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Award-winning Brazilian music legend Sérgio Mendes World-renowned conductor Riccardo Muti and internationally-acclaimed violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter To perform at 12th edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival in March 2015

Abu Dhabi Festival 2015 15th Sep 2014

Abu Dhabi Festival Announces Headline Artists for 2015

With a ground-breaking series of concerts, performances and exhibitions, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) today announced the first two headline acts to grace the UAE capital at the Abu Dhabi Festival 2015 (ADF15). Consolidating Abu Dhabi Festival as an international cultural platform, ADF15 will welcome one of the world’s most successful musicians, Sérgio Mendes, alongside the awe-inspiring Italian youth orchestra, Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra led by its founder and conductor, Riccardo Muti, with featured soloist, Anne-Sophie Mutter.


H.E. Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) said, “We are truly delighted to be welcoming these stunning artists as we further celebrate Abu Dhabi Festival’s pivotal role in nurturing cultural exchange and artistic innovation. By bringing the world to Abu Dhabi, we believe it is important to go beyond mere entertainment and demonstrate the transformative power of music, while reflecting the Festival’s core values of mutual respect and tolerance.”


Marking his debut performance in the Arabian Gulf, Brazilian jazz legend Sérgio Mendes will showcase his array of musical influences as he charms an Abu Dhabi audience with his eclectic mix of soul, funk, jazz and pop. With a career that spans five decades, the three-time Grammy Award winner established his mythical status by taking numerous albums and singles to the top of the charts.


Sparking global stardom at the 1968 Oscars, Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66 performed their version of The Look of Love which shot to the top 10, quickly followed by the hits The Fool on the Hill and Scarborough Fair. In 2011, Mendes released his 39th album, Celebration: A Musical Journey, which represented his 50 years as a recording artist and includes classics from his career. He has most recently released Magic, his debut recording for the OKeh label, delivering a timely update on the infectious mix of Brazilian rhythms and contemporary styles from his homeland, the USA and elsewhere that make the Mendes sound instantly recognizable.


ADF15 will welcome the world-renowned Italian conductor, Riccardo Muti. Over the course of his extraordinary career Mr Muti has conducted the world’s greatest orchestras from the Berlin Philharmonic to the Bayerischer Rundfunk, the New York Philharmonic to the Orchestre National de France.   Currently Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Mr Muti is a Grammy Award winner and recipient of many prestigious honours from around the world, including the Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Italian Republic, the Verdienstkreuz from Germany, the decoration of Officer of the Legion of Honor from France and an honorary knighthood from the United Kingdom.

In keeping with Abu Dhabi Festival’s commitment to nurturing youth participation in music, Mr Muti dedicates time to develop young musicians.  Founded in 2004 by Mr Muti, the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra is named after one of the finest Italian composers of all time. Made up of young musicians all under the age of 30 from every Italian region, the orchestra has developed a repertoire that ranges from baroque to twentieth century music, giving it a spirit of youthful dynamism and endless renewal.

Performing as a soloist with the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter will return to the UAE capital at ADF15. Born in Rheinfelden in Baden, Germany, Anne-Sophie Mutter began her international career in 1976 at the Lucerne Festival. One year later she performed as a soloist at the Salzburg Festival under the conductor Herbert von Karajan. Since then she has been regarded as one of the greatest violin virtuosos of our time, performing in all the major music centres of Europe, the USA and Asia. Ms Mutter set up the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation in 2008 with the aim of reinforcing the worldwide promotion of exceptionally talented young musicians.

Set to perform at the 12th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival, tickets for Sérgio Mendes and Anne-Sophie Mutter/Riccardo Muti performances will be available soon. Further information on tickets, schedules, venues and other upcoming ADF15 performances will be announced shortly on the festival website: