ABU DHABI // An ensemble of the finest orchestral musicians in the world will perform in the capital early in the new year.
The World Orchestra for Peace, founded in 1995 for a special concert in Geneva to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, will open the Abu Dhabi Festival at the Emirates Palace hotel on January 4. The festival is produced by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation.
It will be the first time the orchestra, which has played only 15 times in as many years, will have performed in the Arab world.
Valery Gergiev, who was designated as a Unesco Artist for Peace in 2003, will conduct the performance.
Hoda al Khamis Kanoo, the founder and artistic director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, said she was thrilled to welcome the orchestra to the capital.
"This unparalleled event marks a most opportune beginning to the new year, and also to the Abu Dhabi Festival," she said.
"The World Orchestra for Peace and the Abu Dhabi Festival share a common belief in the unifying spirit of music and arts, which so elegantly brings together human beings of different nationalities, cultures and traditions.
"I sincerely hope that through this remarkable event, we may share with the people of the UAE the beauty of music in seeking greater cultural understanding," she added.
The 2011 festival is themed "Harmony for Humanity", Mrs Kanoo said. This is because it celebrates the ability of culture, music and the arts to bring people together in mutual appreciation, and to "encourage a more harmonious way of living".
Tickets are on sale at www.timeouttickets.com, and cost between Dh195 and Dh495. Students will be admitted for free.