Palestine Strings

BBC festival features Palestine Strings and condemnation of apartheid to jubilant applause

 on August 11, 2013 36
palestine strings Chris Christodoulou BBC Nigel Kennedy
Nigel Kennedy on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall with members of the Palestine Strings and his Orchestra of Life.  [photo: Chris Christodoulou, BBC]
On August 8, seventeen young Palestinian musicians put Palestine on the ‘map’ of one of the world’s most prestigious international music festivals, the BBC Proms. Aged twelve to twenty-three years, they are members of the Palestinian Strings, a brainchild of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Palestine’s preeminent music institution.
Their appearance at the Proms was a collaboration with the renowned violinist Nigel Kennedy and several members of his Orchestra of Life. Kennedy, well-known for his musical interests beyond the confines of standard Western practice, first learned of the Palestinian musicians from a Youtube video.
The entire concert was based around Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’. The works’ programmatic character, combined with the improvisatory tradition of eighteenth century Italy, allowed Kennedy the wide artistic freedom that is his hallmark, and the combined ensemble widened this far beyond anything ever anticipated by the ‘red monk’ of Venice.
Vivaldi always the point of departure, the evening drifted into jazz ‘Seasons’ with Kennedy and his OoL, and micro-tonal Arabic “Seasons” with members of the Palestine Strings on violin, viola, and even voice. The result, as described by the reviewer for The Independent[1], was that “each movement became the framework on which free improvisations would be hung, some comic, some strange, some hauntingly beautiful.”
Mr. Kennedy is the most high-profile classical artist to date to boycott Israel because of its expropriation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine

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3 Responses to “Palestine Strings”

  1. NPP says:

    Can you access ths outside the UK?

    Nigel Kennedy speaks at 1:20:22 mins…
    “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a bit facile to say to say it, but we all know from experience in this music tonight that given equality and getting rid of apartheid gives beautiful chance for amazing things to happen…”

    … just checked: ‘Sorry, this episode is no longer available on BBC iPlayer Radio.’

    I did hear it and noted the quote above. It was there. I guess it is policy to only keep the link up for so many days… the music was great too!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi NPP

    This might be a good alternative place to start?

    Nigel Kennedy plays Spring from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons at the 2013 BBC Proms
    BBC Radio 3 BBC Radio 3


  3. NPP says:

    That’s lovely HETT! Thank you. I guess I could go through all the clips for the quote? Time. Ahh… I’m inclined just to enjoy! Wonderful – even if he is a Villa fan! Arsenal!

    I saw him in an open air theatre in Istanbul once, with a 4-5 piece set up. He did Jimi Hendrix covers for an encore. I would have liked to see him with Miles Davis.

    Doesn’t like Opera or Mozart apparently. Hey, whatever floats yer boat and this does. Cheers.

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