x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

French world tour commemorating 100th anniversary of WWI to premiere in Abu Dhabi

French musicians will mark the anniversary of the First World War with a piano and violin concert in Abu Dhabi this month.

DUBAI // A piano and violin concert that will tour the world to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War is to premiere in Abu Dhabi this month.

The concert, organised by the Sultan bin Zayed Culture and Media Centre and the Institut Francais, will feature the rising stars of classical music in France, Celimene Daudet and Amanda Favier, on June 19 at the Abu Dhabi Theatre.

Ms Daudet and Ms Favier, known as two of France’s most promising young musicians, will pay tribute to the French violinist, composer and soldier, Lucien Durosoir. Some of his unpublished works will be played for the first time.

“We at the Institut Francais in the UAE are proud to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the First World War with this concert,” said Denis Douveneau, the director of the Institut Francais and counsellor for cooperation and cultural affairs at the French embassy in Abu Dhabi.

“With such an emotional shock between our modern comfort and the disarray of a sensitive artist like Lucien Durosoir, who played and wrote music to cover the noises of bombs and gun shots, the Institut Francais in the UAE will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the First World War by combining warm-hearted memory and musical leisure.”

Durosoir was a talented young violinist just beginning an international career when the war broke out in 1914.

“In the framework of the centenary of the First World War, almost 100 years later, Ms Daudet and Ms Favier opened the trunk that Lucien Durosoir had kept from the years of war and discovered the scores by Beethoven, Debussy and lesser-known composers that he read or played in the trenches,” Mr Douveneau said.

The unpublished pieces represented “a major interest in the rediscovery of a forgotten repertoire together with the artistic and musical atmosphere of a time of great troubles”, he added.

“Our guests will have the chance to listen to music written in hard living conditions, among the hardest ones ever lived in the 20th century,” Mr Douveneau said.

After the concert’s premiere in Abu Dhabi, the tour will continue to numerous other countries including France, Congo, Austria and Panama.

amustafa@thenational.ae