Sheikha Manal Attends Second Annual Youth Orchestra of the Middle East Concert

Published April 11th, 2010 - 07:26 GMT

Under the Royal Patronage of Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment and Wife of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, UAE, Sheikha Manal attended the second annual performance by the Youth Orchestra of the Middle East (YOME), held at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. 
During her visit, Sheikha Manal was accompanied by Sheikha Fatma Bint Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Sheikha Manal said “We are proud to have attracted such talented and world class musicians from across the region to play in this unique orchestra. The establishment of the Youth Orchestra of the Middle East reflects the UAE’s strong commitment to cultural development and to foster local, regional and international talents, leading them towards greater excellence and innovation while raising awareness of the rich Arabic tradition of music.”
The program for the evening included the World Premiere of a special cross cultural composition called ‘Fatma’s Journey’ inspired by and named after Sheikha Fatma Bint Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and written for YOME by renowned composition scholar, Robert Szymanek, from the Royal Academy of Music in London.  Robert was also the runner up in the British Composer Awards 2009.  This exciting composition explored the bringing together of Arabic and Western cultures through classical music; and aims to promote the knowledge and interest of Emirati students in classical western music, as well as introducing western musician to Arabic music by involving Arabic musical instruments in the orchestra to create a special piece that reflects the importance of cultural exchange between nations.
Joining them for this piece was Rashid bin Hussein on the Oud instrument. Rashid is the first Emirati participant in the orchestra and a student from Rashid School for Boys in Dubai. His debut performance, Rashid’s play enhanced the diversity of pieces performed by the orchestra.
Fatma’s Journey sends the listener travelling across continents and between two distinct musical worlds. The first part is devoted to melodies and rhythms usually heard on Arabic instruments such as the Oud. The second part reflects on musical styles from Europe. The third and final part of this composition brings together these two strands in a majestic celebration of the potential in bringing these two different styles of music and culture together as one.
Now in its second year, Youth Orchestra of the Middle East is a training and educational initiative that gathers together some 60 musicians from various schools in the Middle East. This cultural youth project is considered an important opportunity for training and performing in a high professional level atmosphere. This year’s participants came from Bahrain, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UK the UAE.
The Youth Orchestra of the Middle East is a non-profit initiative which conducts its activities annually by a group of volunteers, with the support of leading companies from the region, including the Dubai Ladies Club. It works on providing educational and motivational experience for members of the youth orchestra. It also seeks to develop the arts and musical culture, using the orchestra on one hand, and the introduction of classical music to schools across the UAE on the other. 

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