Pollen is a promising project. Please share with us few words about it.
On 27th of November 2015 Pollen launched its first concert at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of HE Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and the Support of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.

Born out of a desire to complement Abu Dhabi’s commitment to music and arts, Pollen is a charitable venture which aims to provide a platform for, and showcase the skills of, young aspiring musicians alongside professional musicians who are all residents of the UAE. Its aim is to provide motivation, goals, and performance experience that enable UAE-based talent to grow.

To a sold out Manarat Al Saadiyat, 21 young upcoming and professional musicians performed works for piano, violin, cello and qanun by Chopin, Brahms, Schubert among others. All residents of the UAE, the performers came from widely diverse backgrounds including the UAE, UK, USA, Greece, The Netherlands, China, Japan, Turkey, Tunisia, Lebanon, Czech Republic and Kazakhstan, in keeping with the UAE’s commitment to multiculturalism.
Pollen is about spreading the seeds of classical music from various origin and eras, uniting us all through a common language. Pollen aims to create a culture of togetherness in the rich multi-cultural environment of Abu Dhabi.

Marina de Blonay is the cofounder of Pollen project. As she said: “The UAE and Abu Dhabi already have a strong commitment to music, arts and culture, bringing professional, world renowned musicians and artists to the country for highly acclaimed performances".

Talented young local musicians are inspired by these visitors to hone their skills and practice to improve their considerable talents.” Do you believe that we live “a cultural sping” in Abu Dhabi?
There are few opportunities for our home-grown young musicians to perform live in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, outside of some established competitions or the efforts of individual schools or teachers. Music is a unique language and through Pollen we aim to “sow the seeds of music”, thereby fostering a stronger culture of togetherness and support, by giving exposure to upcoming young talent which will in turn become the next generation to carry on these fine music traditions in the UAE community.”
Pollen will be organising two further concerts at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, during 2016 giving an even greater array of young UAE resident performers the opportunity to entertain and impress the many music followers in the UAE.

For more information on the professional musicians who will play alongside these young talents, please refer to the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/musicalpollen

Marina de Blonay is the co founder of Pollen project and she shares with us her thoughts
regarding to Yanni’s talent ...

I met Yanni five years ago when my daughter joined the school where he is teaching, and he started giving her piano lessons. From the beginning I was struck by what an inspiring teacher he was to her. She suddenly started practicing really hard and very quickly started getting some pleasure out of it and increasing her level quite dramatically. Yanni knows how to challenge his students, yet he makes sure to be there for them every step of the way, encouraging them in believing that they can do it and that they can do it well.
Then one day we got invited to a concert at the school and Yanni, or Dr P. as the children like to call him there, was playing Aprs une lecture de Dante by Franz Liszt, and there we all had a shock. We didn’t expect him to be such a fantastic pianist, besides being such a great teacher.

You often hear that “those who can’t make it teach”, Yanni is definitely defying this common view! Not only can he teach, but he can also perform so fantastically well; this is probably what makes him such a unique teacher I think. I questioned him once about it and he actually admitted that he needed the balance between the two, one feeding into the other and making the overall experience far richer.
I regretted that we didn’t have the pleasure to hear him play more often and this is when he came up with the idea of organising house concerts in my home. From the beginning, and to the credit of what he is fondamentally, the idea came up to mix talented young musicians with professionals like himself.
Those were so greatly appreciated that we organised a whole series of them until the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority (TCA) got interested by the project and gave us the opportunity to organise what Yanni calls “community concerts” in the Manarat Theatre on Saadyiat Island.
We have decided to call the project “Pollen”, because our intention behind it is to sow the seeds of music throughout the community. We are very fortunate to have many great musicians residing in the UAE, either professional or amateurs, and offering them a stage to perform together with talented students is something that has never been done before. The success of our first “Pollen” concert was such that we are in talk now with TCA to organise more of them. Yet I would still wish for Yanni to have the opportunity to give a full piano recital at Manarat.