Thursday 19 May 2022, 19:00 BST

Streamed online from

Recorded at LSO St Luke’s, Old Street

Mohammed Fairouz’ Symphony #5 WORLD PREMIERE

London Symphony Orchestra

Lee Reynolds conductor

The Abu Dhabi Festival presents the digital world premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’ Symphony #5, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The commission is the latest phase in a twelve-year relationship between the LSO and ADMAF which began when the LSO toured to Abu Dhabi with Sir Colin Davis.

This new commission from Abu Dhabi Festival has emerged from a twelve-year relationship with the LSO which began when the world-renowned orchestra performed at the Festival, for the first time in the Arab world, under the baton of the late Sir Colin Davis.

The premiere with the LSO forms part of the renowned Abu Dhabi Festival Abroad programmewhich presents Emirati artists abroad and to a global audience. Founded in 2004 and organised by ADMAF, the annual multidisciplinary Abu Dhabi Festival is the largest cultural celebration in the entire region and reaches across the world through co-commissions of great international artists and performers and the presentation of innovative Arab creativity around the globe. Abu Dhabi Festival strives to deepen global cross-cultural dialogue whilst inspiring a deeper interest in the cultures of the Arab world.

The performance will be premiered as a free digital stream on Thursday 19 May 2022, available through YouTube and the ADMAF website: The live recording of the symphony took place in January 2022 at LSO St Luke’s under the baton of conductor Lee Reynolds.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.”

Mohammed Fairouz’s Symphony #5 is inspired by the life of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates. The symphony explores the story of the UAE and its values of peace and tolerance in four movements, Alameen (Worlds)—Shapes, Harmony—The Ummah (Nation), Iqra (Read)—Infinite Variations, and Ascent—Line and Illumination.

The distinctive musical language of the composer Mohammed Fairouz melds Middle Eastern modes and Western structures to deeply expressive effect. Fairouz’ transatlantic upbringing across five continents has given him a truly cosmopolitan voice inspiring previous large-scale works including four symphonies and an opera, which engage major geopolitical and philosophical themes with persuasive craft.

The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation is a chief driving force for culture, creativity and emerging local talent at the heart of the UAE. In December 2021, Abu Dhabi joined the likes of Liverpool, Auckland and Kingston in its official designation as a City of Musicby the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Over recent years, the Abu Dhabi Festival has welcomed world-renowned performers to the city including Sir Bryn Terfel, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Opera House, Vladimir Ashkenazy & the European Union Youth Orchestra, Gautier Capuçon, and Nicola Benedetti with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

The 2022 Abu Dhabi Festival’s extensive international output also includes the co-commission EDEN featuring a worldwide tour with Joyce DiDonato and Il Pomo d’Oro, and new co-productions with the Teatro Real and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Also premiering digitally this year is gifted Emirati composer Ihab Darwish’s Abrahamic Symphony, written in collaboration with Emmy-winning composer John Debney and Academy Award-winning composer David Shire. Bringing together top international composers, musicians and vocal ensembles from Christian, Jewish and Muslim backgrounds, the symphony celebrates unity and peace amongst different faiths.

Abu Dhabi Festival is the principal partner of the week-long Arab Music Days celebration at Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal. Amidst a vast programme in Abu Dhabi, the Festival is featuring the new exhibition, Portrait of a Nation: Beyond Narratives, featuring 100 key artworks by 62 pivotal artists, tracing the UAE’s art history over 50 years of transformative development.

ADMAF nurtures the arts, education, culture and creativity in the UAE and beyond, with the belief that culture and the arts unlock a nation’s creativity and creates connections that transcend borders. ADMAF undertakes a broad range of initiatives and events each year to bring together diverse audiences in the UAE and internationally.

Held under the theme: “Crafting the Emirates State of Mind: Creation, Innovation & Joy”, the 19th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival 2022 is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan and supported by Lead Partner Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala) and Energy Partner GS Energy. Abu Dhabi Festival 2022 encompasses over 1,000 participating artists from around the world to present more than 300 performances and events. The 19th edition will also include two world tours and 17 world premieres.

The 2022 Abu Dhabi Festival programme is part of the contribution that the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation makes to the UAE capital’s designation as a UNESCO City of Music.
For more information on Abu Dhabi Festival’s upcoming events, please visit:, and find the Festival on: Facebook (@abudhabifestival), Twitter (@abudhabi_fest) and Instagram (@abudhabifestival).