The Polyphonia Ensemble Berlin, which is made up of musicians from the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, begins a concert tour of the Palestinian territories today (16 December). Following the first concert in Ramallah, a concert in Jenin to mark the opening of Cinema Jenin, reconstructed with German assistance, is also planned. The concerts were preceded by workshops lasting several days for Israeli and Palestinian students at the music school of the Barenboim-Said Foundation in Ramallah. The music students will present the workshop results at the concerts.
The Polyphonia Ensemble Berlin is undertaking this trip in order to help foster dialogue and tolerance in the Middle East through music. The idea is to build up personal bonds and establish a link between Arab and European music by bringing Israelis and Palestinians together to play music.
The concert tour is being organized with the support of Deutsche Welle, the Barenboim-Said Foundation, the Goethe-Institut in Ramallah, Cinema Jenin as well as Germany’s Representative Office in Ramallah. The Federal Foreign Office is providing funding for the project to the tune of 41,000 euro.
As one of the largest bilateral donors, Germany contributes not only to building infrastructure and developing a sustainable economy but also to improving education in the Palestinian territories. The German Government is supporting the Polyphonia Ensemble Berlin project as part of its broad-based efforts to help strengthen civil-society and state structures in the Palestinian territories within the framework of the “Future for Palestine” initiative.