Media Centre

Press release

Joining leading global figures in Florence, Italy, ADMAF Founder H.E. Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo highlights the significant contribution of the Middle East

ADMAF Founder H.E. Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo with Ibrahim Al Neaimi of the UAE Embassy in Italy, Emirati visual artist Fatma Lootah and members of the study group 25th Aug 2016

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation participates in New York University’s landmark three-year study on the future of classical music

On 22 and 23 August, distinguished members of the international classical music sector gathered in Florence, Italy, for the second meeting of a major study regarding the direction and development of Western classical music as it enters the 21st century. 


Initiated in 2015 by the Global Institute for Advanced Study (GIAS) at New York University (NYU), the research project ‘The Future of Classical Music’ is a three-year study, which will culminate in the publication of a major report during 2018.


Held in the sumptuous surroundings of Villa La Pietra, the home of NYU Florence, the meeting’s two-day programme generated fascinating discussions on major issues affecting the direction and development of classical music, such as the impact of the digital universe, the changing demographics of listeners, music education and the influence of economic factors on production, performance and appreciation.


ADMAF Founder, H.E. Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo is the Working Group’s sole representative from the Arab world. Her lecture ‘The Current State of Play: UAE and Middle East’ – delivered in the presence of guests, Ibrahim Al Neaimi of the UAE Embassy to Italy and the prominent UAE visual artist Fatma Lootah – Mrs Kanoo outlined the development of classical music performance and practice in the countries of the Levant, North Africa and Arabian Gulf from the early 20th century to the present day. As well as hosting visits of myriad international orchestras and soloists, the countries of the MENA region have deep national classical music sectors, each possessing an ever-growing infrastructure featuring venues, educational institutions, competitions, orchestras, composers, soloists and festivals, among other elements, which are contributing to the global classical music sector.


During her lecture, H.E. Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation said: “Our histories are united through music. The universality of classical music should not be taken for granted. It is not just a well-meaning ‘line’. It is a rare treasure to be nurtured, respected and shared… This belief is at the heart of ADMAF, which creates meaningful experiences and memorable encounters that allow each and every person to take the next step on their individual, classical music journeys.”


In addition to ADMAF’s Founder, H.E. Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, members of the study’s working group include, Laurent Bayle (Director General, Cité de la Musique & President, Philharmonie de Paris – France); Alexander Neef (General Director, Canadian Opera Company – Canada); Unsuk Chin (Composer – South Korea); Jeremy Geffen (Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall – USA); Matthew Van Besien (President, New York Philharmonic – USA); and Ara Guzelimian (Provost & Dean, The Juilliard School, New York – USA), among others.