Singer Khatija Rahman and 16-year-old pianist Lydian Nadhaswaram will strike a youthful note as part of the Firdaus Orchestra, ahead of the ensemble’s nostalgic performances that include Disney classics such as Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid in celebration of World Children’s Day at Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday, 20 November.

“Children’s Day helps me to embrace my inner child. It’s nice to have a big celebration like this upcoming performance,” Khatija Rahman said ahead of the show, which starts at 1500 in Jubilee Park.

Firdaus Orchestra is an all-women ensemble led byAcademy and Grammy Award-winning musical composer A.R. Rahman. It comprises musicians of 23 nationalities and ages, ranging from 16 to 51, demonstrating how music is accessible to and for everyone, with the additional stars highlighting the importance of inspiring future talent.

Khatija Rahman believes the Firdaus Orchestra celebrates diversity and breaks down gender stereotypes: “It is a ground-breaking orchestra and there need to be more initiatives like this so we can see more women bridging the gender gap in roles such as producers, sound engineers, composers, directors and in technical fields.”

Lydian Nadhaswaram is really looking forward to his first performance with the orchestra. “I think the performance will be a great inspiration for many people to see, particularly children – I’m really excited to be playing with a symphony orchestra,” he said. “Expo 2020 recognises a lot of talent and represents a lot of opportunities and exposure for youth, including me.”

Expo ticket-holders who want to attend the orchestra’s performance are advised to arrive early. Due to limited capacity at the venue, access will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Expo tickets can be purchased online at www.expo2020.com.