The English Concert, one of Europe's leading chamber music orchestras, performed to a packed auditorium at the Emirates Palace Hotel, in Abu Dhabi, on Monday.

Guests including leaders from the diplomatic, public and private sectors enjoyed more than two hours of baroque and classical music, including pieces by Handel and Bach.

Directed by Harry Bicket, who also performed on the harpshichord, the concert featured three riveting arias for Cleopatra from soprano Lucy Crowe, selected from Handel's Giulio Cesare.

Male musicians were dressed in black tuxedos while the female performers wore elegant purple gowns and Crowe stood out in a long sky blue chiffon dress.

The audience were treated to the beautiful sounds of the violin, viola, violoncello, double bass, theorbo, recorder, oboe, bassoon, horn, trumpet, timpani and harpsichord.

It impressed the onlookers who gave warm applause after each piece and a standing ovation at the end.