Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

Pollen returns to Manarat Al Saadiyat with second season of concerts

Pollen co-Founder Dr Ioannis Potamousis with Kazuki Minami. Courtesy Pollen
Pollen co-Founder Dr Ioannis Potamousis with Kazuki Minami. Courtesy Pollen

It’s not easy being an extraordinarily talented child, particularly if your gift is musical. Here in the UAE, there are very few opportunities for young people to develop their performance skills at the highest level and that’s where Pollen step in. The not-for-profit organisation works with others such as the Italian Embassy this season, to bring world-class musicians to perform and to give masterclasses to budding musicians from all over the emirates.

Last Friday, a 200-strong audience braved awful weather conditions to reach Manarat Al Saadiyat and listen to the Italian pianist Christian Leotta, the first maestro to perform in this season of concerts by Pollen. For his first performance in the UAE, Leotta played a repertoire of Beethoven, for which he is particularly well-known, and Schubert.

Liborio Stellino, the Italian ambassador to the UAE, was in the auditorium to enjoy the concert: “The Embassy of Italy is very pleased to partner with Pollen in bringing to Abu Dhabi the renowned Italian pianist Christian Leotta and contributing to the UAE cultural scene,” he said. “The concert and the masterclass take on special meaning for us as they will be held at the beginning of a year that marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Italy and the UAE.

“Promoting cultural initiatives which bring people closer will be one of our priorities this year and in the near future.”

The following morning, Leotta visited New York University Abu Dhabi to give a public masterclass to seven young pianists and a small audience. Leotta put the students through their paces, imparting technical advice and helping the students to interpret the music with greater sensitivity. Among them were Angelina Natal, age 9, from France; Kazuki Minami, from Japan and winner of the 2014 Chopin International Competition in Abu Dhabi; Xiaoling Zhang, age 10, winner of the Young Musicians of the Gulf 2014 and 2015, and the Grand Prize of the GCC Competition 2016.

artslife@thenational.ae

Updated: February 5, 2017 04:00 AM