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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an orchestra concert?

Try to forget many of the ideas you have about music. Music has become an integral part of our daily life, so much that sometimes, we don’t notice it anymore. An orchestra concert is precisely intended to invite you to listen to music and to appreciate its beauty. Expect to enjoy the journey you will be taken on and to see that music can be much more than entertainment: a whole world waiting for you to discover.

What do I need to know about classical music to enjoy the concert?

One of the preconceived notions about Classical Music is that you have to know about it, before going to listen to it. However, that’s not true. Many composers have intentionally written music for spectators completely unfamiliar with classical music. Music in general speaks for itself.

Nevertheless, when you like a piece of music, you will want to know more about its history and its composer. Abu Dhabi Classics is offering regular free pre-concert talks before the performances, often with the participation of the performers, to introduce the public to the different pieces. The notes in the concert brochure will also give you an insight about the musical programme of the concert.

Regular concert-goers will also enjoy listening to the concert piece before and after the concert. It is a nice way to prepare yourself to the performance or to recapitulate it. It will also allow you more and more to spot the individual artistic quality of each performer’s interpretation. The season is bringing some of the leading performers whose interpretations have marked the history of classical music, so get ready to listen to wonderful music and to understand all the different aspects of its beauty.

Is there an age limit for children?

As a general rule, Children under 6 years are not allowed in the concert hall as they might disturb the performance.  Exceptions can be made for children who really regularly play a musical instrument. In this case, please contact us.

What is the average duration of an Abu Dhabi Classics concert?

Generally the duration of a concert is two hours with an interval of 15-20 Min. For chamber music event the overall duration will often be shorter (90 Min). The exact length of the pieces and of the specific performances can be found on the programmes section of this website.

What if I get there late?

Classical concerts start exactly on the indicated time. Once the concert has started, no admittance in the hall will be granted until the intermission. Therefore, please make sure you reach the concert hall at least 15 min before the start of the performance to allow yourself to have enough time to find your seat.

What should I wear to an Abu Dhabi Classics concert?

It depends if the concert is indoors or outdoors. For indoor concerts, especially for Emirates Palace Auditorium, Formal or Business Attire/National Dress is required. Formal attire is also part of the concert experience. Please note that by respecting the rule you also respect your fellow concert goers.

For Chamber Music events slightly dressy clothes or business attire will be suitable as well.

For outdoor performances the dress code is more relaxed, wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. Don’t forget that most Abu Dhabi Classics outdoor performances happen during the winter months so prepare to take some warm clothes as evenings might get chilly.

When should I applaud?

On a general basis, Musicians love applause, especially at the end of the performance. Musicians will appreciate a longer applause and be happy to come back to greet the public.

Here a few rules when the public is expected to applaud:

  • When the Concertmaster (violin) walks onto the stage at the beginning of the performance.
  • When the Conductor and maybe the Soloist walk onto the stage.
  • After the completion of each piece and at the end of the performance.

Here a few rules when applause can be perceived as a disturbance:
  • While the music is playing.
  • During the short breaks between the different movements of a concerto or a symphony.

Can I take pictures?

No, taking photographs or recordings of any kind is not permitted and breaches performers' copyright. You can nevertheless take pictures just before or after the performance.

Silence please?

Smartphones, Mobile phones and any other electronic devices must be switched off during the performance. Concerts are often recorded so imagine if your phone goes off in the middle… On a general basis, classical music also integrates parts of silence, so try to consider the importance of silence as part of the musical performance.

On a general basis the concert public is expected to remain quiet during the performances. Talking with the neighbours while the music is playing for example can be perceived as a disturbance. Coughing is certainly an unavoidable problem, but please try to find ways to minimize the disturbance for the musicians and your fellow audience members.

Can I leave the venue and come back?

No. If you have an urgent need to leave the concert hall it is of course possible. But please do it in a discrete way (without slamming the door for example) and bear in mind that you will not be allowed back in unless there is an intermission.

Where can I park?

For most of the venues there is plenty of parking spaces available. For some specific venues like Abu Dhabi Theatre or Bin Hamooda Fort in A Ain parking can be tricky. Please come a bit earlier and watch out for the shuttle service that the Abu Dhabi Classics team will be providing.

Quick Contact


PO Box 94000,
Abu Dhabi UAE
Tel: +971 2 444 0444,
Fax: +971 2 444 0400,

Toll free number in the UAE: 800 555

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