Press Room

Arab & Jewish students from Nazareth’s Polyphony program perform with NYO-USA & Marin Alsop at Carnegie Hall (Aug 5)

(New York, July 2024) — Polyphony Education has been bridging the divide between Israel’s
Arab and Jewish communities through classical music since 2006. This summer, the
Nazareth-based program makes its U.S. debut, when eight of its teenage students come to New
York for World Orchestra Week (WOW!) at Carnegie Hall. Performing on stage with the
National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) under Marin Alsop’s
leadership, these eight young string players will take part in accounts of Barber’s First Symphony,
Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, and, to mark the work’s centennial, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in
Blue, with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet as soloist (Aug 5). The performance will follow a
two-week training residency with NYO-USA at New York’s Purchase College.

Polyphony was co-founded as a nonprofit in 2006 by Executive Director Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar,
a former performer with, and spokesperson for, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. A champion of
community development who has since been recognized with a Charles Ansbacher “Music for All”
award and Yoko Ono Lennon’s “Courage Award for the Arts,” Abboud-Ashkar established
Polyphony as the first classical music conservatory in his hometown, the Arab-Israeli city of
Nazareth. By educating exceptional young Arab and Jewish musicians at Nazareth’s Polyphony
Conservatory and reaching more than 25,000 Arab and Jewish children across Israel by means of
its Alhan music appreciation curriculum program, Polyphony offers a worldwide model for
cooperation through cultural exchange, dialogue, and partnership.

Carnegie Hall’s WOW! brings together seven youth orchestras from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin
America, and the United States for a week of cultural exchange and high-level music-making with
internationally renowned artists in New York City (Aug 1–7).

Comprising four boys and four girls between 16 and 19 years of age, the eight Polyphony students
appearing alongside NYO-USA at WOW! are violinists Nabeeh Bawardi, Dana Ileimi, Yaali
Mamerud, and Daniel Samoilov; violists Laila Haimovich and Elias Srour; and cellists Botrus
Saleh and Yasmine Kolatt. All eight teens are drawn from Polyphony’s Music & Society Seminar,
and, in keeping with the program’s mission, four are Arab and four Jewish.

High-resolution photos are available here.

Polyphony Education makes U.S. debut at Carnegie Hall

Aug 5
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage)
World Orchestra Week (WOW!)
National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA)
Marin Alsop, conductor

Polyphony students:
Nabeeh Bawardi (17), violin
Dana Ileimi (18), violin
Yaali Mamerud (19), violin
Daniel Samoilov (18), violin
Laila Haimovich (17), viola
Elias Srour (16), viola
Botrus Saleh (18), cello
Yasmine Kolatt (18), cello
BARBER: Symphony No. 1
GERSHWIN: Rhapsody in Blue (with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano)

#             #              #

© 21C Media Group, July 2024

Return to Press Room