic brilliance to the global stage."

Festival Highlights

The festival kicks off with a captivating performance by the National Ballet of China, presenting a reimagined 'The Nutcracker' by Tchaikovsky.

The festival welcomes the Orchestra of the Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago, conducted by Jan Latham-Koenig.

Renowned cellist Pablo Ferrández presents a richly varied programme.

Saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington promises a unique experience fusing jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and classical music, along with 12 musicians.

Violin prodigy Leia Zhu collaborates with 30 young musicians in the UAE during a one-week residency, culminating in an incredible recital.

Soprano Pretty Yende and tenor Francesco Demuro come together for a programme of operatic jewels.

Concertmaster of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Yamen Saadi, delivers a supremely virtuosic violin performance. He will be accompanied on the piano by Julien Quentin.

Piano duo Lucas and Arthur Jussen showcase their talent with a breathtaking performance of classical works s by Mozart, Schumann, Widmann, Debussy and Rachmaninov.

International opera star Lawrence Brownlee brings a dazzling array of works, celebrating vocal artistry.

Pianist Kirill Gerstein presents an energetic and imaginative programme spanning various musical traditions and taking the audience from Chopin, Fauré, Poulenc and Liszt, to Schumann and Godowsky.

Known as the ‘Sheikh of Egyptian chanters’, Inshad master Sheikh Mahmoud El-Tohamy presents the world premiere of 'The Carpenter's Daughters’, featuring poems from Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, and the Maghreb.

The festival culminates with the grand performance by the China National Symphony Orchestra, known for their breathtaking interpretations of Western classics and Chinese national music.

The 21st edition of Abu Dhabi Festival features a line-up of events, including exclusive commissioning and co-productions, along with local, regional, and global premieres, in addition to a series of world-class events that include musical tours, panel discussions, education and community programs and workshops. – TradeArabia News Service




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