With traditional souqs, opulent palaces and awe-inspiring mosques, Kuwait is hailed as one of the strongest proponents for art, music and theater in the Middle East with a thriving jazz scene, music festivals and music schools aplenty.

Classical Movements started traveling to the Middle East in 1994, first with its brochure program under Blue Heart Tours. It has organized 50 different trips with individualized itineraries in recent years for the Collegiate Chorale, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Yale Alumni Chorus, George Washington University, Yale Glee Club and the Yale Institute of Music (among others). Classical Movements also works closely with Middle Eastern musicians: in 2003, it arranged the historic tour of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra to the United States.

Sights & Sounds

  • Kuwait City
  • Seif and Bayan Royal Palaces
  • Higher Institute of Musical Arts
  • Fidjeri seafaring music
  • Souq al-Mubarakeya
  • Gulf Music Festival
  • Al Hamra Tower
  • Grand Mosque


“Thank you for inviting us to participate in this wonderful IHLOMBE festival.  Musically, we, the Morgan State University Choir had an opportunity to hear some very fine choirs from South Africa and the United States. Culturally, we visited places that will change our lives forever…I personally know how much time and effort went into every detail of this trip.  You have given the students of these choir memories that will last a lifetime.”

-Morgan State University Choir

“I wanted to take a moment to let you know how much I enjoyed traveling with the choir to the Middle East…The travel arrangements were first rate, and it was obvious much thought was put into making sure we saw a wide sampling of each area we visited and experienced the culture and the people. Thank you, again, for making the choir’s travels an experience others can share. Insha’llah (God willing) I will be able to do this again.”

-Guest Traveler


“Khubat Abbas Abdul Razaq, a cellist and one of the orchestra’s four women members, said: “I just want to say this is an honor to come to Washington and to play here.”

Samir Yosif, a double-bass player, said: “We want to let the American people know that we have a culture, that we have something to give them. It’s a great honor to be here and we thank the people who have helped us here to play.”

-The lndependent/UK, December 12, 2003

“The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra visit involved a human element that transcended the usual business of arranging orchestra tours for Neeta Helms, executive vice president of Classical Movements. She ushered the musicians from their first nerve-wracking security checks at New York’s JFK Airport to their last tourist stop at Rockefeller Center on the way out of the country.”

-Symphony Magazine, March – April 2004