Palestine Mozart Festival begins March 31 in Jerusalem

(Palestine Mozart Festival)


Between March 31st and April 14th, the Occupied Palestinian Territories will host a major collaborative Arts Festival featuring over 200 local and visiting musicians.

One of the largest performing arts projects ever staged in the Occupied Territories, the Palestine Mozart Festival (www.palestinemusicfestivals.org) will feature over 25 events staged in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus and East Jerusalem. The Festival programme includes orchestral and choral concerts, educational workshops, a touring opera, academic lectures, film screenings, and a series of recitals by internationally-renowned Palestinian and European soloists. In total, the events will bring together over 120 Palestinian participants - including professional performers, music teachers, and students - with more than 80 European professional singers and instrumentalists.

The Festival is the result of the collaboration between a number of Palestinian organisations working to promote musical education in the Occupied Territories (including the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, the Kamandjati Foundation, Nablus the Culture, and the International Centre of Bethlehem) and the acclaimed British professional ensemble the Choir of London, whose debut CD on the Naxos label reached the top of the UK classical chart in 2006.

Highlights of the Festival include:

  • Joint performances of Mozart’s Requiem in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem, in which Palestinian musicians and visiting European professionals will perform together under the direction of British conductor Timothy Brown.
  • The first professionally-staged opera to tour the Occupied Territories: a new production of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, directed by world-famous British actor and director Samuel West, to be performed in Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Bethlehem.
  • A diverse programme of chamber music recitals in venues throughout Palestine. These concerts will highlight a wealth of Palestinian and European musical talent, with prominent appearances by such outstanding soloists as Saleem Abboud Ashkar (piano), Dima Bawwab (soprano ) and Andrew Staples (tenor).
  • A series of educational events, including instrumental masterclasses for advanced students; introductions to music for schoolchildren; chamber music workshops; choral workshops for local singers; and a public lecture series.

    The Choir of London will promote its involvement in the Palestine Mozart Festival with a gala concert at London’s Cadogan Hall on March 24th. This performance will feature one of the world’s best-known living composers, John Rutter, conducting his own Requiem.

    The Palestine Mozart Festival is sponsored by the following organisations:

  • Choir of London Trust
  • France Cooperation
  • Goethe-Institut, Ramallah
  • Qattan Foundation
  • Palestine Development and Investment Ltd (PADICO)
  • Birzeit Pharmaceutical Company
  • Paltel Group

    For further information about the Palestine Mozart Festival, and for complete listings, see: www.palestinemusicfestivals.org.
    All press enquiries should be directed to John Harte at +44 7812049209 or john@choiroflondon.org