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The show must go on

Withdrawing its decision to disband, the NSO Symphony Orchestra will continue to create musical magic across the UAE. On April 27, the NSO Symphony Orchestra took to the stage at Emirates Palace Auditorium in Abu Dhabi to bow out in style with a musical spectacle to remember. The ensemble’s annual concert titled A Night at the Movies… The Final Curtain was to be its closing performance, after which, the orchestra would depart from the public eye. Although much to the delight of the UAE’s classical music fans, the troupe later withdrew its decision to disband and will continue to captivate audiences across the country with special events and private performances.

Led by conductor and musical director Andrew Berryman, the NSO Symphony Orchestra delivered one of their best performances yet on what was to be finale night. The programme for the evening was designed to take the audiences on a journey through some of the most popular cinematic scores of all time, from the Star Wars title theme to the soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean.


NSO Symphony Orchestra presents


October 5, 2018 at 7:30pm

Emirates Palace Auditorium, Abu Dhabi

The evening saw the UAE’s finest maestros perform French composer Jacques Offenbach’s toe-tapping cancan from Moulin Rouge, the soulful Ladies in Lavender theme, German composer Carl Orff’s epic O Fortuna from Carmina Burana, Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and the famous Die Fledermaus Overture by Viennese composer Johann Strauss featured in Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl.

The power-packed performance was not only met with thunderous applause from the audience but also with an outpouring of support from dedicated patrons. Keen to ride this wave of success, the NSO Symphony Orchestra’s founder and executive director Janet Hassouneh decided to call off the wrap-up plans.

Hassouneh says: “For the past seven years, we have endeavoured to present rich orchestral concerts with exciting and challenging music programmes that have delighted music lovers in the UAE, all organised with a small team of part-time supporters. Obviously, this level of organisation requires an enormous amount of hard work, dedication and goodwill, which we could no longer sustain. However, as our musicians would like to continue playing together, I will devote my time to running the NSO Music Agency, where I can advise clients on the perfect combination of musicians, with a suitable programme of music for any setting. We will also look into staging gala concerts, if logistics permit.”

Judging by the ensemble’s milestones through the years, from opening the show for the Volvo Ocean Race in 2014 with English composer Sir George Fenton to accompanying singer Andrea Bocelli when he performed live at du Arena in 2016, the road ahead looks bright.

In fact, the NSO Symphony Orchestra is already gearing up for its next performance on October 5 at Emirates Palace Auditorium in the UAE capital. Titled A Tribute to Frank Sinatra, the orchestra will present a special concert featuring popular tunes by the iconic 20th-century singer. Fans will be in for a treat with classical renditions of Fly Me to the Moon, Sway, My Way, My Funny Valentine and That’s Life. For more information.


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