Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and Emirati oud virtuoso Faisal Al Saari to perform in special Louvre inspired concert

The Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and Emirati oud player Faisal Al Saari will perform a special concert inspired by the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Two brand new pieces of music inspired by the Louvre Abu Dhabi project is set to receive world premières at Manarat Al Saadiyat Island later this month.

The performance stage for the March 16 show will overlook the iconic dome of the forthcoming gallery and will feature the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, led by internationally celebrated conductor Christoph Eschenbach.

The commissions come from leading composers in both France and the UAE, solidifying the continuing Emirati-French cultural exchanges ahead of the global attraction’s opening, which is presently set for later this year.

Entitled Universal Expressions: Inspired by Louvre Abu Dhabi, the programme will begin with the premiere of Emirati composer Faisal Al Saari's Zayed's Dream, a special commission promising to "entwine the wide symphonic sounds of a classical orchestra with melodies and instruments from Emirati heritage".

This will be followed be the premiere of Once Upon a Time, a new work from front line French composer Bruno Mantovani, the director of the Conservatoire de Paris.

The concert will conclude with a performance of Debussy's symphonic classic La Mer (The Sea).

“The Emirati-French cultural programme is a reflection of the long-standing cultural partnership between Abu Dhabi and France,” TCA Abu Dhabi chairman Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak said.

“Launching the programme with the renowned Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester performing for the first time in the UAE, with the world premiere of musical compositions, celebrates Louvre Abu Dhabi’s value of universality and its openness to world cultures”.

France’s ambassador to the UAE Michel Miraillet added: “This moment embodies the continued dialogue between the UAE and France. In an important year for bilateral relations between our two countries, it will be wonderful to see works by an Emirati and a French composer, performed by a European orchestra with one of the best French soloists, and directed by the former Director of the Orchestre de Paris.”

Founded in 1986 by Claudio Abbado, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester is one of the world’s most prestigious youth orchestras. The visiting musicians will enjoy a lengthy stay in the emirate, with a three-week residency which also includes two performances as part of the continuing Abu Dhabi Classics concert series. The orchestra will perform various programmes, including classic Beethoven symphonies, at Al Ain’s Al Jahili Fort on March 24 and Emirates Palace on March 26.

• Tickets for the Manarat Al Saadiyat performance begins at Dh80 from www.ticketmaster.ae. For details on the Abu Dhabi Classics performances see abudhabiclassics.ae

rgarratt@thenational.ae