Media Centre

Press release

presented for the first time to recipients from the Arab World

30th Jun 2010

ADMAF Founder receives the highest honour of Poland

The Ambassador of Poland to the UAE, HE Roman Chalaczkiewicz presented the “Gloria Artis”, the highest honour of the government of Poland, to H.E. Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) for her exceptional services in promoting Polish Culture and establishing cultural ties between the UAE and Poland. The medal was also presented to HE Mr. Zaki Nusseibeh, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and Advisor to the Presidential Affairs Ministry and to Mrs. Katarina Peers, Director of the first UAE International Chopin Competition 2010 during a special ceremony held at the Embassy of Poland in Abu Dhabi.

The “Gloria Artis” is presented by the government of Poland to individuals and groups who have contributed to Polish culture and to the strengthening of cultural ties between Poland and their respective countries. The ADMAF Founder has been one of the pioneers in establishing bilateral cultural ties between Poland and the UAE through various initiatives organised by the Foundation, including the promotion of Arab and Polish artists in the two countries. For example, ADMAF’s flagship event, the annual Abu Dhabi Festival this year brought to the capital the works of one of Poland’s musical giants, through a celebration of composer Frédéric Chopin’s Bicentennial. The festival’s opening gala on March 20 featured a performance by the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra directed by Grammy-Award-winning and acclaimed  composer, Krzysztof Penderecki, who made his Middle East debut alongside piano virtuoso, Krzysztof Jablonski.  As part of the festival’s Chopin Bicentennial celebrations, Nobuyuki Tsujii, the acclaimed 22-year-old pianist from Japan, also made his Middle East debut on March 28. The two performances resonated the Polish composer’s legacy in the UAE, contributing to the advancement of bilateral cultural ties between the two countries.

ADMAF has also played a crucial role in introducing Arabic music to art lovers in Poland in organizing the world premiere of a concert by Oud virtuoso Naseer Shamma and the Oriental Orchestra in Poland in March 2008. The performances were organised in association with the Ludwig van Beethoven Festival in Warsaw as part of ADMAF’s cross cultural program to promote Arab artists abroad.

Presenting the award on behalf of H.E.  Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, HE Roman Chalaczkiewicz emphasized that it was the first time ever the award was being presented to recipients from the Arab World and added:

“We highly appreciate Mrs. Kanoo’s contribution to our Polish – UAE cultural dialog. Her achievements speak for themselves. She was an honorary guest on the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw. In 2007 she generously supported “The Days of Polish Culture in the UAE”, organized by the Embassy of Poland, under the patronage of the UAE Minister of Culture, Abdul Rahman Al Owais.  As a founder and artistic director she contributed to the great success of the 7th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 which was also a success for Polish culture. Today I would like to honor the person who has worked in an exemplary manner to enable the Polish culture in Abu Dhabi to prosper. Her tremendous efforts have ensured the overall success of Abu Dhabi Festival with such distinguished musicians, as maestro Penderecki.”

H.E Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, said:

“On behalf of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, I am truly honoured to accept The Gloria Artis Medal.  Over the last 14 years, ADMAF has been building bridges between cultures and nations to allow us all to delight in the splendid diversity of others. I have had the fortune to partner with Poland - the cultural heartland of Europe, which is steeped in history and rich with the legacy of many great composers and artists. Its spirit and determination have acted as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to bring art and culture to the fore.

This year’s Abu Dhabi Festival was proud to present Poland and I thank His Excellency The Ambassador for a fruitful partnership. I was delighted that His Excellency, The Minister of Culture and other eminent dignitaries were able to travel to the UAE and share this most memorable time with us.

None of this would have been possible without the guidance of His Excellency Sheikh Nayan Mubarak Al Nahyan, President & Patron of ADMAF, and the constant support of ADMAF’s Advisors and Team.

I hope that this award brings strength to all those who share a similar vision: to protect cultural expression; free creative thinking; and enable society to flourish.”