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Press release

A symbiotic fusion between world-acclaimed conductor José Antonio Molina and the Dominican and Syrian Symphony Orchestras

Jose Antonio Molina 9th Feb 2011

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and the Embassy of the Dominican Republic present Caribbean Gems

Under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, wife of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Representative of Ruler in Western Region, the Embassy of the Dominican Republic and Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) present a classical Merengues-inspired concert to commemorate the 167th Anniversary of the Independence of the Dominican Republic. This lively performance entitled ‘Caribbean Gems’ will take place in the Emirates Palace Auditorium at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday February 27th. Acclaimed composer and pianist José Antonio Molina, widely regarded as one of Latin America’s foremost orchestral and operatic conductors, will conduct the Dominican Symphony Orchestra and the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra (SNSO) in this unique collaboration of musical cultures and traditions.


The lively ‘Merengue’ concert, stemming from a popular type of music and dance from the Dominican Republic, represents a unique collaboration between the Dominican National Symphony Orchestra and the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra. The concert will Illustrate the breathtaking adaptability of the Dominican Republic’s vivacious musical style the Perico Ripiao (the Ripped Parrot), which is regarded as the original ‘merengue’. Drawn from the rural communities of the island Merengue is a dizzyingly fast and hugely infectious harmony of guitars, drums and a güira, a cylindrical sheet-metal drum played with a brush.
“Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation is extremely proud to host this celebration of Independence and play a role in the symbolic fusion of such prestigious international music and talent. Our goal at ADMAF strives to foster a culture of creativity and understanding through our relationships with embassies here in the UAE and around the world. Tonight we can celebrate the colour and culture of the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic through the unique musical traditions of Merengue”, said Founder of ADMAF, Her Excellency Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo.

José Antonio Molina, who was recently appointed as Music Director of the Dominican National Symphony Orchestra, is an inspirational performer who dedicates his personal time to teaching and mentoring young musicians. He is also Founder and President of the Latin-American Young Artist Foundation. “This is the first time Abu Dhabi has hosted a concert by the Dominican National Symphony Orchestra and we hope the cultural bond that will be forged by this concert will inspire many other future partnerships through all of our arts, education and community projects. This unique collaboration between the Orchestras reaffirms the extraordinary ability of music, arts and culture to rise above borders and bring people together”, added Kanoo. Commenting on the occasion Her Excellency Clara Martinez-Thedy, the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the UAE said, “This performance is an inspirational way to mark the celebrations of our 167th year of Independence. There are many people who have made this concert possible, and with this in mind I wish to especially thank H.E. Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, founder and driving force behind Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. Her tenacious support in bringing together our two countries, with such diverse cultures from opposite sides of the globe has been unfaltering”. “I am also very proud to announce that proceeds from this concert will be donated to our neighbor, Haiti, whose country was devastated by the 2010 earthquake. Donations will be made through the Walkabout Foundation who provide all-terrain wheelchairs to those injured and disabled by the disaster. This great initiative has enabled thousands to regain their mobility and independence. I am sure that this concert will be an unforgettable performance and the benefits of which will hopefully help improve the lives of many’’, noted Martinez-Thedy. In line with ADMAF’s long-term commitment to cultural and musical education in the community, students will be invited to attend the open rehearsal on February 27th in the Emirates Palace. This commitment builds on Abu Dhabi Festival’s on-going community and education programme that aims to inspire young people through music and the arts.

Tickets, are priced at 200AED go on sale from 9th February at the Emirates Palace ticketing desk which is open daily from 3pm to 7pm. Information Hotline: 050-9076158