Shesh Besh

The Arab-Jewish Ensemble

 

Under the Auspices of

Yossi Arnheim: Flute 

Saida Bar-Lev: Violin and Viola

Ramsis Kasis: Oud

Recipients of

The European Medal of Honor—Prize for Tolerance 2007

Shesh Besh, an Arab-Jewish Ensemble searching for an elusive balance of East and West in music, embodies two cultures living together in harmony.  It is comprised of three members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra alongside four of the finest musicians from Israel’s Arab community.  Shesh Besh is a model of tolerance and mutual respect in a turbulent, violent Middle East.

 

Musically, the ensemble reflects a multicultural context of classical Western music, classical Eastern works, and original compositions.  They perform traditional Oriental material alongside works by Bach, Mozart and Haydn; an ancient “Mouwashah” from Moorish Spain paired with a Bach violin Partita, a Mozart aria with a folksong by the legendary Fairouz of Lebanon, and original compositions by both Jewish and Arab composers.  On a deeper level, the ensemble’s onstage presence and repertoire are a living metaphor for people striving to coexist. 

 

Their onstage presence and their music reflect their belief that the language of music may bind the hearts and build a real bridge between peoples.  The players aim to demonstrate that people of different nationalities and beliefs can produce beautiful music despite difficult political situations and cultural differences.

 

Since Becoming an integral part of the Israel Philharmonic’s education program, “KeyNote,” Shesh Besh has appeared at the Tanglewood Music Festival, St. Bartholomew’s Church (NY) for the Alliance for Religion and Conservation, and at Carnegie Hall for the JVC Jazz Festival hosted by Michael Feinstein.  In 2004, it won two prizes at the International Oud Festival in Jerusalem, then went on to open Israel Music Week with six original commissions from Arab and Jewish composers.

 

The European Medal of Honor - Prize for Tolerance 2006 was presented to the ensemble for their vision and commitment to Israeli-Arab relations.

Alfred Hajjar: Nay

Sami Khashiboun: Eastern Violin

Peter Marck: Double Bass

Bishara Naddaf: Deff, Darbuka

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Shesh Besh

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