Encounter presents Western and Arabic music at the intersection of classical and folk genres.
The spontaneity of the performance is contagious: Israeli Jews and Arabs come together to celebrate an enriching feast of musical cross pollination and human coexistence.
The audience can expect a fascinating, moving experience as contemporary classical music intertwines with traditional Arabic compositions. The collaboration is comprised of improvisation as well as pre-composed pieces. The evening will include pieces for solo instruments and trios, as well as Wiesenberg’s famous Israeli song cycle Songs of Land, sung by soprano Ronit Widmann-Levy.
Menachem Wiesenberg, Piano
Taiseer Elias, Oud
Hillel Zori, Cello
Ronit Widmann-Levy, Soprano
Menachem Wiesenberg, composer, arranger, pianist and educator is one of Israel's most varied and acclaimed musicians. Wiesenberg was signed as a composer with EMI Classics (now Sony). Wiesenberg was awarded the 2012 Prime Minister Prize for Composition, the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award in Composition, granted by the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Israel (ACUM Ltd.), the 2008 Landau Prize for the Performing Arts in the Classical Composition category, the 1998 Prime Minister Prize for composition, and the 1992 prize for Outstanding Achievement in the Concert Music field by ACUM Ltd. He was granted fellowships as a composer in residence by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bogliasco Foundation and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Read more
A master of both Eastern and Western music, oud and violin artist Taiseer Elias performs worldwide. He is the founder and conductor of the first orchestra of classical Arabic music in Israel, the musical director and conductor of the Arab-Jewish orchestra of the JMAD & the Music center in Jerusalem, and the music director and conductor of the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra—Ashdod. Elias has recorded with a number of ensembles including White Bird, Bustan Abraham, Ziryab Trio (of which he is the musical director), Menachem Wiesenberg & Tabea Zimmermann (The Malta Concert) and others. He has also composed music for theater and films. Read more
Considered one of today's prominent virtuosos, cellist Hillel Zori is widely recognized as one of the top musicians to ever emerge from Israel. Zori has been described by the international press to have given life to the 'Jewish tradition'. He distinguished himself as the gold medal winner of the 1986 Maria Canals International Music Competition in Barcelona, the winner of top prizes at the Whitaker Competition (St. Louis), the Premio-Stradivari (Italy), the Geneva CIEM, the Dutilleux prize at the Rostropovich Competition (Paris), the Tanglewood Music Center Jackson Award, and as the first cellist to win the Shapira Award in Tel Aviv. Read more
Her prestigious career has taken Ronit Widmann-Levy to world-renowned opera houses, festivals and concert halls. Her most notable accomplishments include performances with the San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and New World Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas.
Known for her musical passion, Ronit's vocal luminary performances are sung with warmth and beauty weaving in vignettes about the origins of the music she interprets. She is the OFJCC Director of Arts and Culture.
The program is presented in partnership with Israel Institute; Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Stanford University; and the [email protected]
Sunday, September 30
Schultz Cultural Arts Center
Free but registration is required
Contact: Ilanit Gal | (650) 223-8649 | [email protected]