Some cultural events are here for a night, while others are here for a season. Such is the case when one of the UAE’s longest running artistic programmes returns this week.
The 10th edition of Abu Dhabi Classics began last month with performances by the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. That was a taste-tester, as further shows have now been revealed, including a ballet performance by Ukraine’s Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, an orchestral evening with Germany’s Staatskapelle Dresden, and a recital by the brilliant South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho. Tickets are on sale for all shows except Cho's two dates — to be released later — with venues and prices to be announced soon.
November 9: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Trombone Trio at Bin Hamoodah Fort, Al Ain
The Amsterdam-based Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of the best in the world, hence the brass section will arrive at Al Ain's scenic Bin Hamoodah Fort with serious pedigree. Made up of brothers Nico and Martin Schippers and Bart Claessens, the trio will be joined by pianist Jereon Bal as they performance pieces by Schubert and Brahms Tickets start from Dh100, from www.ticketmaster.ae
December 5 and 6: Staatskapelle Dresden with Rudolf Buchbinder
We return to Emirates Palace with a performance to match its splendour. Established in 1548, Germany’s Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the oldest and most respected orchestras in the world. Both Carl Maria von Weber and Richard Wagner have served at its head, and Richard Strauss composed and conducted from the orchestra.
For its UAE return, the orchestra will be joined by Austrian pianist and acting conductor Rudolf Buchbinder for a truly special project: the performance of Beethoven's five piano concertos. December 5 features Concerto No 1 and No 5, while the following night it will play Concerto No 2, 3 and 4. Buchbinder has form when it comes to such epic tasks. Renowned as a perfectionist and for his reverence for original manuscripts, Buchbinder has not only performed all of Beethoven's piano concertos with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in 2007, he has already recorded the complete works of Haydn, Mozart's major works and two of Brahm's piano concertos. Tickets start from Dh195, from www.ticketmaster.ae
February 7 and 8: Seong-Jin Cho, venues to be announced
A classical music superstar will make his Middle Eastern debut as part of Abu Dhabi Classics. Since winning the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2015, South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho's career has steadily risen, through performances with some of the world's leading orchestras, including the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra and the Basel Symphony Orchestra. Cho's Middle Eastern debut will coincide with South Korea taking the international centre-stage by hosting the 23rd Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang on February 9. The two programmes will feature works from Cho's favourite composers including Chopin (Sonata No 3), Debussy (Images Livre II) and Schumann (Fantasiestücke, OP. 12).
April 20: Le Corsaire by Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, Emirates Palace
Abu Dhabi Classics presents a ballet production by the Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theatre in spectacular fashion. Featuring the main soloists from Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre, Ivan Vasiliev and Ekaterina Krysanova, Le Corsaire follows the dashing pirate Conrad as he sails across the sea to save his love Medora. The mix of classic dance and swashbuckling fantasy will be performed under the art direction of Vadim Pisarev. As the founder of the company, he supervised the likes of Ukrainian stars Yuri Gulayev, Anatoliy Solovyanenko and Nikolay Momot. Tickets start from Dh195, from www.ticketmaster.ae