Mohammed Fairouz’ Symphony #5
performed by the London Symphony Orchestra

Symphony # 5, composed by the most internationally celebrated Emirati artist of his generation, Mohammed Fairouz, and performed by the world-renowned London Symphony Orchestra explores the story of the UAE and its values of peace and tolerance. The symphony, inspired by the life of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, is comprised of four movements, Alameen—Shapes, Harmony—The Ummah, Iqra—Infinite Variations and Ascent—Line and Illumination. Following the private recording at the LSO St Luke’s in London, the world-premiere will be broadcast digitally around the world.

Abu Dhabi Festival commission and production

World Premiere
International Digital Broadcast
London, UK
19 May 2022

About Mohammed Fairouz

Mohammed Fairouz, born in 1985, lives in New York City and is one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers of his generation. Hailed by The New York Times as “an important new artistic voice,” and an “expert in vocal writing” by the New Yorker magazine, his distinctive musical language melds Middle-Eastern modes and Western structures to deeply expressive effect. His large-scale works, including four symphonies and an opera, engage major geopolitical and philosophical themes with persuasive craft and a marked seriousness of purpose. His solo and chamber music attains an “intoxicating intimacy,” according to New York’s WQXR classical music radio station.

A truly cosmopolitan voice, Fairouz has had a transatlantic upbringing. By his early teens, the composer had travelled across five continents, immersing himself in the musical life of his surroundings.

Fairouz is also the subject of a documentary by BBC World Service TV, has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and BBC/PRI’s The World, and has been profiled in Symphony, Strings, New Music Box, and the Houston Chronicle, among others.

As part of Abu Dhabi Festival’s 2017 Composer’s Platform, his Wahat Al Karamah (The Oasis of Dignity) was performed for the first time by the acclaimed US ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars during the inaugural concert in The Red Theater of The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi.

History of the London Symphony Orchestra:

Founded in 1904, the LSO is the oldest of London’s symphony orchestras, created by a group of players who left Henry Wood’s Queen’s Hall Orchestra because of a new rule requiring players to give the orchestra their exclusive services.

The London Symphony Orchestra was the first British orchestra owned by its players and one of the first orchestras to make gramophone records and film scores. Today it has more recordings to its name than any other orchestra in the world. It was also the first to have its own peak-time television series.

Now in its twelfth decade, the history of the LSO contains many of the important developments of British orchestral life, including premieres of now-popular works. In its 116-year history, the LSO has been led under the baton of 16 great conductors including Hans Richter, Pierre Monteux, André Previn, Claudio Abbado and Colin Davis.

It was under the baton of Sir Colin Davis that the relationship between ADMAF and the LSO began 12 years ago when the world-renowned orchestra performed at Abu Dhabi Festival for the first time in the Arab world.


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