Unprecedented Artist Roster Announced for the 5TH ANNUAL ABU DHABI MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL:

March 22 "“ April 2, 2008

Lineup Includes:

Bolshoi Ballet, London Philharmonic Orchestra,

Anna Netrebko, Sarah Chang, Jose Maria Gallardo del Rey,

and others to perform…

All events will take place at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi

For 12 days, some of the world's great performers and artists will come together in Abu Dhabi for a celebration of great music, dance and art.

Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, it was announced today that the 5th Annual Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival will take place from March 22 to April 2, 2008. The Festival will bring together an extraordinary level of artists from both Western and Eastern cultures to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Festival will include performances, educational programmes and gala events. As in previous years, the Festival will take place at the Emirates Palace Auditorium and is being presented by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and produced by IMG Artists, the world's leading performing arts management company.

Performances include: an opera gala featuring soprano Anna Netrebko appearing with mezzo-soprano Elina Garança and bass-baritone Erwin Schrott. The program continues with The London Philharmonic Orchestra performing on consecutive nights under its principal conductor Vladimir Jurowski, with violinist Nikolaj Znaider and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. In addition, The Bolshoi Ballet and Orchestra will give two performances of their internationally acclaimed production of Swan Lake and gifted violinist Sarah Chang performs Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Lebanese composer and soprano Hiba Al Kawas will premiere her original compositions with guitarist José Maria Gallardo del Rey in a cross cultural collaboration with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra. Finally, the great Iraqi Oud virtuoso Naseer Shamma will premiere eight of his new compositions with the specially formed 60-piece Oriental Orchestra.

Taking place at the Emirates Palace, The 5th Annual Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival, is an important international event for arts and music enthusiasts. At a cost of over $3 billion, the Emirates Palace is the most elegant and expensive hotel ever built. Much of the decor is gold and marble. The Emirates Palace Auditorium has played host to world-class concerts, events, and festivals from around the globe.

In addition to the performances, an exhibition of work by brilliant Tunisian contemporary artist Nja Mahdaoui will run throughout the Festival in the Emirates Palace. His works have been exhibited at the British Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris and many others.

"The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Festival is a cultural beacon in this region and a champion for Abu Dhabi's position as a major international destination" said festival founder H.E. Hoda I Al Khamis-Kanoo. "Education is the key to our future and the arts are an integral part of this lifelong pursuit"

"I am impressed by Abu Dhabi's commitment to the arts and am honoured and pleased to be able to bring these great artists and art institutions to Abu Dhabi for what is a ground-breaking event in the region" commented Barrett Wissman, Chairman of IMG Artists. "I believe that an iconic arts festival is a critical element in building Abu Dhabi's cultural reputation in conjunction with its long-term infrastructure planning for Al Saadiyat Island. This includes future Louvre and Guggenheim museums and a magnificent performing arts centre designed by Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid."

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