Galilee Chamber Orchestra

The Galilee Chamber Orchestra’s work is pioneering: at the time of its founding in 2012, it was one of the first orchestras in Israel to unite Arabic and Jewish musicians. Today, the 35-member orchestra has equal numbers of Arabic and Jewish musicians and enjoys an excellent reputation, with a concert calendar of six major concerts per year and numerous additional performances as part of the in-school music education programme of the Polyphony Foundation, which is also the parent of the orchestra and responsible for its financing. Since the orchestra’s founding, the pianist and conductor Saleem Ashkar has been the music director and essential motor of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra, whose musical partners have included cellist Lynn Harrell and pianist András Schiff most recently. The Galilee Chamber Orchestra radiates into Israeli society: its concerts bring classical music to marginalized social groups and serve as a model for cooperation and cultural exchange.

July 31, 2019 20:00

Konzerthaus, Berlin

Stefan Raue

© Bettina Fürst-Fastré

Director General, Deutschlandradio

Stefan Raue has been director general of Deutschlandradio since September 1, 2017. Raue was born in Wuppertal in 1958 and studied history, literary studies and philosophy in Freiburg and Bielefeld. His career as a journalist began in 1986 as an intern at the “Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung” and at the WDR radio station, where he subsequently worked from 1987 to 1990 as a reporter in the State Studio in Düsseldorf. In 1990 he was appointed political editor, managing editor and chief editor for current affairs at RIAS-TV; in 1992 director of the department of current affairs and news at DW-TV. From 1992 to 1995 he held various leading positions at the ZDF; from 2011 to 2017 he was editor-in-chief of the MDR. 

Patron of the Evening

Saleem Ashkar

© Luidmila Jermies

Born in Nazareth, living in Berlin: those are the coordinates defining many of Saleem Ashkar’s activities. Early in life, the Israeli with Christian-Arab roots found mentors in Daniel Barenboim and Zubin Mehta: at the age of 17, he made his debut as a pianist with the Israel Philharmonic, at 22 he was conducted by Barenboim in his Carnegie Hall debut in New York. Since then, Saleem Ashkar has performed with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Filarmonica della Scala, with the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam and the London Symphony Orchestra, not to mention at festivals in Salzburg, Ravinia, Lucerne and at the Ruhr Piano Festival. His current artistic focus is on the performance of the complete 32 Piano Sonatas by Beethoven, a feat the 41-year-old has already accomplished in Berlin and Israel, Prague and Duisburg. Furthermore, he regularly spends time in Israel in his efforts to support young Israeli and Palestinian musicians there.

Artistic Director, piano


Overture to "L’isola disabitata” (1779)


Concerto for Piano No. 2 in B-flat Major Op. 19 (1788-1801)


"Overcoming" (World Premiere)


Symphony No. 1 in C Major Op. 21 (1800)

6:30 pm: „Contemporary Music as a Challenge" in cooperation with the Max Planck Society at the Werner-Otto-Saal
Free admission with concert ticket.
Speaker: Iris Mencke, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt a.M.
Moderator: Anne Kussmaul
The language of this event is German


The makeup of this ensemble is a small sensation in itself: the Galilee Chamber Orchestra unites equal numbers of young Arabic and Jewish musicians in one classical orchestra. Add to this a brilliant pianist who was born into a Christian family in Nazareth and lives in Berlin today. That is the wonderful story behind the concert of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra at Young Euro Classic, where the ensemble makes its debut. The challenges the pianist and conductor Saleem Ashkar has set for his musicians are not exactly small: together they will perform the Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major and the Symphony No. 1 in C Major by Ludwig van Beethoven. The audience is also treated to a new work by the extraordinarily versatile composer Wisam Gibran. He is also from Nazareth – like Saleem Ashkar.


This concert will be recorded and broadcast nationwide by Deutschlandfunk Kultur – via FM, DAB +, Kabel, online and app.


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