DUBAI // The annual Emirates International Peace Music Festival has played host to some of the finest young classical musicians. The event, which was started by Riad Kudsi in 2004, has the aim of spreading classical music culture among the nation's youth and inspiring the development of musical talent to one day form a national symphony orchestra. For the past two years, Elli Choi, a Korean-American violin prodigy who began playing at the age of three, has performed at the event free of charge.
Now 8 years old, Elli is one of the youngest students admitted to the Juilliard School in New York recognised as the most prestigious music conservatory in the world. Other guests have included international pianist Ioannis Potamousis and Sarina Zhang, a cellist and pianist from San Diego who studies in Juilliard's pre-college division. "I usually invite about 60 people from around the world to join our orchestra," Mr Kudsi said.
"It's not that expensive: the players usually perform for free, though we give them a gift to thank them for their participation." The Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra (EYSO) and its guests hold performances across all seven emirates, including school auditoriums, heritage clubs and theatres. The next event is due to be held in the spring. For more information about EYSO visit www.musicnus.com or www.riadkudsi.com or email email@example.com