The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles was the stage for an extraordinary event last weekend, as the Abu Dhabi Festival premiered its unique musical production, Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak. This event, a collaboration with Robert Townson Productions, celebrated the legacy of the iconic artist Bob Peak through a fusion of music and art.

Key Takeaways

  • The event took place at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
  • It was a collaboration between the Abu Dhabi Festival and Robert Townson Productions.
  • The musical suite was inspired by the artworks of Bob Peak.
  • Ten esteemed composers contributed to the project, including Emirati artist Ihab Darwish.
  • The event highlighted the UAE’s growing influence on the global cultural stage.

A Tribute to Classic Film Scores

The evening began with a tribute to classic film scores, paired with Bob Peak’s iconic illustrations. The orchestra delivered powerful performances of selections from 20th-century greats, including:

  1. Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story
  2. John Williams’ Superman: The Movie
  3. Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture

These performances vividly brought Peak’s artwork to life, setting the stage for the main event.

The World Premiere: Pictures at an Exhibition

The highlight of the night was the world premiere of Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak. This innovative musical suite was inspired by Peak’s masterpieces and brought together ten esteemed composers. Each composer offered a unique interpretation of Peak’s art, including:

  • Maria Newman
  • Jeff Beal
  • Michael Abels
  • Marco Beltrami
  • Marc Shaiman
  • Don Davis
  • Bill Conti
  • Mychael Danna
  • Harry Gregson-Williams
  • Ihab Darwish

Emirati Influence

Emirati artist Ihab Darwish’s composition, Curva Grande, Fastest Corners in Car Racing, was a standout piece, highlighting the UAE’s burgeoning influence on the global cultural stage. Other notable compositions included interpretations of Peak’s Time Magazine cover portrait of Mother Teresa and the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

A Celebration of 20th-Century Culture

Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, praised the event’s success: “It is with great pride and excitement that Abu Dhabi Festival collaborates once more with Robert Townson Productions to present Pictures at an Exhibition: The Paintings of Bob Peak, underscoring the international prominence of the Abu Dhabi Festival and its commitment to enhancing Emirati cultural presence globally. This grand musical commission brings together the distinctive work of ten internationally renowned composers. In the spirit of Bob Peak’s vibrant artworks, the concert celebrates the best of 20th-century culture, including film, architecture, sport, and iconic individuals.”

The event was a resounding success, showcasing the power of collaboration and the universal language of art and music.