A new season of Abu Dhabi Classics – an eight-month-long series of classical concerts and performances by some of the world’s leading musicians and orchestras – was kick-started across the emirate in October.

With a new and expanded programme of 26 performances in the UAE capital, Saadiyat Island, Liwa desert and historic sites in the emirate’s heritage heartland of Al Ain, the new season will run until May 2016 and include performances from some of the most prestigious names in Western and Eastern classical music. The season is presented by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) as part of the authority’s Music Programme 2015/16, with a theme of Music and Poetry and explores how the two come together, especially in light of the emirate’s affinity to poetry.

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Among the highlights this month will be Jordi Savall’s tour of the emirate with his creation Ibn Battuta Traveller of Islam, this time in the inspiring settings of Mushrif Park and Liwa Oasis; and the return of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from the UK, who will perform Beethoven’s iconic 7th Symphony at Emirates Palace and also present a stunning film music night dedicated to the famous British spy James Bond, at the historic Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain.

Later in May 2016, the celebrated China Philharmonic Orchestra from Beijing, under the baton of leading conductor Long Yu, will take centre stage for the first time in the region with two concerts in Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain, dedicated to Gustav Mahler and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

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H.E. Mohammed Khalifa Ahmed Al Mubarak, Chairman, TCA Abu Dhabi, says: “By promoting traditional Emirati music along with international classical music and regional artists, TCA Abu Dhabi can offer world-class performances to everyone in the UAE.

“We want our youth to feel inspired by what they hear and see, and encourage them to bring music into their lives; whether that is learning a traditional Emirati instrument like the rebabah, or a classical instrument like the violin, or creating their own musical pieces, or simply taking an active interest in the lives and achievements of the great musicians here, and around the world.”

In January, Abu Dhabi will host the rising ensemble of the Iberian Peninsula, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, with two concerts, including Gustav Mahler’s impressive 6th Symphony and Manuel de Falla’s symphonic homage to his country’s Hispano-Arabic past, The Nights in the Gardens of Spain.

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Given this year’s theme and the link between music and poetry, the prestigious poets, Adonis and Gulzar, as well as major musicians such as Oud master Naseer Shamma and German baritone Matthias Goerne will also make appearances during the Classics season.

GO: Tickets for all the performances during Abu Dhabi Classics, as well as season tickets, are available from www.ticketmaster.ae. Visit www.abudhabiclassics.ae for a full calendar of events.