x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Top Hispanic conductor hopes to help young UAE musicians

Jose Antonio Molina travelled to Abu Dhabi to play for some of the UAE's dignitaries.

Jose Antonio Molina conducted a unique collaboration of musical cultures and traditions last week.
Jose Antonio Molina conducted a unique collaboration of musical cultures and traditions last week.

ABU DHABI // One of Latin America's leading musical conductors, who has arranged and conducted for stars such as Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Celine Dion, says he would like to pass on his knowledge to aspiring UAE musicians.

Jose Antonio Molina, the musical director of the Symphony Orchestra in his native Dominican Republic, was in Abu Dhabi last week to play to a group of selected dignitaries.

His concert was hosted, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (Admaf) and the Embassy of the Dominican Republic, at the Emirates Palace hotel.

Molina is the man behind the Latin American Young Artist Foundation, which offers young musicians orchestral training and access to the best quality instruments.

He said it would be a pleasure to get involved with the young musicians in the UAE.

"In my home country it has become like an epidemic, so many young people want to be part of the orchestra, and I would very much like to help inspire those in this part of the world."

Hoda Kanoo, the founder of Admaf, said that although this was the first time Abu Dhabi had hosted a concert by the Dominican National Symphony Orchestra, she hoped the cultural bond forged by the event would inspire future partnerships through all of Admaf's arts, education and community projects.

"This unique collaboration between the orchestras reaffirms the extraordinary ability of music, arts and culture to rise above borders and bring people together," Mrs Kanoo said.

The concert was held to commemorate the 167th anniversary of the independence of the Dominican Republic.

Fifteen members of the Dominican National Symphony Orchestra joined forces with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra. The two groups played a concert in Damascus before their joint performance in Abu Dhabi.

The concert was attended by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade.

Proceeds from the concert went to the Walkabout Foundation, an organisation that provides all-terrain wheelchairs to those injured and disabled by last year's earthquake in Haiti.

aseaman@thenational.ae