An Israeli conductor and a Serbian conductor led a special concert featuring a diversity of genres in Belgrade to mark the European Day of Jewish Culture (EDJC) in September. The event was also part of the celebrations of the 30th anniversary since the establishment of the bilateral relations between Israel and Serbia. It was supported by the Embassy of Israel.
The concert featured the Serbian-Jewish Singing Society, also known as Baruch Brothers Choir, a group that was founded in 1879 and managed to survive two World Wars and a decades-long Communist regime.
The choir, the Jewish Chamber Orchestra, and vocal soloists from Serbia and abroad performed classical works from opera and choral literature, conducted by Adi Bar and Stephan Zekic.
The event was part of The Rossi Fest - an international music festival, named after the famous Jewish-Italian composer Salomone Rossi (ca.1570-1630). Zekic is the director of the festival, whose main objective is to focus on intercultural dialog by promoting the respect for diversity and embracing a unique heritage of Jewish, European and Serbian repertoire.
The concert took place at the National Theater in Belgrade. It celebrated the theme chosen for the 2022 edition of the European Day of Jewish Culture, “Renewal,” an idea that is “woven into virtually all aspects of Jewish life and practice,” as emphasized in an explanatory text developed by the National Library of Israel in cooperation with the EDJC 2022 Task Force.
“Jewish life is continually building on the past in new ways – bringing a sense of constant change with reassuring continuity,” the text further reads.
During his time in Belgrade, Bar also offered a lecture and a masterclass for all opera singers attending the Summer Opera Academy organized by the Rossi Fest.