The UAE National Symphony Orchestra has announced a new chamber music concert series beginning in November, to run alongside the main orchestral concerts.
The season of five concerts will highlight different instruments while presenting music from Poulenc to Mozart and exposing audiences to a more intimate form.
The first concert, on November 9, will focus on woodwinds, and features Poulenc's Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet and Mozart's Quintet in E flat Major, also for piano and wind. The second concert, on November 23, will focus on piano, violin and cello, with trios by Beethoven and Shostakovich and tangos by Astor Piazzolla. All feature an international line-up of UAE-based members of the orchestra.
"Chamber music is a more intimate vehicle of music. It is usually one player to each part. It's all about showing the audience the different instruments and voices. It's like watching a conversation," says Emma Stansfield, the series coordinator.
Composers, she adds, often used chamber music as a way to express their most intimate emotions. "For example, the piece by Shostakovich is in memory of a friend of his who passed away," says Stansfield.
The third concert will feature a string quartet and oud. "Abu Dhabi is a melting point of cultures. In a way, it is a conversation between East and West," she adds.
Since she moved to the UAE seven years ago, Stansfield has noticed growth in the classical music scene - whether it's individuals wanting to learn, or educational establishments offering lessons.
"We are very fortunate to have fantastic professional musicians in the UAE, where traditionally they have been outsourced from abroad," she says. "The UAENSO will be performing as part of a community outreach to various universities and schools to provide music education and appreciation for this art form."
The series is held under the patronage of Sheikha Sheikha bint Saif bin Mohammed Al Nahyan.
For details, visit www.uaenso.org