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Abu Dhabi Festival starts this week!

A Grammy-winning jazz musician, a piano maestro, a violin prodigy and a world-famous flamenco dancer are just some of the stars heading to the nation’s capital this March for the latest edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival.

A long-established favourite on the emirate’s yearly calendar, the festival (which is presented by ADMAF), has been drawing culture vultures to its wide range of classical music events since it was founded in 2004, and this year’s festival sees a line-up rich with talent from all corners of the globe.

It all kicks off on March 1st with a performance from renowned Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez, who will be accompanied by a full orchestra on opening night. Taking place in the regal surroundings of Emirates Palace, the evening will also see a set from young rising Emirati star Rashed Al Nuaimi.

Other performances worth noting during the Fesitval include the Middle East premiere of De Scheherezade a Yo, Carmen, with Vanguard flamenco dancer and choreographer, María Pagés, starring as the famous female character Carmen - the gypsy cigarette girl from Mérimée's novella. That one also takes place at Emirates Palace on March 10th.

The Grammy-winner visiting the capital is US singer-songwriter Gregory Porter, who hails from Sacramento in California. Making his debut performance in the UAE, he will be performing songs from his albums Liquid Spirit and Take Me To The Alley. He’ll be performance on March 11th at Emirates Palace.

The city’s NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Centre is also hosting several performances, including Recital Series, an evening of piano from the winner of the 2021 International Chopin Piano Competition, Bruce Liu. The Canadian super star a selection of pieces by Rameau, Chopin and Liszt during the recital on March 14th.

Another famous pianist is also in town for the festival. Acclaimed Shanghainese star Haochen Zhang will perform some of Beethoven’s most celebrated sonatas on March 16th at NYUAD Arts Center’s The Blue Hall.

There’s plenty more recitals during the festival, which runs through most of March, including Sixteen-year-old British-Chinese violin prodigy, Leia Zhu, plus the Middle Eastern premiere of Buddha Passion by Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun on March 16th at Emirates Palace. This 95-minute delves into six Buddha parables and stories covering the timeless, universal concepts of love, forgiveness and sacrifice. Finally, there’s Pearl Diver’s Daughter, taking place at the city’s Cultural Foundation on March 19th. This show splices together dance, music, narrative and augmented reality to create a truly unique experience.

visit for more info and to book tickets.

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