The next LSO premiere glorifies Abu Dhabi

The next LSO premiere glorifies Abu Dhabi


norman lebrecht

May 10, 2022

Press release:

Her Excellency Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo OBE, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, and Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival, approached Emirati composer Mohammed Fairouz to write a symphony celebrating the culture and values of the United Arab Emirates, as part of Abu Dhabi Festival 2022.

“Abu Dhabi Festival is thrilled to present an outstanding Emirati composer, Mohammed Fairouz, whose Symphony #5 celebrates the life and vision of Sheikh Zayed, the United Arab Emirates’ founding father. Sheikh Zayed shaped our nation and imparted upon us a spirit of tolerance and peace. We are delighted to be working again with the London Symphony Orchestra on this world premiere event conducted by Maestro Lee Reynolds. The enthusiasm of the London Symphony Orchestra to premiere this work leaves us in no doubt that it will be a global success.”

Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra said:

“The London Symphony Orchestra is delighted to (have been) be asked by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation to (help them) celebrate their recent 25th anniversary, also marking the 50th anniversary of the UAE. We congratulate Her Excellency Mrs Alkhamis Kanoo and her team on their continuing successes and their commitment to culture and the Arts. We hope you enjoy this performance of Mohammed Fairouz’s Fifth Symphony, specially commissioned by the Festival to mark the occasion.”


  • Elsie says:

    They have hidden away much in the press release but apparently the lady members of the LSO will have to wear the full burka although woodwind players can wear just the hijab.

  • Walter Klemmer says:

    Talk about working for dictators and human rights abusers. What, no? Those aren’t blood money? Ah, okay!

  • Money Talks says:

    Shaw: Madam, would you sleep with me for a million pounds?
    Actress: My goodness. Well, I’d certainly think about it.
    Shaw: Would you sleep with me for a pound?
    Actress: Certainly not! What kind of woman do you think I am?!
    Shaw: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Well, they are hired, like any wedding band.

    Mr Fairouz, a young American composer, writes oldfashioned, European music, with a touristy touch, like 19C ‘exotic’ pieces:

    …. or naive meditations:

    … or socially-relevant wind pieces:

    … which is becoming a rich territory to be farmed nowadays, like politically-relevant works:

    Not much wrong with the music, apart from being so unsophisticated and naive. There’s still very much to learn.

    Obviously, modernism no longer offers anything of interest to many younger composers, especially not for people with non-Western roots.

    • NJCPE says:

      Mr Borstlap!
      i thought you were denied success because you did compose the “right” music. and i was also under the impression that the music you wrote was NOT the modernist stuff that is derided by many on this site? so in your assessment of this composers music, it is not modernist enough? just curious.

      • John Borstlap says:

        No, I think the music is OK, only very underdeveloped. The problem with writing new music in a traditional, tonal mould, is that it will immediately be compared with the existing repertoire. So, composers have to develop quite a long way before they can enter the field and can survive the competition. It’s great that composers shed ridiculous ideologies, especially when from non-Western backgrounds which may offer independent points of view, but that does not mean that writing music becomes ‘easy’. In fact, it is much more difficult than, say, writing Boulez. That is why someone like Brahms, one of the greatest talents as there ever were, felt frustrated and inhibited because living so close in time to Beethoven and Schubert. Yet, masochistically he decided to live in Vienna, of all places.

  • Rob says:

    The british royal family are up to their eyeballs with that lot. A sticky amalgamation gloop of oil, money, freemason shit lies.

  • Peter says:

    It’s a broadcast.