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Paying the UAE’s piper
The UAE Philharmonic Orchestra, which is performing Mozart's 'Requiem' on May 29 and 30, is hoping to be recognized and funded by the country’s government.
May 29, 2009 4:24 by Aarti Nagraj
The situation has been worsened this season cancellation of corporate events. In 2007 and 2008, the orchestra had a lot of corporate performances, many of them of property launches. They performed for the opening of the Dubai Festival City, at the Dubai Stock Exchange, the closing night of the Dubai Irish Festival, at the Jebel Ali race course, and were also in a TV commercial for a property development in Ajman.
But the financial crisis has curbed corporate budgets, hitting the orchestra hard.
“When we do public concerts, we did try to sell tickets, but it’s very difficult if you don’t have the machine of advertising and PR behind you, which again we can’t afford. This time, we are working on a donation basis, which I think probably is the best. The concerts are free and I prefer that it’s this way because the orchestra wants to prove to the public what it is and what it could be as well,” says Maier.
But Maier and his team is quite hopeful of things changing in the future. “We will hopefully get that endorsement [from the government] to turn the orchestra into a professional funded orchestra in terms of being able to provide some of these extremely talented musicians with a regular job. And having the infrastructure to be able to provide the audience in the country with regular appearances of the orchestra. And also realize some of these really exciting offers from overseas.”
“That would be wonderful. I think it would be a very positive step for the cultural life the country to have these things happening.”
“I’m sure we will get there.”
The orchestra is performing at the American University of Dubai on May 29, and at the Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi on May 30. Both start at 8 pm.