David Rovics a long time supporter of Palestine, performs in Nablus
Play his song 'Jenin'
Dedicated to Ending the Occupation
Nigel Kennedy is recognised the world over as one of the most important violinists Britain has produced. His technique, unique talent and mass appeal have made him the best-selling violinist of all time.
A long time supporter of the Palestinian struggle, he and members of his Poland-based Orchestra of Life joined with the Palestine Strings ensemble at the Royal Albert Hall in London for a very unorthodox performance of the Baroque classic for a BBC Proms broadcast. With musicians drawn mostly from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Palestine Strings is an orchestra of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, a school founded in the Israeli-occupied territories in 1993 and named in 2004 for Said, the influential Palestinian-born writer, theorist and music aficionado who died the previous year.
The 17 members of the Palestine Strings who traveled to London ranged from 13 to 23 years old. They wore black-and-white checkered keffiyehs over their suits and dresses as a show of national pride. In the performance (shown above in its entirety), Kennedy and his collaborators followed the basic outline of Vivaldi’s four-concerto suite, but made frequent excursions into jazz and Arabic music. As Helen Wallace writes at BBC Music Magazine: