It is a long-cherished plan and an ongoing adventure: the Dresdner Sinfoniker will travel to East Jerusalem and the West Bank at the end of May 2013 to perform “Symphony for Palestine” by the Iranian composer and Kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor together with Palestinian and Azerbaijani musicians.

The work is dedicated to two Palestinians: Juliano Mer-Khamis, the murdered director of Jenin’s Freedom Theatre, as well as to the eleven-year old Ahmed Khatib, shot dead in 2005 by an Israeli soldier, who mistook the boy’s water pistol for an armed weapon. His story went around the world, because his parents donated Ahmed’s organs to five Israeli children.

Inspired by these tragic events, the great Iranian composer Kayhan Kalhor combined classical Persian melodies and elements of Arabic folk music with the sound of a European string orchestra. The orchestral piece includes traditional oriental instruments such as Arabic violin, Oud, Kamancheh, Darbuka and Qanun.

For many years now, the Dresdner Sinfoniker have been strongly involved with contemporary music and Oriental culture, and in this ambitious project they take on the role of mediators between Oriental and Occidental music traditions. Despite numerous obstacles they will travel to the West Bank to bring their ambitious musical project to the region, which initially inspired it.

Artistic director: Andrea Molino
Dresdner Sinfoniker with Mehri Asadullayeva (Kamancheh), Kamil Shajrawi (Arabic violin), Nermin Hasanova (Qanun), Emil Bishara (Oud), Naif Serhan (Percussion).

“Symphony for Palestine” is sponsored by the ‘Kulturstiftung des Bundes’, the city of Dresden (department of culture and heritage), the ‘Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen’ as well as the ‘Kulturstiftung Dresden der Dresdner Bank’ and is a co-production of the ‘Dresdner Sinfoniker’ and Ben Deiß.

Special thanks: Ahmad Aqil, Omar Barghouti, Ben Bernhard, Boomtown Media, Dan Coleman, Sharaf DarZaid, Salwa Duaibis, Hans-Peter Eckardt, Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Hussein Mousa Faqih, Murat Gök & Pilot Gallery Istanbul, Olivia Güthling, Mohammad Halayka, Girina Holland, Franziska Jahn, Anne Jung, Mamoun Kanaan, Muna Khleifi, Stefan Kobsa, Raed Al Kobari, Sonja Leinkauf, Axel Lische, Dr. Bernhard Freiherr von Löffelholz, Firas Mahajneh, Torsten Maß, Miri & Yossi, Martin Morgenstern, Vazeh Mustafa, Lea Muth, Nassar Nassar, Ilona Nawa, Sanne Neumuth, Mirko Nowak, Bisher Qassis, Dagmar Quentin, Ossama Quteineh, Stefan Rindt, Frank Bongo Rotzsch, Michael Schwarz, Yuval Shaked, Marc Sinan, Isabel Soffer, Friederike Tappe-Hornbostel, Marcus Vetter