The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) announced details of the 2015 Bahrain International Music Festival. Taking place from October 8 – 19, the 24th edition of this annual event features a diverse lineup of acclaimed musical innovators from Bahrain and around the world.

Commenting on the announcement, HE Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa expressed her delight with the return of the festival, saying, “The continuity of the festival nourishes and breathes new life into the music scene in Bahrain and enriches the experience of citizens and residents of Bahrain.”

HE Shaikha Mai further emphasized not only the human and cultural aspects of the festival, but also the entertainment value of it, saying, “Music is an open window from which to view the world and get to know the essence of so many cultures and the heritage behind them, and this is what we hope to achieve through the festival. This is especially relevant at this time as we celebrate ‘Our Year of Heritage’ year-long campaign.”

The festival, which takes place every year during the autumn season, will showcase 6 renowned Arab and international artists from a wide range of cultures and genres, including orchestral compositions and operas, traditional Bahraini and Arabic music, ballets, family musicals, and more.

Anna Karenina - photo by Valentin Baranovsky

The inaugural show features an elegant adaption of Leo Tolstoy’s masterpiece novel Anna Karenina by the much-heralded Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg led by its Artistic Director Boris Eifman. The shows will take place on in the evenings of October 8 and 9 at the Bahrain National Theatre.

This will be followed on October 10 with a performance by the National Music Ensemble of Tunis. Entitled “Wasla” (Arabic word for “link”), the ensemble presents delightful showcase of the eclectic styles and genres that influenced the rich heritage of traditional Tunisian music.

A trio of Mexican artists, mezzosoprano Encarnación Vazquez, tenor Jose Luis Ordóñez, and pianist Rodolfo Ritter, are set to perform “Mexico Sings to the World” on October 11, a showcase of the splendour of Mexico’s culture and art expressed through opera arias and authentic Mexican songs

The interactive fantastical family-friendly show “Fantastic Creatures” by the innovative composer and musician Alsadair Malloy from the UK on October 12 features a host of magical beasts who will perform a medley of much-loved children’s classics ranging from Disney to Harry Potter.

National Orchestra of Tunis

On October 15, prominent Tunisian singer Dorsaf Hamadani and French composer and musican take the stage for their show “Barbara & Fairuz”, a splendid performance of some of the most famous works of two legends who never met; French singer Barbara and Lebanese diva Fairuz.

The festival will conclude on October 19 with a distinctly local flavor, as the talented artists of the Bahrain Music Band presents a special concert showcasing the wonderful deep-rooted heritage of traditional Arabic music.

With the exception of the Anna Karenina ballet at the Bahrain National Theatre, all concerts will take place at the Cultural Hall and are free and open to the public. Tickets for Anna Karenina can be bought from Virgin Megastore’s outlet in Bahrain City Centre or its online portal.

The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) thanks all the sponsors who are supporting the festival of this year: Economic Development Board, French Embassy, Tunisian Embassy and Mexican Embassy.


Full information about the festival shows and artists is available on the BACA website (www.culture.gov.bh), or by calling (80008089) or (+97317569104).