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East Meets West
October 9 - 14 | Bahrain International Music Festival | Various locations

For the 23rd year in a row, Bahrain’s Ministry of Culture has put together an eclectic line-up of entertainment as part of the Bahrain International Music Festival.

Featuring a variety of artists ,including a former X-Factor UK winner, the velvety string sounds of an orchestra from Berlin and a young Swiss crooner with pop-folk flair, the Ministry of Culture has outdone itself this year. Bringing together musical innovators from around the world, the Bahrain International Music Festival will be parading a diverse mix of cultures and genres.

Appealing to a wide selection of tastes, the classical orchestra compositions sit nicely with the modern pop offerings.

Leona Lewis
The multi-platinum and award-winning singer-songwriter, Leona Lewis, is known for her poise, personality and unmatched voice that has won the hearts of millions worldwide. As a former X-Factor winner, Leona is a driving force in the music industry and the most successful female solo artist in UK chart history, with more top five hits than any other British female artist. If Leona is known for anything, it’s her expansive four-octave mezzo-soprano vocal range, power and technical control. Her Grammy-nominated debut album, Spirit, sold more than 20 million copies around the globe. Let’s not forget Leona’s best selling record, I See You, which she penned and performed for the box office smash hit Avatar. For some chills, thrills and soaring vocal talent, head to the Bahrain National Theatre on October 9; the show starts at 8pm. Tickets are available at Virgin Megastore and online on

Anoushka Shankar
Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar is one of the leading figures in Indian classical and progressive world music today. She is deeply rooted in the Indian classical tradition, having studied from the age of nine under her father and guru, the legendary Ravi Shankar.

As a classical sitarist, she has toured extensively and performed in prestigious venues and festivals around the world as a solo artist and accompanying renowned orchestras and conductors, earning a stellar reputation for her experimental, innovative style.
Enjoy Anoushka’s versatility for free from 8pm on October 10 at the Cultural Hall.

Bastian Baker
Swiss crooner Bastian Baker’s artistic destiny took shape as a 15-year-old armed with just a guitar and a pen, which he used for his first attempts at song writing. He released his first single, Lucky, in 2011, which turned the heads of music producers. Over the last couple of years, Bastian has toured extensively, performing hundreds of concerts at prestigious venues such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, Paléo Festival, Francofolies de la Rochelle and Olympia of Paris. He opened for such legends as Elton John, Bryan Adams, Johnny Hallyday and Mark Lanegan. Despite his relatively young career, he has already garnered many accolades, including three Swiss Music Awards in just two years. Watch this rising global star on October 13 at the Cultural Hall at 8pm for free.
Call 17 298-777.

Aicha Redouane
The nicknames bestowed upon Aicha Redouane are seemingly endless, but all point to the extraordinary singing talent; a talent she utilises to recreate a bygone era of Arab music. The Moroccan-born French-raised chanteuse is a naturally adept singer, having mastered several musical genres and flavours, from Moroccan Berber songs to Western jazz and blues to classical Arabic tarab. Before emigrating to France, Redouane practised traditional folk songs as a child with her grandmother at her village in the Atlas Mountains, and has dedicated herself to spreading the enchanting musical heritage of the Middle East region. She is joined in this noble quest by Habib Yammine, a Lebanese musician, professor and renowned Arabic music authority living in France, who specialises in Arabic rhythms. For some symphonic synergy, head to the Cultural Hall at 8pm on October 12. Entry is free for this event.
Call 17 298-777.

Chamber Orchestra
The smooth elegance and nobleness of the velvety string sounds of the Viennese, and the captivating and passionate brilliance of the wind soloists of Berlin combine to form the celebrated Chamber Orchestra Vienna — Berlin. This decade-long cooperation between the Vienna and Berlin philharmonic orchestras creates a unique, refined classical sound that ranks among the very best in the world.

These two giants and traditional competitors in the classical music world came together under the initiative of famed English conductor Sir Simon Rattle, whose wish to conduct a concert of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for his 50th birthday united both orchestras for the first time. This experience surprisingly turned out to be so positive that it had to be continued; the Chamber Orchestra Vienna — Berlin was born. Serenade with the sounds of the orchestra at 8pm on October 11 at the Cultural Hall; entry is free. Call 17 298-777.

Macadi Nahhas
A champion of freedom and human dignity, Jordanian singer Macadi Nahhas occupies a unique status among singers in the Arab world with her blend of classical and traditional songs, which revive the heritage of the Golden Era of Arab music. Hailing from Madaba, a city famous for its gardens and water springs, her political and intellectual home environment helped her hone her talent and cultivated her artistic choices from a very young age.

A graduate of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music, Macadi was heavily influenced by the Rahbani School of Music. Like her hero, legendary singer Fairuz, she is blessed with a distinguished supple voice and commanding stage presence. She is a frequent performer at cultural events and national celebrations in Arab and foreign countries. Treat yourself to her sound for free on October 14 at the Cultural Hall at 8pm.
Call 17 298-777.