A group of musicians committed to performing the traditional music of the Arab world and preserving the rich legacy of Arabic culture have created a musical to share with tourists and residents of Dubai - The Sound of Arabia.

The orchestra consists of 11 members. Each musician, an expert in his chosen field, uses instruments such as, the Pouzik, Qanun, Oud, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double bass and other percussion instruments. They are accompanied by a female vocalist.

Echoes of the past

The Sound of Arabia is the latest offering from the Classic Arabian Company (CAC), part of the Austrian Art Management Group. General manager of CAC Karl Berger, a professional musician and music teacher who plays with leading orchestras of Vienna, opened the concert held at the Knowledge Village auditorium in order to raise money for the crisis in Lebanon.

"We believe that we should listen to echoes of the past," says Berger.

"Our commitment is to preserve classical music in this country; the Arabian Dubai Orchestra is devoting tonight to Lebanon. We also hope that this concert will be held on a weekly basis over the year."

After a short speech, the lights in the auditorium dimmed as the musicians took to the stage, playing two sets for almost 2 hours.

During the concert, singers and musicians presented various solo pieces with a repertoire extending from the great classical compositions of the 19th and early 20th century masters such as, Jamil Bey Al Tanburi, Tatyus Afandi and Sayed Darwish, to the classics sung by legendary artists such as Umm Kulthoum and Fairuz.

Classic worldwide pieces

Performing pieces ranged from Muwashshahat, (poetic compositions of Andalusian origin), to popular folk songs.

The orchestra also took classic worldwide pieces, such as the Tango, giving them an authentic Arabesque edge.

"The Sound of Arabia is a beautiful cultural show and certainly a night of music not to be missed," said an audience member.

"By closing your eyes and listening intently you really can be taken back to the stories from Arabian Nights."

You can see the next performance of The Sound of Arabia on August 24 at the Knowledge Village auditorium.

Tickets range from Dh110 to Dh190 and can be purchased at all Spinneys audio/visual outlets or at the door.