Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 16 March 2023: Under the honorary patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the next consecutive series of artistic and cultural performances are set to take place before the close of the March events taking place during the special 20th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival. Presented by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and held under the theme “The Will for Evolution”, the headline programme of events features the world’s most renowned performers and musicians.
A captivating piano recital by Acclaimed Shanghainese pianist, Haochen Zhang will take place on Thursday, 16 March, at NYUAD Arts Center, followed by two epic back-to-back orchestral concert performances by Academy Award-winning composer, Tan Dun, with ‘From West to East: A Classical Odyssey’ on Friday, 17 March, and ‘Buddha Passion’ on Saturday, 18 March, both taking place at Emirates Palace.
An augmented reality-based performance with ‘Pearl Diver's Daughter’ by Emirati Writer Maitha Al Khayat and Emirati Composer Eman Al Hashimi will take place on Sunday, 19 March, at Cultural Foundation followed by a violin and piano duo recital by Leia Zhu and Benjamin Engeli at NYUAD Arts Center on Monday, 20 March, to conclude this year’s festival.
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 The Blue Hall at NYUAD Art Center. 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 featuring Mayssa Karaa 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.