The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) organized a workshop and a tour for the Palestine Youth Orchestra in Jordan and Palestine. The first performance was conducted at the St. Joseph Cultural Center at the Franciscan School in Amman, Jordan, and at Aziz Shaheen theater at Birzeit University in Ramallah. The final performance was organized at Prince Turki Bin Abd Al Aziz Theater at Al Najah University in Nablus. The performances were organized following an absence of four years from the Palestinian audience, where the Orchestra returned under the leadership of the Dutch conductor Vincent De Kort and the singing of Palestinian artist Nay Al Barghouti.

 

Prior to the performances, an intensive training workshop was held at the Olive Branch Hotel in the historical city of Jerash in Jordan, whereby musicians received training at the hands of musicians who perform and work in prominent music conservatories and orchestras. The Palestine Youth Orchestra hosted guests from various organizations among them the British National Orchestra, the Valencia Opera House, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Glasgow Youth Orchestra. Since 2012, the ESNCM established partnerships with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, whereby members from the Norwegian Orchestra provided training to various musicians from the Palestine Youth Orchestra.

 

Performances that are held by the Palestine Youth Orchestra form part of a cultural partnership between Bank of Palestine and the ESNCM and in harmony with the bank’s vision to support cultural and artistic activities launched by Palestinians who travel around the world and raise the cultural and artistic voice of Palestine in various countries.

It is important to note that Bank of Palestine allocates 6% of its annual profits to support various sectors as part of its corporate social responsibility, including education, youth, innovation, creativity, health and the environment, sports, art, culture, women empowerment, development, economic affairs and diaspora relations.

 

The Palestine Youth Orchestra is led by some of the most important international trainers among them Sean Edwards, Tom Hammond and Nicholas Simon. Among the famous soloists who sang with the Orchestra are Marcel Khalifeh, Ahmad Al Khatib, Alexandra Suleiman, Salim Abboud Ashqar, Dima Bawwab and the two Palestinian artists Rim Talhami and Rim Banna. The Palestine Youth Orchestra promotes the works of Palestinian and Arab musicians alongside the works of renowned western classical symphonies. Recently, the Orchestra presented musical works by Marcel Khalifeh, Salvador Arnita, Ahmad Al Khatib. Naji Hakim, Issa Bulos, Canaan Al Athma, Mayyas Al Yamani, Suheil Khoury, Rima Tarazi and Al Rahbani Brothers.

 

The Palestine Youth Orchestra was established in 2004, and gather around 85 female and male musicians whose ages range between 14 and 26 years, from Palestine and the Diaspora, and also hosts musicians from other various Arab countries. The Orchestra conducted musical performances at the most important theaters in the world among them France, Jordan, Palestine, Germany, Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon, Greece and Italy. The last performance was conducted last year in the United Kingdom and managed to achieve tremendous success. This year, the Orchestra is back to conduct its performances in Palestine carrying various messages to the world through the various musical pieces.

The training workshop and performances were supported by the Norwegian Representative Office in the Palestinian Authority, the Afaq Foundation, Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan Foundation, ARABCO, the National Bottling Company, the Palestine Development Foundation and Bank of Palestine, the cultural partner of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. Both events received media sponsorship from Raya FM Radio and 24FM Radio and VandV Advertising Agency.