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Rieu’s magical concert leaves Bahrain enchanted

By Raji Unnikrishnan

A magical music night by Dutch violinist André Rieu left behind an entranced audience at the Al Dana Amphitheatre.

The King of Waltz was in the kingdom for a second time and was performing as part of the Spring of Culture festival. Mr Rieu who is among the star-studded line up at the 18th edition of the festival, was received by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

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Mr Rieu who gave his debut concert in Bahrain last February, is most famous for founding the Johann Strauss Orchestra, which he set up with just 12 members in 1987. Today, the orchestra consists of up to 60 players and is known for its crowd-friendly performances of popular classics, crossover tunes, and particularly waltzes, as well as its extravagant costumes and sets. Mr Rieu and his orchestra have toured throughout Europe, North and South America, Japan, and Australia and have released multiple platinum-selling albums and DVDs.

His Majesty received the artist at Sakhir Palace along with members of the band ahead of their performance in Bahrain. Also present were HM the King’s Personal Representative, His Highness Shaikh Abdulla bin Hamad Al Khalifa, HM the King’s Representative for Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs, His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and the First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, Chairman of the General Sports Authority, and President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

His Majesty praised André Rieu and his team for their successful artistic career, global popularity, and unique contributions to enriching international music. He wished them success during their visit to Bahrain and in their upcoming artistic endeavours. His Majesty emphasised that cultural and artistic events foster global communication and collaboration.

On his part, Mr Rieu expressed gratitude to His Majesty for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him and his team during their visit. He expressed his happiness at performing in Bahrain for the second consecutive year and wished the people of Bahrain continued progress and prosperity.

Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) president Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa read out his remarks to His Majesty during the royal audience.

He expressed appreciation and gratitude to His Majesty for his continuous support of the arts and culture in Bahrain, which he underscored at a time when Bahrain is positioning itself as a centre of cultural connections and exchanges.

“Your Majesty, your vision to expand Bahrain’s cultural infrastructure to host global performances, through your direct and generous support in establishing the Bahrain National Theatre and the Al Dana Amphitheatre, has developed the cultural scene in Bahrain and the region. Today, your Majesty’s support has underlined our position in the region as a prominent destination where music in all its forms is appreciated and enjoyed.”

He added that the Spring of Culture festival this year, with the support of HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, has shown that Bahrain continues to be a platform for traditional, classical, modern, and contemporary music, harnessing the positive influence of music on society as a medium of global connectivity.

The 11-week-long Spring of Culture festival, which runs until March 20, is organised in cooperation with the Al Riwaq Art Space, Albareh Art Gallery, Art Concept, and La Fontaine Centre for Contemporary Art.

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