Mosaics - Polyphony
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Mosaics began as Polyphony’s students, teachers, and families were grappling with the COVID-19 outbreak. Of their own accord, teachers conducted online lessons with students without an expectation of compensation or waiting for the Conservatory to coordinate and organize.


When we asked the teachers why they continued to teach, they responded that they care and didn’t want to let the current circumstances slow their students’ progress or let their investment over the last years go to waste.


One aspect of our programs was more challenging to resume than others, however – performances. Our polyphonic sounds and voices resonate best in the concert hall where they touch the hearts and minds of our audience. This is something that cannot be replaced, and this is where the idea of a weekly video series came to life. We hope it will become an alternative platform to share our activities, music, and massage with our community all over the world.

Episode One

The first episode features Simon Deeb, an 18-year-old student from Nazareth, with cellist Sasha Doulov, the Conservatory’s Music Director and instructor, from Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv. Together, they present Handel’s Recorder Sonata in C Major – Larghetto.


Violinists Dana Elemy (13), Kattia Salem (17), and Hana Bawardi (14) all live in Nazareth. They perform an arrangement of the English folk tune “Greensleeves”.


Guy Figer, Concertmaster of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra, performs the third movement of Bach’s Partita for solo Violin No. 3 in E major, “Gavotte en Rondeau”, from his home in Giv’atayim, near Tel Aviv.


Finally, cellists Noora Francis (19), Genwa Khazen (14), Julia Farah (20) and Lian Farah (13), all from Nazareth, perform Ave Maria, Op. 41 by Wilhelm Fitzenhagen.

Episode Two

Our second episode features a tribute to cellist Lynn Harrell, who passed in May at the age of 76. In 2015, Harrell spent a week with Polyphony in Israel, during which time the Galilee Chamber Orchestra was honored to perform Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major with him, a highlight of which is included.


This week also includes a performance by two of our Scholar-in-Residence Ensembles participants. Samir Ghrayeb on clarinet and Eleraz Pevzner on cello play a piece written in 1994 by French composer Guillaume Connesson entitled “Disco-Toccata.”


We are happy to share messages from Conservatory parents, students, and teachers about their experiences studying music during this time.


The episode concludes with a duet from sisters and Conservatory students Rama Abu Rass (French horn) and Mila Abu Rass (piano) by Craig Alan entitled “Ancient Towers.”

Episode Three

Our third episode features a slew of performances from:


Flutist Mais Hriesh, a graduate of both the Polyphony Conservatory and Bard College graduate. A member of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra, Mais performs “The Jet Whistle” by Heitor Villa Lobos together with Sasha Doulov, the Principal Cellist of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra.


Mila Darawshe, an 8-year-old student under the tutelage of Sharon Tsayad, a piano teacher at the Polyphony Conservatory.


Dana Hriesh, a Polyphony Alumna, talks about the Conservatory’s Music History Zoom Lectures Series.


Samir Ghrayeb, a clarinet student at Conservatory and Mariona Godia, the Conservatory’s oboe teacher, performs “Prelude, Allegretto Con Moto” by Marion Bauer.

Episode Four

Nabeel Abboud Ashkar introduces “Music Against Hatred and Antisemitism”, a songwriting workshop that took place in Tel Aviv in November 2019. This project was a collaboration between Polyphony Education, the Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) and the Israel Conservatory Tel Aviv.


The episode includes a short video showcasing the three-day workshop and features two original  songs created last November:


“Ya Habibi”
Noam Goldenberg, Singer/Songwriter/Guitar, Givatayim
Idan Miron, Percussion, Tel Aviv
Lennart Sherwin, Singer/SongWriter, Berlin
Noora Francis, Cello, Nazareth
Samir Ghrayeb, Clarinet, Nazareth


“Look At My Eyes”
Nasif Francis, Violin, Nazareth
Meril Hakim, Piano, Nazareth
Torient, Singer, Tel Aviv
Alena Imsande, Singer/Songwriter, Berlin
Anna Farina Scheer Singer/Songwriter, Berlin

Episode Five

Saleem Ashkar, Pianist and Artistic Director of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra, introduces Mosaics and shares with us the Galilee Chamber Orchestra’s performance at the Konzerthaus in Berlin in July 2019. This particular performance was quite special, as it was both the Orchestra’s European debut concert and also part of the prestigious Young Euro Classic Festival that takes place each summer.
In this episode, the Galilee Chamber Orchestra performs the third movement of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2  (“Rondo, Molto allegro”) with Ashkar as pianist and conductor.
This performance was a celebrated one and received positive reviews from the German press. Renowned German musicologist, Dr. Clemens Goldberg, wrote of Ashkar’s performance: “In the interplay of the earliest Beethoven Piano Concerto, a soulful dialogue emerged. Ashkar burns for Beethoven, without having to turn that outwardly emotional. Ashakr’s natural elegance, joy of playing, intelligence show him as an image of the early Beethoven himself.”
Dr. Goldberg also shared praise for the Orchestra, writing “The highlight of the evening was Beethoven’s First Symphony. So much lightness, brilliance and polished dialogues! You cannot play that better.”
We hope you enjoy this week’s special episode!

Episode Six

Dana Hriesh, Pianist and Polyphony Alumna, plays Chopin – Etude Op. 25 No. 2 in F minor. Dana was one of the first students to attend the Polyphony Conservatory in Nazareth, and now she is completing her undergraduate degree in Classical Piano Performance at the Barenboim Said Akademie in Berlin.
Omri Blau, Percussionist of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra, plays a very unique and special vibraphone arrangement of Mahler 3rd Symphony – End of VI. Movement. Omri arranged this excerpt especially for this Mosaics episode.
Michael Altshuler, member of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra and head of the winds instruments department at the Polyphony Conservatory in Nazareth, plays Yehezkel Braun’s Prelude No.1 for solo Horn. Michael’s performance takes place at the magical Sorek natural reserve in Northern Israel, with a scenery perfectly fitting to the piece.