The next consecutive series of artistic and cultural performances are slated to take place before the close of the March events taking place during the special 20th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival.

Presented by Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation and held under the theme “The Will for Evolution”, the headline programme of events features the world’s most renowned performers and musicians.

A captivating piano recital by Acclaimed Shanghainese pianist, Haochen Zhang is taking place on Thursday, 16th March, 2023, at NYUAD Arts Centre, followed by two epic back-to-back orchestral concert performances by Academy Award-winning composer, Tan Dun, with “From West to East: A Classical Odyssey” on Friday, 17th March, and “Buddha Passion” on Saturday, 18th March, both taking place at Emirates Palace.

An augmented reality-based performance with “Pearl Diver's Daughter” by Emirati Writer Maitha Al Khayat and Emirati Composer Eman Al Hashimi will take place on Sunday, 19th March, at Cultural Foundation, followed by a violin and piano duo recital by Leia Zhu and Benjamin Engeli at NYUAD Arts Centre on Monday, 20th March, to conclude this year’s festival.

Thursday, 16th March: Recital Series: Haochen Zhang at NYUAD Arts Centre

Acclaimed Shanghainese pianist, Haochen Zhang, will perform some of Beethoven’s most celebrated sonatas at The Blue Hall at NYUAD Art Centre. The gold medal winner of the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition promises a captivating solo performance.

Friday, 17th March: From West to East: A Classical Odyssey by Tan Dun at Emirates Palace

For the first time in the Middle East, the Emirates Palace will host From West to East: A Classical Odyssey. Academy Award-winning composer, Tan Dun, conducts the Orchestra of Teatro Comunale di Modena Pavarotti-Freni, joined by world-famous Chinese cellist Jian Wang, in an unforgettable musical journey from West to East featuring an iconic classics repertoire of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Mussorgsky, followed by the UAE premiere of his original Pipa Concerto.

Saturday, 18th March: Buddha Passion by Tan Dun at Emirates Palace

Abu Dhabi Festival will present the Middle East premiere of Buddha Passion by Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer, Tan Dun. Spanning the boundaries of classical music and Eastern and Western traditions, the performance is a 95-minute oratorio illustrating six Buddha parables and stories, with the sixth being the Buddha's ascension into Nirvana. The performance captures the ancient narratives of the Buddha's teachings and the timeless, universal concepts of love, forgiveness and sacrifice.

Sunday, 19th March: Pearl Diver’s Daughter at Cultural Foundation
Blending cutting-edge technology with choreography, music and narrative, Pearl Diver's Daughter takes audiences of all ages on a journey beneath the waves of the Gulf at the Cultural Foundation. In what will be the longest continuous augmented reality experience ever created, Emirati Writer, Maitha Al Khayat, and Emirati Composer, Eman Al Hashimi, join forces with American contemporary dance Company E featuring Mayssa Karaa to present a story of family, tradition, and the perils of the diver and the wonders of the sea.

Monday, 20th March: Recital Series: Leia Zhu, Violin & Benjamin Engeli, Piano at NYUAD Arts Centre

Sixteen-year-old British-Chinese violin prodigy, Leia Zhu will be accompanied by versatile Swiss pianist, Benjamin Engeli to perform renditions of Mozart, Strauss, Debussy, Wieniawski and Sarasate at The Blue Hall, NYUAD Arts Centre.