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Exhilarating concert truly embodied the theme of Abu Dhabi Festival 2011 ‘Harmony for Humanity’

Maestro Valerie Gergiev during his performance with the World Orchestra for Peace last night in Emirates Palace 6th Jan 2011

INSPIRED PERFORMANCE BY THE WORLD ORCHESTRA FOR PEACE CONCLUDED TO A THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE

UNESCO Artists for Peace Maestro Valerie Gergiev and the World Orchestra for Peace launched the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011 with a stunning repertoire of much loved classics during their performance at the Emirates Palace last night. The mixed audience of young Emiratis and music connoisseurs were treated to a breathtaking performance from some of the world’s most eminent performers. These musicians travelled from more than 30 countries and more than 60 internationally acclaimed orchestras.

Attending last night’s performance was His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and President and Patron Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, HE Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Minister for foreign Trade, UNESCO Representative to Arab Gulf Countries and Yemen Dr Hamad Yusef Al Hamami, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall, Sir Clive Gillinson and Paul Dujardin, Director General of the Centre for Fine Arts (Bozar) in Brussels. 

Her Excellency Mrs Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival commented: “Abu Dhabi Festival is extremely proud to have presented the World Orchestra for Peace, led by Maestro Valery Gergiev. From start to finish, the playing was thoroughly involved and involving. In fact, the whole performance was one in which orchestral virtuosity and panache were to the fore. This was an exhilarating evening, with the World Orchestra for Peace evincing a joy of music-making that was utterly compelling. The artists really brought alive the spirit of the theme for the Abu Dhabi Festival in 2011 ‘Harmony for Humanity’.”

“The World Orchestra for Peace was delighted to receive an invite to play in Abu Dhabi. Over the past few days spent here I have gained a greater understanding of the vision of Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation and I have the utmost admiration for our host, Mrs Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, and the efforts she is making to transform the cultural landscape of Abu Dhabi. I have no doubt that her efforts will be rewarded. It has been a pleasure supporting the vision of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011. When the Orchestra first performed in 1995, we would never have expected this opportunity. The world has changed so much since then, but my late husband’s ideals are still vitally important for us all”, said Lady Valerie Solti, patron of the World Orchestra for Peace.

Maestro Valery Gergiev, the internationally acclaimed conductor of the World Orchestra for Peace, expressed his delight following the performance: “I am truly delighted to have had the opportunity to perform with the World Orchestra for Peace in Abu Dhabi, at the invitation of the Abu Dhabi Festival. The audience’s response to our performance tonight was overwhelming and the overall experience was an unforgettable way to welcome 2011.”

“I express my sincere thanks to the World Orchestra for Peace and to Maestro Valery Gergiev and Lady Solti for their commitment to peace, and for setting the tone for the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011 in such a magnificent fashion,” added Kanoo.

Maestro Valerie Gergiev concludes his performance with the World Orchestra for Peace in Abu Dhabi HE Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, HE Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, and HE Mrs Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo

Further information can be found at: www.abudhabifestival.ae