Galway, Kotova and Thibaudet come together for unique collaboration
In a unique collaboration between three superb artists, a Trio Recital at The Emirates Palace marked the penultimate performance of the 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival. The ‘superstar’ trio was made up of the world’s most famous flautist, Sir James Galway, the most celebrated pianist of our generation, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and the passionate and inspiring Russian cellist, Nina Kotova. Following an unforgettable ten days of performances from international regional and Western artists, last night the audience was treated to works by Chopin, Rachmaninov, Widor, Taffanel and Damase.
The Trio Recital began with Nocturnes No.1 in B flat Minor and No.2 in E flat major for piano composed by Frederick Chopin. Thibaudet created amood of calm and tranquillity, a feature of a Nocturne, and combined it with gentle decorations and elaborate ornamentation, the hallmarks of Chopin’s piano style. Sergei Rachmaninov’s Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor followed with Kotova duetting with Thibaudet. This piece was originally performed in 1901 by the cellist Anatoly Brandukov with Rachmaninov himself at the piano.
Next was Charles-Marie Widor’s Suite for Flute and Piano performed by Sir James and Thibaudet which was originally composed in 1884 for one of Widor’s colleagues on the teaching staff of the Paris Conservatoire, Paul Taffanel. And it is a work by Taffanel that came next at the Trio Recital with his Grand Fantasy on themes from the opera Mignon. Taffanel was one of the most influential figures in the recent history of French flute playing. Sir James lived up to his predecessor’s reputation as he opened the piece in grand style before breaking into some dazzling displays of flute virtuosity.
Finally, all three performers came together for Jean-Michel Damase’s Sonate en Concert for flute, piano and cello. The audience were clearly enraptured by seeing three such talented and inspiring artists taking to the stage together. It was a lively end to an evening of superb music as Sonate en Concert provided colourful and invigorating 18th century dance forms.
Sir James Galway, nicknamed “the man with the golden flute,” is widely regarded as both a supreme interpreter of the classical flute repertoire and a consummate entertainer. He is the most televised and recorded classical artist performing today, he has toured extensively around the world and sold over 30 million albums. Born in Belfast, Sir James studied at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, followed by the Paris Conservatory.
Hailed by the press as “one of the best pianists in the world,” Jean-Yves Thibaudet is sought after by today’s foremost orchestras, festivals, conductors and collaborative musicians. His artistry, virtuosity and charisma have brought him to the world’s most renowned stages. Jean-Yves was born in Lyon, France, where he began his piano studies at age five, he made his first public appearance at seven and aged 12 he entered the Paris Conservatory.
A virtuoso cellist, Nina Kotova has played with major orchestras around the world and often tours the United States, Europe and Asia. She has written her own Cello Concerto and its CD release propelled her into the Billboard Charts. Nina played her hallmark 1673 Du Pre-Harrell Stradivarius cello at the Trio Recital. She started cello studies at the age of six, studied at the Moscow Conservatory and gave her first performance as a soloist with orchestra at the age of 11.
H. E. Mrs Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of ADMAF and the Festival, said:
“Bringing three artists of the international standing of Sir James Galway, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Nina Kotova to Abu Dhabi is indeed an honour for the festival. Last night was particularly special as it saw their first ever collaboration as a trio, providing the audience with a beautiful glimpse into their spectacular talents as both soloists and collaborators.”
The festival is held 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. It is presented by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation with executive producer IMG Artists, the world’s leading performing artist management company. The title sponsor of this year’s Festival is the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and the other festival sponsors are Mubadala and Etihad Airways. The 6th Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival ends today (2 April) with a performance by up and coming piano virtuoso, Karim Said, at the British School Al Khubairat.
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