Media Centre

Press release

Abu Dhabi Festival 2011 announces spectacular artist line-up reflecting Arabic creativity in the architecture of the future

The Zaha Hadid Pavilion Events 15th Feb 2011

Zaha Hadid Pavilion To Provide Futuristic Backdrop For Festival's Breathtaking Arabic Performances

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, organisers of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011, today announced the programme of prolific talent taking to the stage of the Zaha Hadid Pavilion as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011. Co-commissioned by the Abu Dhabi Festival with partners Manchester International Festival and Holland Festival, the Pavilion is described as the perfect union of sound and space. The installation, an extraordinary chamber music hall, was designed by the Iraqi-born architect and Pritzker prize-winner Zaha Hadid.

Her Excellency Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival said: “We are thrilled to host the Zaha Hadid Pavilion at the Emirates Palace as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011. Together with our international partners, we have developed this beautiful organic space with the express aim of providing a place where people can come together from diverse backgrounds and cultures to explore the breadth and depth of the arts in all its forms.”

“This unique space will bring together some of the Arab world’s most exciting performers and artists, including Rumi-inspired artist Rachid Koraïchi, Jordanian vocalist Macadi Nahhas, Lebanese chanteuse Soumaya Baalbaki, composer and member of the Lebanese musical Rahbani dynasty Oussama Rahbani and the young talented  Emirati opera singer Sara Al Qaiwani in collaboration with the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute. In addition to these leading Arab artists, the venue will also host Jean-Guihen Queyras the virtuoso cellist who performed to a sell-out audience at the Zaha Hadid Pavilion during the 2010 Holland Festival. The programme is a celebration of the spirit of ‘Harmony for Humanity’, the theme of the Abu Dhabi Festival in 2011,” added Mrs. Kanoo. 

The pavilion is a touring venue that will showcase dynamic cross-cultural projects under the theme Arab Creativity in the Architecture of the Future and will feature performances celebrating Arabic cultural and artistic influences that reinforce the Festival’s commitment to preserving the cultural heritage of the region.

An intimate venue with an audience capacity of just 200, the Pavilion employs cutting edge technology in its design to ensure an acoustically superb environment for each performance experience. The Pavilion has featured in the Manchester International Festival and Holland Festival to date. At each international Festival, the three commission partners have worked together to develop projects that showcase cultural diversity.

Addressing the Pavilion’s de facto home for a new Arab creativity archive project Mrs. Kanoo said, “Within this beautiful structure we hope to explore the legacies of Arab art and music and reflect on its power to inspire future generations of young Arab artists, poets, musicians. Our commitment to preserving our own musical heritage will be reinforced this year with the beginning of a long-term project to archive our traditions and build a library of written work that will document our history for future generations.”

The Zaha Hadid Pavilion will be located on the Emirates Palace Lawns and will be open from March 22nd to March 29th.

Tickets are AED 100 and will go on sale from Tuesday 15th February through www.timeouttickets.com For further information about the programme or venue please call the Abu Dhabi Festival Hotline number +971 50 907 6158.