Sunday, August 12, 2012

Palestine Youth Orchestra

The Palestine Youth Orchestra recently completed a tour of Italy, overcoming obstacles that young performers could not even imagine.  They have to leave the country by different routes, getting permission to leave is difficult, and even performing within Palestine is almost impossible.  The following is an information bulletin that tells more about creation of this incredible group of you musicians that stand out as shining examples of Palestinian culture.

The Palestine Youth Orchestra , a flagship project of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Palestine , was created in 2004 with the aim of overcoming geographical boundaries by bringing together young Palestinian musicians from Palestine and the Diaspora, creating a body of musicians from different parts of the globe who will address the world with the harmonious universal language of music.  This vision incorporates the enhancement of the Palestinian cultural identity, creating cohesion amongst the larger Palestinian society – a vehicle towards nation building in an effort to overcome the barriers that have been erected between the Palestinians over the past decades.

Another dimension is to facilitate the coming together of Palestinian youth with their peers from other cultures, creating a channel for dialogue and exchange and learning about each other.  In addition to the guest conductors and coaches, the PYO invites annually young guest musicians from other countries further enriching the experience for all participating members. The PYO today is composed of about sixty young musicians from Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Europe and North America and very recently from South America. They constitute together a full fledged orchestra on a par with similar bodies around the world.
 The PYO is a unique ensemble performing the classics of the symphonic repertoire as well as promoting the works of Palestinian and Arab composers.  It is also unique because of what it conveys to Palestinian society and to the different communities and people abroad who have the opportunity to attend its performances, the PYO represents a new image of Palestine,  a new generation that loves life and loves music and is full of aspiration for a better tomorrow.

The PYO members have been honored by prestigious conductors such as Anne-Sophie Bruening and Walter Mik from Germany and the award winning British conductor Sian Edwards who led the PYO in three concerts in Jordan, Lebanon and Greece and will be leading them again in the summer of 2012.
As their tour winds down for the year, an Italian news website published a recnt video.  In addition to hearing some of the music, the video also shows short English language interviews of the musicians.
This is a triumph for Palestinians everywhere.
This is an older video of an orchestral performance.

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