On October 1, a preview of AR Rahman’s Firdaus Orchestra performance was released. It managed to garner a lot of buzz around itself. But now, get ready for the real thing!
The all-female orchestra, which consists of women from the Arabian diaspora, will perform at various events during the expo.
Starting from Saturday, October 23,2021; the concerts will also feature works composed by Oscar and Grammy winner A.R Rahman for the orchestra’s inaugural performance on the global stage.
Ariel Azarian, a musician who is a part of the Firdaus Orchestra said, “Being in a professional orchestra is a dream come true, and the fact that it’s at Expo with an all-female group is just out of this world and it’s a privilege, and I’m just really excited to be a part of this. It’s life changing.”
Who is A.R Rahman?
A.R Rahman is a two time Academy Awards winner. He has bagged two Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe for his music across film genres, languages and industries.
One of his best songs is Jai Ho, from the rags-to-riches film Slumdog Millionaire that managed to win an Oscar. His works from Bollywood have managed to remain fan favorites more than a decade later and are even considered to be anthems by many.
A.R Rahman weighed in and said, “It’s been an honour and privilege to have founded and mentored the Firdaus Orchestra for Expo 2020 Dubai. This ensemble has a very unique character as it’s symbolic of our changing world and evolution in music, particularly in the Middle East.”
Apart from being an all women orchestra, what is so special about Firdaus?
Rahman also mentioned the fact that the voices of the Firdaus Orchestra, composed of artists of more than 23 nationalities from across the Arabian peninsula, are very different from anything we’ve heard in the western or eastern world; they represent a whole new sound which is very exciting.
This has been a dear project for A.R Rahman according to him.
Rahman thanked UAE Minister of State for International Co-operation and director general of Expo 2020 Dubai, Reem Al Hashimy. He said that her support and guidance made the extraordinary ensemble of maestros possible.
Rahman while concluding said, “I’m proud to say that the Firdaus Orchestra is a world-class collective of musicians. Witness their artistry at the Expo 2020 Dubai.”
Firdaus Orchestra will be closing the Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Week on Saturday October 23. The orchestra will render a space-themed performance consisting of Western classical music and an original composition by Rahman. The performance will be starting at 7pm at Expo 2020’s Jubilee Park.
The Firdaus Orchestra, led by conductor Yasmina Sabbah. All the musicians led by Sabbah will bring their spellbinding showcase to Expo’s Space Week celebrations. The one-hour performance will include Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey, music from Star Wars as well as ET- Adventures on Earth.
The Orchestra will also play classics like Karl Jenkins’ “Palladio,” Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5,” and a grand finale performance by A.R. Rahman. Rahman will present an exclusive new composition, Humanitas-Proorismós-Al Amal, an ode by him to the explorers of space. ‘Al Amal’ means ‘Hope’ in Arabic, which is also the name of the first Arab mission to Mars.