Talent Converges for Manifold

Three innovative and unconventional concerts will feature NYUAD faculty

Press Release

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.


We're excited to be part of Manifold again, and look forward to presenting another program of new works, including four world premieres, showcasing the expressive and virtuosic qualities of our ensemble.

Lecturer of Music Clare Lesser

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.

Associate Instructor of Music Jesse Boere

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.

Executive Artistic Director at The Arts Center Bill Bragin

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.

About The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi

Presenting music, theater, dance, film and interdisciplinary performances that defy definition, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi is a performing arts center that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions. The Arts Center draws on the resources of NYUAD to create a dynamic space for research, investigation, and the active pursuit of knowledge and wisdom for audiences as well as visiting artists.