Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 22 February 2023: Under the honorary patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the special 20th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival kicks off in a few days on 1 March 2023 at Emirates Palace with a performance by acclaimed Peruvian tenor, Juan Diego Flórez. Presented by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and held under the theme “The Will for Evolution”, the headline programme of events will take place during the first three weeks of March and features the world’s most renowned performers and musicians.
Abu Dhabi Festival 2023 will present exclusive commissions and productions, along with local, regional, and global premieres, in addition to a series of world-class events that include musical tours, panel discussions, and workshops. Additional information on the Abu Dhabi Festival programme and ticket booking details are available at abudhabifestival.ae/programme-2023/
Abu Dhabi Festival 2023 is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, Assistant to His Highness the President of the Emirates Red Crescent Authority for Women’s Affairs, and Chairperson of the Higher Committee for Ataya Initiative. The Festival is also supported by its Lead Partner Mubadala.
Wednesday, 1 March: Juan Diego Flórez and Friends at Emirates Palace
Acclaimed for his command of the high tenor range, Juan Diego Flórez gives a spectacular performance accompanied by an orchestra featuring a programme of opera arias followed by Latin American songs. In addition and as part of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation’s ongoing commitment to providing opportunities for young artists to showcase their talent, Emirati singer and rising star Rashed Al Nuaimi will take the stage to open for the world renowned tenor .
Friday, 10 March: De Scheherezade a Yo, Carmen at Emirates Palace
On 10 March, the Emirates Palace will host the Middle East premiere of De Scheherezade a Yo, Carmen. Throughout the mesmerising performance, Vanguard flamenco dancer and choreographer, María Pagés, transcends the legendary female character — Carmen, the gypsy cigarette girl from Mérimée's novella.
Saturday, 11 March: Gregory Porter at Emirates Palace
Two-time Grammy Award-winning Jazz musician Gregory Porter makes his UAE debut on March 11, performing a set of his smooth original tracks from his albums Liquid Spirit and Take Me to the Alley, as well as captivating renditions of the classics, joined by Chip Crawford on piano, Emanuel Harrold on drums, Tivon Pennicott on saxophone/horns, and Jahmal Nichols on bass.
Tuesday, 14 March: Recital Series: Bruce Liu at NYUAD Arts Center
Winner of the 2021 International Chopin Piano Competition, Bruce Liu, will perform a captivating piano solo with classical and romantic highlights on 14 March at The Red Theatre at NYUAD Arts Center. Dazzling audiences at sold-out venues around the world, the international star pianist will present a selection of pieces by Rameau, Chopin and Liszt during the recital.
Thursday, 16 March: Recital Series: Haochen Zhang at NYUAD Arts Center
Acclaimed Shanghainese pianist, Haochen Zhang, will perform some of Beethoven’s most celebrated sonatas on 16 March at NYUAD Arts Center’s The Blue Hall. The gold medal winner of the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition promises a captivating solo performance.
Friday, 17 March: From West to East: A Classical Odyssey by Tan Dun at Emirates Palace
For the first time in the Middle East, the Emirates Palace will host From West to East: A Classical Odyssey on 17 March. Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun conducts the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Modena Pavarotti-Freni, joined by world-famous Chinese cellist Jian Wang, in an unforgettable musical journey from West to East featuring an iconic classics repertoire of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Mussorgsky, followed by the UAE premiere of his original Pipa Concerto.
Saturday, 18 March: Buddha Passion by Tan Dun at Emirates Palace
Abu Dhabi Festival will present the Middle East premiere of Buddha Passion by Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun on 18 March. Spanning the boundaries of classical music and Eastern and Western traditions, the performance is a 95-minute oratorio illustrating six Buddha parables and stories, with the sixth being the Buddha's ascension into Nirvana. The performance captures the ancient narratives of the Buddha's teachings and the timeless, universal concepts of love, forgiveness and sacrifice.
Sunday, 19 March: Pearl Diver’s Daughter at Cultural Foundation
Blending cutting-edge technology with choreography, music and narrative, Pearl Diver's Daughter takes audiences of all ages on a journey beneath the waves of the Gulf, taking place on 19 March at Cultural Foundation. In what will be the longest continuous augmented reality experience ever created, Emirati Writer Maitha Al Khayat and Emirati Composer Eman Al Hashimi join forces with American contemporary dance Company E to present a story of family, tradition, and the perils of the diver and the wonders of the sea.
Monday, 20 March: Recital Series: Leia Zhu, Violin & Benjamin Engeli, Piano at NYUAD Arts Center
Sixteen-year-old British-Chinese violin prodigy, Leia Zhu will be accompanied by versatile Swiss pianist, Benjamin Engeli to perform renditions of Mozart, Strauss, Debussy, Wieniawski and Sarasate on 20 March at The Blue Hall, NYUAD Arts Center.