Liturgical Music Festival 2020

Saleem Abboud Ashkar/Photo: Peter Rigaud

The Polyphony Foundation, headed by violinist Nabil Abboud Ashkar, connecting the Arab and Jewish communities through music, presents the second edition of the Liturgical Music Festival, which will take place in Nazareth, from December 17 – 20, 2020. The concerts will be filmed and shown online, interspersed with scenes of Nazareth, in the special atmosphere of the Christmas season. The festival will host choirs, soloists and orchestras performing liturgical works from different religions, expressing the vision of the Polyphony Foundation to dissolve the barriers between religions and cultures in Israel through music.

The concerts will be filmed in advance in Nazareth, Berlin, and Tel Aviv and will be broadcast during the days of the festival, followed by live conversations between the musicians and the audience via special studios set up in Nazareth and Berlin. Following the premiere broadcast, the concerts will be available online for another week, until December 26, 2020, at midnight.

Nabil Abboud Ashkar/Photo: Wasim Karam

The festival will open with Nabil Abboud Ashkar’s live broadcast from Nazareth.

Nour Darwish/Photo: Uri Elkayam

Gluck – Orfeo ed Euridice

The opening concert will be Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, conducted by Yishai Steckler. Soloists: Yaniv D’Or – Orfeo; Hila Baggio – Euridice; Nour Darwish – Amore. The Galilee Chamber Orchestra and Tel Aviv Collegium Singers. December 17th at 20:00 (GMT +2). Following the concert there will be a live conversation with the conductor and soloists.

Tal Arbel/Photo: Yoel Levy

Back to the Baroque: sacred music of the early Italian Baroque

Motets and instrumental music by Claudio Monteverdi, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Alessandro Grandi, and their contemporaries. Tal Ganor – Soprano; Nour Darwish – Soprano; Tal Arbel – Viola da Gamba; Ophira Zakai – Theorbo and musical director. December 18th at 18:00.

Pergolesi – Stabat Mater

A special festival production, the concert will be filmed and recorded at the Sophien Church, a 17th century Protestant church in Berlin, Germany. The concert will be opened by Dr. Christine Schlund, who will discuss the church’s interesting history. This is the church where Dr. Martin Luther King gave a sermon when he visited Berlin in 1964. Following the concert, there will be a conversation with Conductor Saleem Abboud Ashkar and the Head of the Sophien Protestant Church. Soloists: Siobhan Stagg – Soprano; Niamh O’Sullivan – Mezzo-Soprano; Members of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra. December 18th at 20:30.


A musical journey into the world of the Sufis. The concert will be performed by an ensemble of Sufi clerics and artists from the Galilee. Khaled Abu Ali – Sufi dancer; Sheikh Mwafak Shahen – Sufi singer; Mohammed Taraby – Oud; Usama Abu Ali – flute; Wehab Bdarna – Canon – Abraham Hana – Percussion; Khaled Abu Ali – actor, director and dancer. December 19th at 18:00.

Yagel and Uriah Harosh/Photo: Tamar Zimmerman

Fantasy for Kamancheh and Oud – songs for midnight

An intimate performance of the duo Yagel and Uriah Harosh, brothers who play, respectively, the Kamancheh and Oud. Accompanied by a choral ensemble, they will perform Piyyutim from the Jewish ritual of midnight prayers, as well as Piyyutim composed by Yagel Harosh – original compositions created for this ritual. Yagel Harosh – Kamancheh, Naija, singing; Uriah Harosh – Oud, singing; Choral Ensemble – Neriah Moyal, Nir Gozlan, Gil Greenfeld, Idan Yahud. The concert will be followed by a conversation with the Sufi Ensemble and Yagel Harosh. December 19th at 20:30.

Mythology and Spirituality in Beethoven’s Music: Piano Concerto No. 4

Pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. The concert will be followed by a discussion of Beethoven, and the inspiration he drew from Greek mythology, in particular the connection to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. December 20th at 11:00.

Tickets for the concerts are 10 NIS, and may be purchased on the festival website, where the concerts will be available for viewing:



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