The InClassica International Music Festival has returned to Dubai, marking its 11th edition. The month-long classical music celebration is made up of 50 renowned soloists, three leading orchestras, 11 conductors and 26 performances at Dubai Opera.
As the sun goes down each evening, InClassica’s stars come out, including revered conductor Dmitry Yablonsky, who spoke to Euronews' Rebecca McLaughlin-Eastham before the curtain was raised on the opening night.
"You know, when the music starts, in general, you forget that you have a backache, that your shoes hurt. You see this gorgeous (Dubai Opera) hall with its beautiful acoustics. To share the music, with this audience in Dubai, it's a sublime idea of Konstantin Ishkhanov, who is the President of the festival - of this whole project," Yablonsky said.
This season's repertoire includes well-known classics by Verdi, Beethoven and Debussy, to name a few. Plus, contemporary masterpieces by composer-in-residence Alexey Shor.
Respected violinist, Sergej Krylov, says kinship and cultural diplomacy emanates through Shor’s melodic compositions.
"I like this music for the harmony, for the impression of the phrasing, for many different reasons," Krylov explains.
Speaking about how InClassica helps foster international cooperation and friendship, Krylov adds:
"The globalisation of music is very important. The changing (and) interchanging of the cultures is very important. And this festival represents this international way of thinking (about) the music, full of great ideas that connect different cultures."
South Korean Yekwon Sunwoo is one of the world's foremost soloists. For this award winning pianist, playing, provides escapism and calm in a fast paced world.
"Sometimes in life, you have such a hectic life and with the travels and everything, sometimes you forget the things that are most important. You know, we play many pieces over and over, but I remind myself to be really truthful with the feelings and be sincere."
Emerging artists perform alongside world-class musical stars at InClassica, and keeping things to time, is famed Italian conductor Gianluca Marciano, who has been described as ‘unblushingly enthusiastic’ for his energetic style.
"It's always nice to hear so many good definitions of yourself. And reviews are important because I like to check in the score, in my performance, and see how I could do better maybe," Marciano said.
But while the critics come with the job, they are not Gianluca’s primary concern.
"We should be self-critical and analyse every night after a concert what we have done, because our audience is the most important," Marciano insists.
Sentiments that will no doubt strike a chord with those visiting Dubai Opera this season.