Welcome Note

Classical music does not belong to a single nation. Germany does not own Beethoven, France does not own Ravel. Although every nation has a clear responsibility to safeguard the traditions of its composers, all these geniuses contributed in establishing a universal language. Abu Dhabi Classics plays a vital role in exposing and promoting this honest and deeply human language through concerts featuring today’s most distinguished performers as well as through a dynamic music education programme.

Building on a successful, award-winning inaugural season – with enthusiastic audiences and attendance surpassing all expectations – Abu Dhabi Classics spectacularly opens its second season with the New York Philharmonic’s debut appearance in the UAE on 23 and 24 October 2009. Under the baton of new music director, Alan Gilbert, the orchestra will perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 “Titan”, continuing the Abu Dhabi Classics Mahler Cycle opened by Zubin Mehta in the previous season with Symphony No. 2. The New York Philharmonic will open the Beethoven Symphony Cycle with his Symphony No. 7.

Abu Dhabi Classics concerts continue until May 2010 with an extraordinary series of appearances by outstanding international orchestras that include France’s Radio Philharmonic, Dresden’s legendary Staatskapelle, London’s superb Philharmonia Orchestra, the incomparable Vienna Philharmonic and the exciting young Mahler Chamber Orchestra. The impressive line-up of conductors includes Korean maestro Myung-Whun Chung, Christoph Eschenbach, Lorin Maazel, Seiji Ozawa and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

The opera genre is included in this season’s concerts with the choral and orchestral forces of Venice’s legendary Teatro La Fenice performing Verdi highlights, led by John Fiore, as well as a Wagner Gala performed by Munich’s renowned Bavarian State Orchestra, led by Thomas Hengelbrock. Chamber music is superbly catered for this season as well: the centrepiece of the 2009/10 season will be furnished by German superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and distinguished musical partners, pianist Lambert Orkis and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, in three magnificent piano trios from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Young musicians from St. Petersburg’s legendary Music School present Mendelssohn and Chopin: stars of the future commemorate the 200th birthday of this Polish composer who will be honoured in 2010 all over the world. The second season of Abu Dhabi Classics will culminate in a concert inspired by London’s “Last Night of the Proms” with the BBC Concert Orchestra in May 2010.

The dynamic music education activities for this season will include two Young People’s Concerts held on Saturday mornings, in collaboration with the New York and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras, free of charge. The 6pm Children’s Concerts resume on St. Nicholas Day, 6 December, with the Dresden Staatskapelle joined by young musicians from the Abu Dhabi Classics Academy telling the story of “Peter and the Wolf ”. Disney In Concert returns in the 2009/10 season and – as members of the Abu Dhabi Children’s choir – children will have the opportunity to actively participate in this performance featuring Disney animations on a cinema screen behind the orchestra.

In order to make an evening at the Abu Dhabi Classics an even more memorable event, we continually aim to increase services to our audience. Abu Dhabi Classics now offers two season subscriptions – international orchestras and famous soloists. For all concerts, complimentary shuttle service will be provided between Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The 2009/2010 season also marks the beginning of the Abu Dhabi Classics CD Edition: an exclusive CD collection containing performances of the upcoming repertoire by legendary musicians and top artists appearing this season.

We are proud to build bridges between cultures, generations and nations as we carry on our mission of providing deeply rewarding musical and music-educational experiences to the public of the UAE and international guests.

Till Janczukowicz
Executive and Artistic Director
Abu Dhabi Classics