Chamber Music Abu Dhabi (CMAD) was established in 2013 to enrich Abu Dhabi’s cultural offerings with sustainable and high-quality classical music.
With support from Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Emirates Advanced Investments, CMAD presented its first quartet residency in May 2013, culminating with a formal concert at Brighton College Abu Dhabi. By expanding support and audience involvement, CMAD aims to build a tradition of fine chamber music for Abu Dhabi.
CMAD has three goals
- One goal is to use music as a vehicle for cultural exchange. To this end, each residency involves a collaboration with Emirati artists.
- A second goal is to enhance educational experience by programming in-school concerts, demonstrations and master classes. We like to emphasize music as an important part of the curriculum for developing student capabilities and sensitivities.
- Our third goal is to bring the community together in a shared cultural experience. By presenting concerts in venues large and small, formal and informal, in schools and in other locations, we try to make music an integral part of the community. Our enthusiasm for the string quartet stems from its ability to draw the audience into the world of music-making.
What we do
Chamber Music Abu Dhabi brings energetic and award-winning string quartets for week-long residencies designed to allow audiences and students to interact directly with the musicians. Each quartet performs a free concert and offers interactive and educational outreach as a means of developing audience, encouraging and supporting local music educators, and fostering cross-cultural understanding. We envision adding lectures on the role of music in promoting healthy child development, educational achievement, and the skills required to work as a team.
Our concerts and educational activities are free to students, hosting institutions, and concert goers. In this way we hope to reach new audiences, build participation, and instill a love for classical music at its best.
Ioannis Potamousis described by the Pasatiempo as “New Colossus of the keys” is internationally acclaimed as a charismatic and passionate performer, known for his captivating artistry and introspective, poetic expression. “…Ioannis Potamousis impressed the audience with his powerful and charming performance as well as his ability to create a dialogue with the orchestra,” wrote the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger of his performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto. “Great brilliance…unique atmosphere,” said the Cincinnati Post. The Gulf News wrote: “…It was worth just to listen to Potamousis play the Liszt’s Spanish Rhapsody. As we watched the pianist lose himself, we too became mesmerized by the music which took our breath away….”, “…anyone should watch Potamousis in action- he is thunderous one moment, comedic the next, then delicate as air
Potamousis’ performances have taken him to important international venues in Europe and the Middle East as well as across North America. He has played at the Athens Concert Hall, the international summer festival and, on his recent Middle Eastern tour, to concert halls in Palestine, Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The Dubai appearance included collaboration with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Dubai.
In New York, he has played in the Trinity Church Concert Series, the Mannes festival and at Steinway Hall, the Harvard Club and the Metropolitan Club. He has performed concertos with New York’s New Amsterdam Symphony, the Collegium Musicum of Cologne, the Summit (New Jersey) Symphony, the Athens State Orchestra, the New Jersey City Symphony Orchestra and the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra.
Ioannis Potamousis is a prizewinner of several international piano contests, including the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati (Silver Medal), the International Piano Competition in Santa Fe, New Mexico (First prize) as well as the Beethoven Sonata Competition in Memphis. He holds degrees from Musikhochschule Cologne, New York’s Mannes College of Music and Rutgers University, where he received a Doctorate of Musical Arts. Most recently, Ioannis completed successfully a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Nottingham University. Currently, he is the Head of Keyboard Studies at Brighton College Abu Dhabi, Adjunct Lecturer of Music at New York University Abu Dhabi and the co-founder of “Pollen-spreading the seeds of music”.
Dorothy Byers majored in music at Wellesley College, and has played violin in the UAE’s National Symphony Orchestra. Her husband is a professional violinist and she has two sons who are also professional musicians. She headed the Engineering Library at University of Cincinnati for 34 years before coming in 2009 to Abu Dhabi, where she headed the libraries for Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research. She joined Jennifer in founding Chamber Music Abu Dhabi to share the magic and excitement of chamber music with its limitless invention, range of emotion, and immediacy. She admires the high level of artistry and teamsmanship that chamber performances demand, performances that can be enjoyed by seasoned listeners and novices alike.
Jennifer Laursen came to Abu Dhabi from Durham, North Carolina in 2010 when her husband assumed the position as President of Khalifa University. She holds a degree in science education from Oregon State University and a MS degree in biology from Cal. State Hayward. She taught Biology for many years at the high school and college levels. She served as Vice-President of the Board of the Durham Youth Orchestras, expanding the program to include two wind ensembles, a chamber orchestra, two training orchestras, and a concerto competition. Later she co-founded the Mallarme Youth Chamber Orchestra, a pre-conservatory program for youth in North Carolina, now housed at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through her work with youth orchestras, Jennifer has seen first-hand the positive influence music participation can have on student attitudes toward school, peers and their own potential.
Amanda Ressler joined the Chamber Music Abu Dhabi team as producer in April of 2016. She holds a Bachelors degree in Tourism Marketing from Texas A&M University (2008) and has been a resident of the UAE since 2009. Amanda is co-owner and operator of Something Blue Events in Texas.
Asaad Saad has a master degree in computer science and 15 years of experience in Web Development. He worked for major companies including Yahoo Middle east/Maktoob and Abu Dhabi Government. He worked as project manager, system architect and senior software engineer for the e-Government projects of United Arab Emirates. Currently Asaad is working as an assistant professor at MUM University USA and he teaches modern web applications courses (Nodejs, Expressjs, MongoDB, TypeScript, Angular, Redux). Asaad started learning music when he was 7 years old in Syria at the music institute under supervision of Russian teachers. After studying the violin for 6 years, he joined the Aleppo Music Chamber Orchestra for one year before he moved to United Arab Emirates. He played as concert master assistant with UAE Philharmonic Orchestra for 3 years and NSO Symphony Orchestra for 1 year. He currently plays at Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra.
We are all well-acquainted with the chamber music talent evolving in the United States and are passionate about sharing the excitement of this budding genre here in Abu Dhabi.