The UAE Classical Talents

The classical music scene in Dubai and the UAE is becoming more vibrant than ever! This new series of chamber music concerts aims at giving our local artists the chance they deserve to perform and express their art in Dubai every month!

A Night in a French Salon

Friday 28 May @ 7:30 pm

Saturday 29 May @ 11:00 am

@ Alliance Française Dubai, Oud Metha, AED 120

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For the 4th opus of the series, and as we commemorate this year the centennial of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns death in 1921, Abu Dhabi based Greek pianist Ioannis Potamousis is inviting us to a French Salon as these were popular in the Paris of the 19th century.

The composers of the times were hosted by rich bourgeois or aristocrats in their salon, and they had the opportunity to present their new compositions. They would even propose works where an orchestra would normally be needed, but performed in a Salon version, typically with a string quintet to replace the orchestra.

For this concert, after a first part dedicated to Chopin (the most Parisian of polish composers !) and Debussy solo piano work, Ioannis will be joined on stage by a string quintet to offer the audience the full Concerto for piano and orchestra No2 by Camille Saint-Saëns in its salon version.


In partnership with

Ioannis Potamousis

Described by the Pasatiempo as a“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. Potamousis’ performances have taken him to important international venues in Europe and the Middle East as well as across North America 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. Currently, he is the Head of Keyboard Studies at Brighton College Abu Dhabi and Adjunct Piano Faculty at New York University in Abu Dhabi.

Nikolai Managazze

Is a talented virtuoso violinist. Born into a musical household where his grandparents and parents are accomplished professional musicians, his gift with the violin was nurtured, and he has blazed success in his musical mastery by consistently clinching the top spot in international competitions of different countries. In 1998 Nikolai began his studies at the Central School of Music at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow (the class Professor of Ara Bogdanyan). In 2011 he graduated with diploma "Perfection" from Versailles Conservatory in the class of Professor Alexander Brusilovsky.


Since 2012, he has been studying at the Alfred Cortot Conservatory in Paris, where he received the "Diplome Soloiste Concertiste» with the highest marks from the jury. Nikolai Managazze also works as a conductor: the Petites Mains Symphoniques festival (Corsica, 2015), the Eurorchestrie festival (France, 2015), Youth Orchestra of Volga Region (Russia, 2018-2019). His talents do not end at his virtuosity on the violin, his musical insight and knowledge are further acknowledged by the major arts and cultural institutions, inviting him to conduct guest-lecture and master classes in significant music Festivals.

Narek Darbinyan

Was born in Yerevan, Armenia. At the age of 6 he started taking his first violin lessons. After 10 years of music school in 2006th he has resumed his education at The Yerevan State Conservatory.


From 2007 he became a member of Armenian State Symphonic Orcestra. After completing his bachelor’s degree with highest marks, Narek Darbinyan was awarded a special scholarship from University of Agder, Norway where he has taken his master’s degree under the guidance of Professor Adam Gruchot, a student of legendary violinist Viktor Pikaizen.


He is also a participant and a winner of local and international competitions. As an orchestrant and chamber music performer he has been playing in Germany, England, Norway, Poland, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain etc., being onstage with the greatest musicians of our time, such as M. Vengerov, V. Gergiev, V. Repin, D. Matsuev, R. Chen and others. He is currently based in Dubai, UAE.

Xenia Baknina

Has been highlighted as a talented violinist since the age of 6. Born in Russia, Xenia studied at State Institute of Culture and Arts in Samara, with Nikolai Varlamov.


She has also worked as concertmeister of viola section in Russian-Spain Orchestra in Jerez de la Frontera, and with L’istesso Chamber Orchestra in Saint Petersburg, Russia. To date Xenia is a soloist of orchestra in Samara State Philharmonic. Xenia continues to collaborate with orchestras as a player, but also tries her hand at solo performances with: Symphony Orchestra of Volga Region (Russia, 2019), Damascus Opera House (Syria, 2019), etc.


She also manages to combine concert activities with teaching: she is a visiting professor at various educational institutions. Xenia’s career is impressive to date. Her concerts and invited soloist performances with orchestra have taken her to the museums, palace, cultural centers, town halls, churches of Italy, France, Spain, Syria, UAE in addition to her native country of Russia.

Colin Clark


Is a 30 year-old cellist from Chicago. He has completed a degree at the Royal College of Music in London as an RCM International Scholar in 2014. Since starting the Cello at age 11, he has participated in many festivals including the Meadowmount School of Music in New York, the Okemo Young Artists Academy in Vermont as well as a variety of master classes and performance across the United States and Britain with musicians such as YoYo Ma, Matthew Haimovitz, Guy Johnston, Midori Goto and musicians from some of the world’s leading institutions.


His past teachers have included Dr. Melissa Kraut of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ji-Hee Kim of Northwestern University in Chicago, Nazar Dzhuryn of Northeastern University in Chicago, Melissa Phelps and Amanda Truelove of the Royal College of Music in London. Currently residing in Dubai, Colin is a member of the Gulf String Quartet with whom he regularly performs with at the Dubai Opera House, where he is also a regular guest musician. He has played with reknown artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins and the Manchester Camerata Orchestra.

Janis Bukowski


Grew up in Los Angeles in a family of music lovers. She studied both jazz and classical music throughout middle school and attended private high school at the Idyllwild Arts Academy. She graduated from Mcgill University in Montreal with a Bachelor’s degree in classical music performance.


Since relocating to the UAE, she works as a dj and is also the principal bassist of the NSO Symphony Orchestra in Abu Dhabi and the Emirates Community Symphonic Orchestra in Dubai.