Israeli embassy in Serbia marks 74th Independence Day with wonderful concert

  (photo credit: Shiri Vilan – Cultural attaché)
(photo credit: Shiri Vilan – Cultural attaché)

Israeli Maestro Nir Brand, invited by Yahel Vilan, Ambassador of Israel to Serbia and Montenegro,conducted what was described by the local media and the audience as “not only great music (Mozart, Brahms, Dvorak) wonderfully performed, but also very entertaining, and highly emotional! An evening we will not forget.”

The event was held at the Kolarac Concert Hall. More than 700 guests were in attendance, including foreign diplomats and ambassadors, deputy ministers, businessmen, the mayor, members of the Jewish community, and contacts from the world of culture and academia.

Brand conducted the Makris Symphony Orchestra Belgrade with 55 musicians, which is described by experts as 'the best orchestra in the region.’  Brand greeted the honored guests, saying “It is truly a tremendous honor performing here, together with Belgrade’s finest, for Israel’s 74th Independence day.”

The repertoire included ‘Jerusalem of Gold,’ ‘Schindler’s List’ and ‘Hatikva,’ as well as Mozart’s ‘The marriage of Figaro (Overture),’ The Hungarian Dances’ by Brahms  as well as music by Elgar, Bizet, Offenbach and Dvorak.

Ambassador Vilan’s invitation to Maestro Brand to conduct and host this special evening was based on their long and fruitful past cooperation in Ambassador Vilan’s previous posts in Africa and elsewhere, and his confidence in Brand’s abilities to create an experience that would not be only highly musical, but also very Israeli, Zionist, human  – and unforgettable.

Maestro Nir Brand is an Israeli orchestra conductor and performer who tours the world bringing joy and hope to distressed areas of Africa, Asia and others. He has a great deal of experience performing in a variety of different settings, including Galei Zahal radio, TV, solo performances and on-stage conducting of  orchestras. He has helped assemble many local orchestras in underprivileged areas around the world and has made high-level musical education available for talented young prodigies. Brand has been working with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem for the last 13 years. 

  (credit: Shiri Vilan – Cultural attaché) (credit: Shiri Vilan – Cultural attaché)

The program:

  • Included, among other things, a performance of 9 works - the anthems of Israel and Serbia, the performance of the song Jerusalem of Gold (the same song in Hebrew by the director of the Serbian Orchestra) and a variety of other known works.
  • Screening of a video produced by the delegation summarizing 30 years of economic relations and Israeli investments in Serbia (to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations).

Distribution of Israeli branded chocolates to guests on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the relationship.


Despite the fact that unlike the events of independence in the past, the president, prime minister or ministers did not participate (a difficulty we have been experiencing since the recognition of Kosovo), it is extensively reviewed by the Middle East Online at major sites.

A variety of articles were quoted in the headline as part of the Ambassador's opening speech "Although Serbia is not our geographical neighbor, it is close to our heart".

We received a lot of very positive feedback from the contacts who were invited to the event. They were moved, among other things, by Nir's personal stories and anecdotes, which he shared between each work.

The success of the festive event is thanks to the joint work of all the factors in the embassy that made it happen - the emissaries and clerks from the administration, security and political staff.

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