Abu Dhabi Festival Awards honour the exceptional lifetime contributions of six outstanding individuals
Abu Dhabi, UAE – : Inaugurated in 2012, the Abu Dhabi Festival Award is presented annually in association with Chopard to individuals for their outstanding lifetime contributions to the arts and culture. In a ceremony at Emirates Palace on Wednesday 15 March, the awards were bestowed on behalf of the Festival’s Patron, Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan by HE Mohamad Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi and HE Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival.
The awards were presented to legendary composers John Debney and David Shire and veteran film music producer Robert Townson for their remarkable achievements throughout their prolific careers, their exceptional influence in shaping the music and film industries, and their significant contributions to Abu Dhabi Festival’s commission and co-production of the epic Symphony of Three. The award was bestowed as well upon Iraqi oud master Naseer Shamma for his lifetime contributions and dedication to preserving Arab heritage.
A special recognition was also presented to visionary Emirati composer Ihab Darwish and renowned inshad singer Sheikh Mahmoud Al Tohamy for their outstanding work on the Festival’s commission and production of the magnificent Symphony of Three celebrating peace, love and tolerance.
H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “Each year, the Abu Dhabi Festival Award recognises the outstanding lifetime achievements of those individuals who have made significant contributions to music and the arts. We are pleased to partner with Chopard to honour the prolific careers of American composers David Shire and John Debney and producer Robert Townson, who came together with gifted Emirati composer Ihab Darwish for the Abu Dhabi Festival commission and production of the epic Symphony of Three, celebrating peaceful co-existence. Together, Shire, Debney and Townson have brought joy to people around the world with their lasting contributions to the music and film industry.
This year, we also recognise the remarkable accomplishments of oud master Naseer Shamma for his tireless commitment and dedication to music, to preserving Arab cultural heritage, and to establishing Bait Al Oud Al Arabi centres for music education in Abu Dhabi and beyond, further enhancing the Abu Dhabi Festival award’s status as the benchmark of cultural excellence.”
Over the years, the Abu Dhabi Festival award has become the benchmark of cultural excellence with past recipients including legendary record producer Quincy Jones, multi-Grammy award-winner Wynton Marsalis, renowned author, Amin Maalouf, Oscar-winning composer Gabriel Yared and more.