Israel's Galilee Chamber Orchestra to make US debut at Carnegie Hall

“The Galilee Chamber Orchestra offers an example of the ways that music and the arts can serve as powerful tools, building trust and common ground.”

 THE GALILEE Chamber Orchestra. Practice, practice, practice. (photo credit: YOEL LEVY)
THE GALILEE Chamber Orchestra. Practice, practice, practice.
(photo credit: YOEL LEVY)

The Galilee Chamber Orchestra – Israel’s first professional orchestra of both Arab and Jewish musicians – will make its US debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall on March 18.

The occasion is the annual Isaac Stern Memorial Concert which commemorates the life and work of the late Jewish American violinist and educator who also had strong ties with Israel, including founding the Jerusalem Music Center in 1973.

The GCO was spawned by Polyphony Education, a Nazareth-based nonprofit that aims to promote peace between Arab and Jewish communities through musical endeavor. 

The organization was initiated by Nazarene violinist-educator Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar. His brother, internationally acclaimed pianist-conductor Saleem Abboud-Ashkar, serves as artistic director of the orchestra and will be on the conductor’s podium on March 18.

“The Galilee Chamber Orchestra offers an example of the ways that music and the arts can serve as powerful tools, building trust and common ground,” said Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar. “Its debut at Carnegie Hall is not only an incredible opportunity for a young and promising orchestra, but also a powerful statement of hope and peace that is much needed around the globe.”

 The Carnegie Hall (credit: Ajay Suresh) The Carnegie Hall (credit: Ajay Suresh)

The Carnegie Hall performance will be headlined by 54-year-old megastar Jewish-American violinist Joshua Bell, who will be front and center in a rendition of Bruch’s Violin Concerto no. 1.

Three days after their Carnegie Hall concert, the orchestra will make their Canadian debut at Toronto’s Koerner Hall for its annual Isaac Stern Memorial Concert.

And, just in case you can’t make it to either performances, if you happen to be in Tel Aviv on March 14 (8 p.m.) you can just pop along to the Stricker Hall at the Tel Aviv Conservatory of Music to hear a dress rehearsal for the New York program.