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Powerhouse Bronfman Sets The Stage Alight With Masterful Recital
(3 April 2011)
World famous pianist Yefim Bronfman joins Russian National Orchestra for breathtaking evening of Brahms, Beethoven and Verdi


Grammy Award winner and piano virtuoso Yefim Bronfman and the Russian National Orchestra, Abu Dhabi Festival’s orchestra-in-residence, treated Abu Dhabi to a masterful performance of a selection of some of the greatest classic music ever written in an Emirate’s Palace performance last night (Saturday). Entitled ‘Bronfman and Brahms’, the performance was expertly conducted by Italian maestro, Nicola Luisotti, in a world-first pairing of the two music masters Luisotti and Bronfman. Part of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011, organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and presented under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the performance brought to life the work of three of classical music’s greats – Brahms, Beethoven and Verdi.

In a programme that included Verdi’s Overture to ’La Forza del Destino’, Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, the international audience rewarded the performers with rapturous applause. Regarded as one of the most talented virtuoso pianists performing today, Bronfman’s commanding technique and exceptional lyrical gift created a perfect interplay between soloist and orchestra, superbly conducted by Luisotti.

Speaking directly after the performance, the Founder and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, Her Excellency Mrs. Hoda I Al Khamis Kanoo, said: “Yefim Bronfman is a pianist of international acclaim, widely regarded as one of the best of his generation. We are absolutely thrilled that he has travelled to Abu Dhabi to participate in the Festival this year and to showcase his incredible talent here in this region. Combined with the Russian National Orchestra and the superb Nicola Luisotti conducting, the performance was truly magical.”

Music Notes

The performance opened with the spine-tingling Overture to Giuseppe Verdi’s opera ‘La Forza del Destino’ superbly played by the orchestra and conducted by Luisotti, it set the tone for the evening. Heralded by six menacing hammer-blows, the clarinet bore its soul in a hauntingly sorrowful melody whilst, in the background the violins surged forward with their own rushing theme. The conflict between slow and fast, sorrow and joy, drove the music along with what felt like unstoppable force.

Bronfman joined the orchestra for the fantastic performance of Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in B Flat. One of the longest and most lavishly scored piano concertos of all time, this Concerto in four movements was every bit the equal of Brahms’ own incredibly famous symphonies. In a fantastic encore, Bronfman displayed his masterful skill with a recital of Chopin’s Revolutionary Study (Op 10 Études).

Bringing down the curtain on a fantastic night celebrating three of the best classical composers of all time, was a performance of possibly the world’s most instantly recognisable piece of music – Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor. Opening with the four-note figure that is surely amongst the most famous musical motifs of all time, the audience was instantly engrossed with its transformation from the darkness of the first movement to the gloriously celebratory finale. An encore performance of Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G minor provided a stunning end to an amazing evening.

Abu Dhabi Festival 2011

Running from the 19th March to the 4th April, Abu Dhabi Festival 2011 is Abu Dhabi’s foremost celebration of the arts in all its diverse forms. Tickets for the remaining performances can be purchased through or in person at the Emirates Palace box office. For further information about the Festival please visit or telephone 050 907 6158 for more details.


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