Emirati artist, Ihab Darwish has played music since ten. Graduating in Advertising and Art Design, he has pursued a career of image and sound fusion to become a recognized composer.
In 2017 a breakthrough was cooperation with the Beethoven Academy Orchestra in Poland. His first album “Waves of My Life” was launched in 2018, reaching audiences through International distribution by Universal Music MENA. The premiere of his orchestral work: “Waves of My Life: Every Real Story Begins with a Note” was held in 2018 at the prestigious Emirates Palace for the Abu Dhabi Festival. This performance left the audience captivated and eagerly anticipating Darwish’s further development.
In March 2018 Darwish was bestowed ‘First Guest Composer’ by the Beethoven Academy Orchestra and invited to participate as Ambassador of the Euro Mediterranean Music Academy – EMMA for Peace. In the same year, Darwish composed music to the award-winning documentary “She” (2018) directed by Philip Jamel Rashid. A further unique collaboration saw Darwish composing a piece of signature music for Zahra Lari, the UAE figure skater, to be used in her performances worldwide.
In 2019 Darwish worked in collaboration with the Emirates’ Ministry of Education on the historic theatrical performance ‘Voice of Tolerance’ produced by Dragone and staged at Le Perle in Dubai. The same year Darwish was invited to be a key composer at the UAE 48th National Day celebrations. This government invitation was for the show “Legacy of Our Ancestors”, as his music has been performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.
Flamenco Guitarist and Composer
Carlos Piñana (Cartagena, 1976). Carlos starts studying Classical Guitar at the Music Conservatory of Cartagena, at the same time exploring Flamenco Guitar, in which he will soon stand out. Proof of this are the numerous awards he has received, for instance: First Prize and Bordón Minero at the international Festival of the Cantes Mineros (1996), the National Prize of Concert Guitar Ramon Montoya at the Cordoba Flamenco Art Festival (1998). Often he plays solist and with orchestras, with his special project the Suite “El Cuidado de una Esencia”, where he combines classical music with the temperament and lyricism of flamenco. He played with Murcia Symphonic Orchestra, Tomsk Philarmonic Orchestra, Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Teplice Symphonic Orchestra, La Habana Chamber Orchestra, Lublin Philarmonic Orchestra, Kalisz Philharmonic Orchestra, Šv. Kristoforo Kamerinis Orkestras, Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra…,etc.
He has released seven CD´s as a soloist: “Cal-libiri” (1999), “Palosanto” (2001), “Mundos Flamencos” (2003), “Mi Sonanta” (2009), “Mvvanos Libres” (2011), “Body & Soul” (2013), “De la raíz al alma” (2015) and “Rubato” (2018).
BEETHOVEN ACADEMY ORCHESTRA
The Beethoven Academy Orchestra is one of Europe’s leading symphony orchestras of the young generation. It is made up of the most outstanding students and graduates of European higher musical education institutions, including the Academy of Music in Krakow, Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart, Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, Royal Music Conservatoire in Brussels, Conservatoire International de Musique in Paris, and Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz. The ensemble started its activity in 2003, following the success at the 53rd Festival Junger Künstler Bayreuth.
In 2005, on the initiative of Elżbieta Penderecka, the orchestra debuted at the 9th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw, which resulted in excellent reviews and invitations to prestigious festivals at home and abroad.
The orchestra has thirty two albums to its credit, recorded for such labels as Universal Music, DUX Poland, Centaur Records USA and Le Foxx Music. It has also signed a contract with the reputable record company EMI London KPM. When reaching for entertainment and film music classics, the ensemble is as successful as with classical scores. It has recorded soundtracks for such giants as Warner Bros and Monolith, collaborated with Hans Zimmer, Elliot Goldenthal, Michał Lorenc and Jan A. P. Kaczmarek, and recorded the platinum-winning album ‘Siedem Pieśni Marii’ (Universal Music), which has become extremely popular and sold in 300 thousand copies.
In March 2018 Universal Music released the album „Waves of My Life” with the music of the Emirati composer Ihab Darwish. Premiere of this project with the participation of the Beethoven Academy Orchestra and the composer himself took place at the famous Abu Dhabi Festival.
Since its inception, the orchestra has been under the artistic and organizational care of Marcin Klejdysz. Since November 2013, by invitation of the BAO artists, the post of the orchestra’s principal conductor has been held by maestro Jacek Kaspszyk.
John Beasley is a composer, arranger, pianist who has performed with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Dianne Reeves, and Chaka Khan among others. He is a multi-GRAMMY nominated recording artist and also works on film and TV projects, including 1917, Finding Nemo, Skyfall and Spectre. Also, Beasley is the Music Director of the Herbie Hancock Jazz institute that hosts the annual UNESCO’s International Jazz Day global concerts around world.
Known for his intense and original interpretations of opera characters, as well as for his unconventional and innovative concert performances, tenor José Cura is a world-famous artist and familiar name atop the marquees of the most prestigious theaters. The multi award winner who was born in Rosario, Argentina, is known for his exceptional works as a director and a conductor. 2007 witnessed his world-premiere of La Commedia è finita: the creative re-imagining of Pagliacci coupled with dance and mime, designed and directed by himself, marked the beginning of his career as a stage director and designer. In 2017 he was entitled Professor Honoris Causa of the National University of Rosario, Argentina.
Hailed as “intensely soulful” and a “virtuoso” by The New York Times and “spellbinding” by The New Yorker, Winner of OpusKlassik award in 2019 clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh has gained international recognition for what the CBC has called his “incredibly rich sound” and his distinctive compositional voice across diverse musical genres.
Originally from Damascus, Syria, Kinan Azmeh brings his music to all corners of the world as a soloist, composer and improviser. Notable appearances include the Opera Bastille, Paris; Tchaikovsky Grand Hall, Moscow; Carnegie Hall and the UN General Assembly, New York; the Royal Albert hall, London; Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires; Der Philharmonie, Berlin; the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, Washington DC; the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie; and in his native Syria at the opening concert of the Damascus Opera House.
He has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Qatar Philharmonic and the Syrian Symphony Orchestra among others, and has shared the stage with such musical luminaries as Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim, Marcel Khalife, John McLaughlin, Aynur and Jivan Gasparian.
Kinan’s compositions include several works for solo, chamber, and orchestral music, as well as music for film, live illustration, and electronics. His resent works were commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony , The Knights Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orhcetsra, Elbphilharmonie, Apple Hill string quartet, Quatuor Voce, Brooklyn Rider, Aizuri Quartet and Bob Wilson’s for his recent production of Oedipus Rex.
An advocate for new music, several concertos were dedicated to him by composers such as Kareem Roustom, Dia Succari, Dinuk Wijeratne, Zaid Jabri, Saad Haddad and Guss Janssen, in addition to a large number of chamber music works.
Kinan’s upcoming projects include solo appearances with several orchestras, a number of tours with his New York “Arabic-jazz” quartet the Kinan Azmeh CityBand, and with his ensemble Hewar and a new project with the NDR big band. His latest album “Uneven Sky” with Berlin’s Deutsches Symphony Orchestra has recently won the Opus Klassik Award.
Kinan serves as artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Players, a pan-Arab ensemble dedicated to contemporary music form the Arab world. He has also been playing with the Silkroad Ensemble since 2012, whose 2017 Grammy Award-winning album “Sing Me Home” features Kinan as a clarinetist and composer.
Kinan Azmeh is a graduate of New York’s Juilliard School as a student of Charles Neidich, and of both the Damascus High institute of Music where he studied with Shukry Sahwki, Nicolay Viovanof and Anatoly Moratof, and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering. Kinan earned his doctorate degree in music from the City University of New York in 2013.
Exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, Kodo is forging new directions for a vibrant living art form. The vibrations created by the drummers not only reach the ears of the audience, they move listeners on a visceral level. Making their debut at the Berliner Festspiele in 1981, Kodo is based on Sado Island in Niigata, Japan, having given over 6,500 performances in 52 countries worldwide under the theme “One Earth.”
Flutist Sara Andon is an international soloist and recording artist known for her ravishing tone and deeply engaging musical interpretations. A versatile performer in many genres, she can be heard on countless albums and on scores for films, TV and video games. Her latest album Cinema Morricone: An Intimate Celebration with Van Cliburn Competition Gold-medalist Simone Pedroni is for Sony Classical. In 2018, she was a soloist for the Varèse Sarabande 40th Anniversary Gala Concert with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Tomasz Tokarczyk, Conductor. Graduate of the Academy of Music in Krakow as conductor and violinist. He had been the musical director and conductor of the Opera House in Szczecin (2002/2004) before he became engaged with the Krakow Opera House in 2004, where he is now the musical director. He has conducted more than 500 opera performances including the music direction in more than 30 premieres. Further on, he has conducted many symphonic and oratorium concerts. He has collaborating with number of the Polish and foreign music institutions (Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland, the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Chelyabinsk in Russia, The Trondheim Symphony Orchestra in Norway and Polish institutions like the Warsaw Radio Orchestra, the Beethoven Academy Orchestra based in Krakow, the Grand Theatres in Poznan and Lodz, Baltic Opera in Gdansk or Opera House in Wroclaw and Bytom). He has also conducted a number of recordings of music for television, film and theatres. Since 2017 he has been a lecturer in the Academy of Music in Krakow. He has been honored with many awards and decorations in the field of art (Honoris Gratia, Gloria Artis, Polonia Minor, The Theatre award for the best 2020 conductor in Poland).