Our Students - Polyphony
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Our Students

Bright, passionate and immensely dedicated, our Conservatory and Seminar students form the heart of our community.


Here are some of their music biographies.


Yamen Saadi

Yamen Saadi was born in Nazareth and began studying the violin at the Polyphony Conservatory at the age of nine.


He has participated in master classes at Rostock University. Yamen is an active orchestra player as well as a soloist. He joined the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in 2008 and has played in many concerts and festivals all over the world including the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2010, Yamen performed as a soloist with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra.


Yamen is a two-time winner of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship. Yamen has participated in the Polyphony Conservatory’s various U.S. tours and is an active member of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra. In March 2012, he won first prize at the prestigious Paul Ben Haim Competition in Tel Aviv.

Hagit Bar Sella

Hagit Bar Sella a cellist from Kibbutz Harduf. She has been playing the cello for nine years and has studied with Hillel Zori, Uri Chen and Susan Berman. Hagit has also taken master classes from Uzi Wiesel and Itai Chen. When she was 12, she played two solo pieces with a youth orchestra conducted by Uri Chen.


She is a member of the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and leads the cello section of the Kibbutzim Youth Orchestra, with which she has toured Germany.


Hagit has participated in two Polyphony tours to the United States. In December 2012, she performed with the Young Galilee Flute Quartet in Detroit and New York. She returned to the US in May 2013, where she performed with Yamen Saadi and as a soloist in Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and New York


Tal First

Tal First is a Violinist from Caesarea. He began his violin studies with Mr. Geri Ferber at the age of 6, and continued his studies with Ms. Svetlana Simannovsky at the Thelma Yellin High School of Arts and later on at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music.


He has taken part in master classes with musicians such as Itzhak Perlman, Christian Tetzlaff, Julian Rachlin, Ivry Gitlis, Leonidas Kavakos and Miriam Fried. Tal has been an active student in Polyphony’s programs since 2012 and plays in their international concert tours.


Today Tal Studies at the Juilliard School with Mr. Li Lin, and plays on a Pollastri Violin generously loaned to him by Mr. Yehuda Zisapel.

Mais Hriesh

Mais is a flutist from Nazareth. She began playing the flute at the age of 13 at the Polyphony Conservatory (then named Barenboim-Said Conservatory) with Avichai Ornoy.


Three years later, she began studying with Roy Amotz. She took part in several master classes in Austria with Michael Kofler, in the United States with Carla Ordoniez and in Germany with Guy Eshid and Gili Schwarzman.


In 2011, she played with the Polyphony Ensemble on its first U.S. tour, performing in California, New York, Rhode Island and Washington D.C. In 2016, she performed solos with Polyphony under the direction of Zubin Mehta and Saleem Ashkar.


Today, Mais is an active chamber music player, orchestra player as well as a soloist and is completing her studies at Bard College as the recipient of a scholarship. She continues to give back to Polyphony as a musician and community volunteer.


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