Matthew Barley to lead the 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival’s education programme

Published March 3rd, 2009 - 08:51 GMT

Matthew Barley to lead the 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival’s education programme

·       Internationally renowned cellist Matthew Barley to hold four days of workshops

·       Extensive education programme includes school workshops, English National Ballet performances and pre-concert talks

·       Music workshops for students with special needs held for the first time at two venues in Abu Dhabi


The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) today revealed details of its extensive education programme that will run as an integral part of next month’s 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. 


The education programme includes student workshops at the British School led by Matthew Barley, performances of Angelina Ballerina by the English National Ballet, Live Music Now workshops with students at two Abu Dhabi special needs centres, as well as pre-concert talks for the festival concert programme.  Special appearances will also be made by artists performing during the festival, who will be lecturing at leading schools and universities in Abu Dhabi.

This year’s festival education programme is led by celebrated cellist Matthew Barley, with his group Between The Notes, who return to the festival to work with various schools in Abu Dhabi.   Held at the British School Al-Khubairat, Matthew will work with a specially selected group of 12 to 18 year old students from 24 - 27 March. 


Following last year’s success, ADMAF has issued invitations to schools across Abu Dhabi, with twenty to twenty five music students set to participate.  These students will then spend four days in music improvisation workshops before performing to their families in a special Children’s Day performance on 28 March, with Barley and Between the Notes.


Matthew Barley will also be giving a solo cello recital on 30 March at the British School.  In front of invited students and their families, Barley will perform works by Bach and improvised pieces on traditional and electric cellos.


This year’s education programme also includes performances of Angelina Ballerina by the English National Ballet, as part of its current international tour.  Specially created for a young audience, ‘Angelina’s Star Performance’ offers a unique introduction for boys and girls aged 3+ years to experience their first live ballet. Young students from around Abu Dhabi will be invited to attend these performances on 25 and 26 March at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation. 


ADMAF has also organised a special program for children with special needs by the talented musicians of Live Music Now, which is the largest provider of live music to the UK's welfare, educational, justice and health sectors, with a unique resource of specially trained musicians. The program will include workshops and performances by children with special needs at The Future Centre for Special Needs, and The Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care, Special Needs and Minors Affairs. 


For the wider festival audience, pre-concert talks are a central part of this year’s education programme. Informal talks held by the artists, or in some cases by guest speakers specialized in performance areas, will be held ahead of certain events at the Emirates Palace auditorium terrace.  These talks will start at 7pm and will last for 30 minutes, with entry included as part of the corresponding event ticket. 


The talks seek to enrich the experience of audience members, be they seasoned music goers or interested first-timers, by offering detailed information about the upcoming performance, discussing the specific performance discipline and answering audience questions.


Mrs Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, comments:

“The education programme is completely critical to the success of the festival and central to the work of ADMAF.  The 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival isn’t just about bringing the world’s greatest artists to our capital city, but about inspiring and encouraging the next generation of performers and artists in the UAE.


“We are delighted that Matthew Barley is returning to Abu Dhabi to lead this year’s education programme.  Last year it was a pleasure to see Matthew inspire students as they explored their own musical talents, and this year we hope to support even more students involved in the arts through their participation in the workshops and the grand finale on Children’s Day.


“We are also delighted to be able to offer a comprehensive schedule of pre-concert talks for audience members.  For both classical arts newcomers and seasoned arts lovers these talks will be a valuable addition to each evening’s enjoyment.”


The 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival is presented by ADMAF with executive producer IMG Artists, the world’s leading performing artist management company. The festival is supported by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) which is the title sponsor of the Festival.  This year’s Festival is also the first to involve a collaboration with Flash Entertainment who, together with ADMAF, are bringing Andrea Bocelli to Abu Dhabi for the first time on 27 March 2009.


For further information on the festival educational program please visit


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