Liturgical Festival 2022


The Liturgical Festival in Nazareth returns this December, spreading the holiday spirit through music, with a program that is larger and more festive than ever. Now in its 4th edition, the festival will take place from December 15 – 18, 2022, with the participation of more than 100 musicians performing in six concerts, representing different cultures and traditions.

Nabil Aboud Ashkar/Photo: Karam Wasim

In December 2019, Polyphony and the musician Nabil Aboud Ashkar who heads it – launched its first Liturgical Festival in Nazareth, aiming at advancing its vision of a shared Israeli society. The unique religious and historical significance of the city, alongside Polyphony’s world class music, attracts people from all parts of Israel to celebrate jointly this sacred time of the year. The concert program, the ensembles and the audience reflect the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of Israel and showcase the power of music to bring people together.

Collegium Vocale Hannover/Photo: Yoel Levi

This year in the festival program:

Peace on Earth

The German choir Collegium Vocale Hannover, with a full cast of 36 singers, will perform an A Capella concert on the festival’s opening night. The concert program, specially composed by the choir’s artistic director Florian Lohmann (who will conduct the concert), is a unique blend of German liturgical romantic music, a song cycle by Charles Hubert Parry and the motet “Friede auf Erden” by Arnold Schönberg, which gives the concert its title, and reflects the Festival’s motto – “Peace on Earth”.

Oh Lovely Peace

Soprano Anastasia Klevan, a soloist of the Israeli opera and a teacher at the Polyphony Conservatory Nazareth, will perform in a chamber Baroque concert, joined by musicians from the Israel Opera, the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, and special surprise guests: vocal students from the Polyphony Conservatory, who will accompany their teacher in their first professional concert.

Achinoam Nini and Gil Dor/Photo: Lior Keter

Grant us Peace

Israel’s leading international singer, Noa (Achinoam Nini), will be accompanied by the Polyphony Quartet (composed of two Arab and two Jewish young musicians). The concert will offer an interpretation of Bach’s liturgical music, with lyrics by Noa and arrangements by her music partner, Gil Dor, with special guests, the Collegium Vocalle Hannover. The concert will end with Bach’s Ave Maria performed by Noa.

Al-Darwish/Photo: Yoel Levi

AI-Darwish – Sufi Experience

Al-Darwish – A magical musical journey into the world of Sufism, a mystical stream within Islam. The Al-Darwish Ensemble, composed of Sufi clerics and artists living in the Galilee, takes the audience on a spiritual musical journey, deep into the soul.


The Galilee Chamber Orchestra in a full-scale production of Mendelssohn’s oratory of Elijah, based on the biblical story of the prophet as written in Book of Kings. Featuring a total of 90 musicians including: special guest, Collegium Vocale Hannover, Germany; four leading soloists of the Israel Opera; and of course – Polyphony’s own artistic director, internationally renowned conductor Saleem Ashkar.

Biblical Songs

Pianist Dana Hreish, a graduate of the Polyphony Conservatory who just completed her studies at the Barenboim-Said Akademie, Berlin, will perform her debut at the Liturgical Festival in Nazareth. The program includes Dvorak’s “Biblical Songs”, joined by baritone Yair Polishuk, soloist of the Israel Opera. Polyphony’s artistic director, international pianist Saleem Ashkar, will host the concert and join Hreish for a 4—handed Schubert Fantasy.

All this – and many more surprises, attractions, and great music – at the 4th Liturgical Festival in Nazareth. The full program and ticket information is available on the Liturgical Festival website:

*Information and texts were provided in a press release by the festival and lightly edited for clarity.