All-women Firdaus Orchestra, mentored by A.R. Rahman, returns to Expo City Dubai

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Firdaus Orchestra, the all-women ensemble that thrilled audiences during Expo 2020 Dubai, marks its Expo City Dubai debut with ‘The Best of Firdaus’ inaugural performance on November 19 at Al Wasl Plaza, featuring Academy-award winning composer and the orchestra’s mentor, A.R. Rahman, according to a press release

Conducted by Yasmina Sabbah, the first in a series of stunning concerts from Expo City Dubai’s resident orchestra will present performances and symphonic compositions by A.R. Rahman as well as Western orchestral harmonies and ancient melodies from the Orchestral Qawwali Project, according to a Expo 2020 Dubai press release.

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Firdaus Orchestra thrives on its cultural diversity, bringing classically trained musicians from 24 nationalities to the Expo City Dubai stage. Comprising women of various ages and backgrounds, it draws inspiration from the region’s centuries-old musical traditions, using instruments such as the oud, rebaba and darbuka, and embodies Expo 2020’s cultural and social legacy as it continues to nurture talented musicians, transform perceptions and inspire all who see them perform.

Developed exclusively for Expo 2020 Dubai, Firdaus (meaning ‘paradise’ in Arabic) is a visionary ensemble of 50 female musicians from across the Arab world, mentored by A.R. Rahman. The multicultural orchestra aspires to become the number one orchestra in the region in the next five years, and also in the next 10 years be among the top 10 orchestras in the world.

A.R. Rahman, said: “After several successful live concerts during Expo 2020 Dubai, Firdaus orchestra will continue to enthral with its best yet, and I am thrilled to include a few of my compositions.”

In December, the ensemble will perform a ‘Holiday Symphony,’ conducted by Monica Woodman and welcoming Filipino pop star Katrina Velarde, Argentinian-Armenian singer Solange Merdinian, dancers and a local choir, for a show packed with festive classics.

Looking to 2023, concerts will include ‘A Tribute to A.R. Rahman’s Film Scores,’ as well as three shows during International Women’s Week in March, featuring special performances by featuring legendary female artists.

In the months since Expo 2020 Dubai closed, Firdaus has released numerous pieces in the digital world and worked with award-winning veteran composer Ilaiyaraaja on an original symphony, set for its global premiere later this year.

Read more: Dubai’s Expo 2020 Al Wasl dome to be brought back to life as site ushers in new era

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