Expo 2020 Dubai has announced a world-class music recording studio that will become a permanent facility as part of its legacy in the future city of District 2020. The first project to make use of the studio will be Expo 2020’s all-female orchestra.
The Firdaus Women’s Orchestra (Firdaus means “paradise” in Arabic) will be creatively led by Bollywood and Hollywood composer and songwriter A.R. Rahman, who will mentor the musicians and compose music for the orchestra’s inaugural performance, as well as put his name to the new studio.
The Firdaus Studio by A.R. Rahman and the orchestra are both part of ambitious plans to push Dubai and the UAE as an international hub for music recording and score production, further expanding the city’s role as a cultural center.
The Firdaus Women’s Orchestra will bring together 50 female musicians from across the UAE and the wider MENA region to create a musical project that will benefit from the state-of-the-art facility, which will serve as the orchestra’s rehearsal base.
The orchestra will feature women of a variety of ages and backgrounds, and will draw on inspiration from the UAE and the region’s centuries-old rich musical traditions. It will perform music on the global stage of Expo 2020, including two Rahman concerts, a special show for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021, in addition to a number of other events.
Marjan Faraidooni, chief pavilions and exhibitions officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The Firdaus Studio by A.R. Rahman and the Firdaus Women’s Orchestra are both inspiring projects that will be responsible for so much creativity in the runup to Expo 2020, during the event, and for many years afterwards.”
Rahman said: “This world-leading studio will attract the cream of the industry to Dubai. Working with the most exciting female musical talents of the region, the Firdaus Women’s Orchestra will enable Dubai to become a focal point for making groundbreaking new music, and I look forward to being part of that.”