Returning to The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) for its third edition series of boundary-breaking contemporary music concerts, Manifold - A Festival of Musical Diversity – presented in partnership with the NYUAD Music Program – takes place between Sunday, March 31 and Tuesday, April 2 at 7:30pm.
In the spirit of The Arts Center’s adage, “Come curious, Leave inspired,” this festival of contemporary music is ideal for those wanting to experience something new. Comprising of three nights, seven artists, and four world premiere, Manifold will spotlight exceptional NYUAD talent.
The Arts Center has established itself as space that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world, but the talent from within its own walls is as equally impressive. Kicking off the 2019 edition of the festival on Sunday, March 31 are the triumphant trio of Lecturer of Music Clare Lesser (soprano), Adjunct Instructor of Music David Lesser (pianist), and Laura Chapple (cellist), who bring their show, suitably named: A soprano, a cellist and a pianist… to The Blue Hall stage. These renowned artists, accustomed to performing across the globe, will present a fresh approach to a classic musical recital.
Reflecting NYUAD’s international community, the second night of Manifold on Monday, April 1, features an evening of eclectic explorations. Portuguese electronic musician João Menezes and Dutch jazz musician Jesse Boere will captain patrons on an audio-visual journey of sounds; recognizable and vaguely familiar acoustics.
Feels like a trip: there is video throughout and the music consists of both musical phrasing and sound painting using an acoustic piano, voice, live electronics, and both live audio and live video processing.
Speaking about the origins of their performance, Technical Instructor of Music in the Music Program at NYUAD, Menezes said: “This performance was created from scratch and a lot of the aerial footage was actually recently recorded in Iceland. The country is breathtaking and it inspired us to experiment with the idea of texture - from the minimalism of the elements to the splendor of untouched landscapes.”
On Tuesday, April 2 at The Blue Hall, An Evening of Flute and Piano is set to conclude the festival with a modern approach to classical music, as flutist Cristina Ioan and pianist Ioannis Potamousis – both NYUAD faculty members – present their first collaboration. Well-known works by Poulenc, Ravel, Schubert, as well as from Abu Dhabi-based composers Matthew Quayle and Leontious Hadjileontiadis, and highly acclaimed young composer and NYUAD Alumni Cristóbal MarYán, will all be featured. Potamousis is delighted to be part of this year’s edition, saying: “Together [with Cristina] we have built a program that demonstrates a variety of styles and techniques and features. Manifold introduces fresh, unconventional, sophisticated ideas and interpretations, and we are delighted that we have the opportunity to contribute to this year’s unique concert series.”
Manifold allows The Arts Center to give the broader community of the UAE an opportunity to sample some of the myriad talents of the artists who make up NYUAD’s faculty. Sharing their artistry in concert is an extension of their work in the classrooms with our students. We’re lucky to have these accomplished musicians in our midst.