DUBAI: Emirati composer Ihab Darwish is set to lead a historic performance of 128 international musicians as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival program, organizers announced on Monday.
“Hekayat: Symphonic Tales” is set to be performed on March 30.
The performance traverses the globe in 13 compositions played by musicians in 20 countries, capturing the musical traditions and cultures of every continent.
Hekayat, which means tales in English, makes history as the first performance of its kind led by an Emirati artist.
The performers, recorded separately in their countries, will appear together as one orchestra on the stage of Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace Auditorium.
The symphony required 675 Zoom sessions and 86,600 hours of planning and production for musicians, performers and the orchestra to filmed individually in 21 cities around the world. The individual performances were synchronized digitally, and the post-production technology placed all 128 artists on a virtual 3D model of the stage.
Darwish said in a released statement: “I am constantly experimenting with different genres, instruments, and time frames in music. The experimental nature of ‘Hekayat’ is inspired by my inherent hope for a better future and belief in shared human values.”
He added: “Since my first engagement at Abu Dhabi Festival, the format of performances has been transformed by the pandemic, and yet music’s profound emotional impact and power to soothe are more important than ever. As a unique virtual event, ‘Hekayat’ will be accessible to all audiences around the globe, which is a great advantage.”
The composer is bringing together a powerhouse group of international musicians, including Krakow’s acclaimed Beethoven Academy Orchestra, conducted by maestro Tomasz Tokarczyk, VOX Chamber Choir, Argentine tenor José Cura and virtuoso musicians Sara Andon, Kodō, Carlos Piñana and Kinan Azmeh.
Darwish is the first Emirati composer in his genre to have his music distributed by international publisher Universal Music MENA and the first guest composer of the Beethoven Academy Orchestra. He specializes in composing classical music, featuring distinct Western, Arab and Khaleeji fusions, which has become his signature style.