From left: Lewan Yazic with the euphonium, Sultan Kara with the violin and Mohammad Sa'ad from Syria with the qanoun during a press conference held by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation to reveal plans for the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 at the Emirates Palace Hotel on Tuesday. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Festival 2010, which will run from March 20 to April 7, will present a unique line-up of artists and more than 40 events.

The Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation's (Admaf) annual festival is being held under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Speaking at a press conference to announce this year's programme, Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, said: "Year after year, the Abu Dhabi Festival has developed, and as well as having the world's most prestigious performers, it now involves the whole community — not just in Abu Dhabi but across the seven emirates.

"Underpinning it all are the education and community programmes which assert the festival legacy and a deeply rooted cultural strategy."

Among the highlights for this year's programme are the opening gala titled Chopin Bicentennial Celebration, which will be performed by The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, under the guidance of composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki. It will feature Chopin virtuoso pianist Krzysztof Jablonski.

In addition, there will be two dedicated evenings of performances celebrating Middle Eastern music, including concerts by acclaimed Middle Eastern artists including Lebanese singer Wadih Al Safi, who will be accompanied by the Cairo Symphony Orchestra with musicians from the Lebanese National Orchestra, under the direction of composer Hiba Al Kawas.

Outreach programmes

The festival's educational and community outreach programmes will return once again, with events and workshops to help provide students a deeper understanding and appreciation of the arts.

Among them is the Salzburg Marionette Theatre's performance of the much-loved musical, The Sound of Music.

Emirati artists will also be given an opportunity to showcase their works during the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 during a series of exhibitions and performances that are expected to tour throughout the UAE.

"The Abu Dhabi Festival combines a two week feast of world class events, with a strong educational element that resonates throughout the year.

"During the festival, we will provide an intense platform for debate, knowledge sharing and sincere cross-cultural understanding," Al Khamis-Kanoo said.

Schedule: Where to buy tickets

  • WHAT: The Abu Dhabi Festival 2010
  • WHEN: March 20 to April 7, 2010
  • WHERE: Emirates Palace Hotel
  • TICKETS: Available on www.timeouttickets.com, or at Virgin Megastores outlets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from February 21 onwards.


Part of the proceeds will go to the Ewaa Shelter for Women and Children. Education and community programmes will be hosted across Abu Dhabi and the UAE and full details of these programmes will be announced in the coming weeks.