Media Release

Abu Dhabi Festival Continues to Showcase Global Culture with Arab World Debut of Korean Symphony Orchestra


  • Mesmerising concert incorporates various international styles led one of the most sought-after conductors in Korea, Maestro Chi-Yong Chung
  • Hugely acclaimed solo pianist, Jae-Hyuck Cho, accompanies the musicians on stage


(Abu Dhabi, UAE: 09 March 2019): Elevating orchestral music to international stages, the Korean Symphony Orchestra marked its Arab World Debut at 2019’s Abu Dhabi Festival last night with a mesmerising concert featuring music from Korea and Europe, specially chosen by the orchestra’s Chief Conductor and Music Director, Maestro Chi-Yong Chung. As the Festival’s Country of Honour this year, this was a particularly noteworthy performance, highlighting the prowess of many of Korea’s finest musicians, as well as the Republic’s unique musical culture.


The dynamic, powerful, technically brilliant orchestra brought to life three works: Korean composer, Young Lo Jee’s Arirang Festival for Orchestra, Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, S. 124 and Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No.8, Op.88. Joining the musicians was the internationally acclaimed solo pianist, Jae-Hyuck Cho, whose flawless technique and extraordinary breadth of expression left the audience stunned, with many claiming his performance was the best they had ever witnessed.


Running until 30 March 2019, Abu Dhabi Festival brings a line-up of globally renowned artists to the capital, including award-winning American jazz pianist extraordinaire, composer, producer, educator and Quincy Jones Artist, Justin Kauflin; Welsh opera superstar, Sir Bryn Terfel; Sara Baras, considered one of the best flamenco dancers and choreographers in the world; and, to conclude the Festival, a performance by France’s oldest national ballet company, The Paris Opera Ballet, in Jewels by George Balanchine.


The Festival is also hosting a compelling exhibition entitled Distant Prospects, presenting the history of European landscape painting from the world-renowned Liechtenstein. The Princely Collections. Exhibited for the first time in the Middle East, these artworks – some of the world’s most important – survey the history of landscape painting over the course of several centuries. The exhibition will feature key figures in the Late Renaissance and Baroque artistic movements. Parallel to the exhibition, an engaging educational programme will inspire visitors with panel discussions, guided tours and creative workshops.


In line with ADMAF’s year-round commitment to arts education and community enrichment, ADF19 includes a series of Youth Platforms, empowering young, aspiring talent in the arts and culture fields through the ADF Visual Arts Education Programme; Young Filmmakers Circle; Riwaq Al Fikr; Riwaq Al Adab wal Kitab; The Gulf Capital – Abu Dhabi Festival Visual Arts Award; The Gulf Capital – ADMAF Creativity Award; The Christo & Jeanne-Claude Award, TOTAL Design Commission, ADMAF Design Fund, Tandem Al Emarat, UAE Theatre Circle, Young Media Leaders, The Artists’ Studio and Ministry of Science.


The Festival’s Community Programmes, meanwhile, includes an engaging, innovative and inspiring calendar of events, exhibitions, performances and workshops for all ages, a highlight of which was the return of Festival in the Park on Thursday 28 February and Friday 1 March – an eclectic line-up of workshops and events, activating performances, and visual and community arts across the emirates to showcase Abu Dhabi as an internationally established cultural capital.


The Abu Dhabi Festival is presented and organised by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. ADMAF is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society and advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision.