Symphony for Palestine

Symphony for Palestine

The Dresdner Sinfoniker travelled to East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 2013 to perform the work “Symphony for Palestine”, together with Palestinian and Azerbaijani soloists, with music by the world-renowned Iranian composer Kayhan Kalhor. Symphony for Palestine is dedicated to two Palestinians: Juliano Mer-Khamis, the murdered director of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, and the eleven-year-old Ahmed Khatib, who was shot by an Israeli soldier in 2005 because he thought the boy’s water pistol was a real weapon. His story resonated throughout the world, as his parents donated Ahmed’s organs to five Israeli children.

Inspired by these tragic events, the Iranian composer Kayhan Kalhor combined traditional Persian melodies and elements of Arab folk music with the sound of a European string orchestra and oriental instruments. The Dresdner Sinfoniker see themselves as mediators between different traditions and cultures. Despite countless obstacles, they traveled to the West Bank and sent an unmistakable signal for the power of music to unite people.

Special Thanks: Ahmad Aqil, Omar Barghouti, Ben Bernhard, Boomtown Media, Dan Coleman, Sharaf DarZaid, Salwa Duaibis, Hans-Peter Eckardt, Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Hussein Mousa Faqih, Murat Gök & Pilot Gallery Istanbul, Olivia Güthling, Mohammad Halayka, Girina Holland, Franziska Jahn, Anne Jung, Mamoun Kanaan, Muna Khleifi, Stefan Kobsa, Raed Al Kobari, Sonja Leinkauf, Axel Lische, Dr. Bernhard Freiherr von Löffelholz, Firas Mahajneh, Torsten Maß, Miri & Yossi, Martin Morgenstern, Vazeh Mustafa, Lea Muth, Nassar Nassar, Ilona Nawa, Sanne Neumuth, Mirko Nowak, Bisher Qassis, Dagmar Quentin, Ossama Quteineh, Stefan Rindt, Frank Bongo Rotzsch, Michael Schwarz, Yuval Shaked, Marc Sinan, Isabel Soffer, Friederike Tappe-Hornbostel and Marcus Vetter.

Symphony for Palestine was funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the state capital Dresden – Amt für Kultur und Denkmalschutz, the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen as well as the Kulturstiftung Dresden of Dresdner Bank and was a co-production of Dresdner Sinfoniker and Ben Deiß.

Photos: Klaus Gigga, Martin Morgenstern, Sabine Grüner, Annekathrin Rammelt, Markus Rindt. Cover photo courtesy of Murat Gök / PILOT Gallery, Istanbul


1. October 2011 | 8 pm | Dresden
HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Dresden
Opening Concert Tonlagen – Dresden Festival of Contemporary Music

30. May 2013 |8 pm | Ramallah
Ramallah Cultural Palace

1. June 2013 |8 pm | Jerusalem
Al Hakawati Palestinian National Theater

2. June 2013 |8 pm | Jenin
Cinema Jenin


Cinema Jenin closes its doors forever

10. December 2016

Several newspapers have reported in recent weeks about the end of Cinema Jenin. Now, after months of negotiations, unfortunately, we have to acknowledge that Cinema Jenin is closing its doors forever. The owners of Cinema Jenin have decided to sell the cinema to an investor who will build a shopping centre in its place. Cinema Jenin came into serious financial difficulties for the first time in 2014. After five years of generous financial support, the Evangelical Church in Frankfurt had to turn to other projects. In order to draw attention to the CJ project again, last year we organized a benefit tour with the film CINEMA JENIN through Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein. Unfortunately, however, we were only able to acquire very small sums of money. At the same time, our 8-year contract expired and the owners announced a massive rent increase, much more than Cinema Jenin was able to pay. After all, the owners decided … read on

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Kayhan Kalhor


Kayhan Kalhor is a composer of Kurdish and Persian classical music and well known as a member of the Persian/Kurdish folk and classical ensemble … read on

Markus Rindt

Artistic Director

Markus Rindt, artistic director of the Dresden Symphony Orchestra, was born in Magdeburg. He comes from a musical family – his mother was … read on

Benjamin Deiß

Creative Director

Benjamin Deiß, born 1981, studied film production and directing in Hamburg and London from 2000 to 2005. Following his studies, he worked in London … read on

Andrea Molino


The composer and conductor Andrea Molino was born in Turin and lives in Zurich. From 1996 to 2007, he was musical director of the Pocket Opera … read on

Shane Shanahan


Grammy Award winning percussionist Shane Shanahan has cultivated his own unique and highly sought after sound by combining his … read on

Ali Bahrami-Fard


Ali Bahrami Fard was born in 1981 in Shiraz. He made his B.A. in music at the Tehran University and his M.A. in composition at the Art University … read on

Kamil Shajrawi


Born in Nazareth in 1962 from a family well-known for its artistic talents, Kamil started his musical career at the age of five, singing brilliantly … read on

Sa’ad Mohamed Hassan

Arabic Violin

Sa’ ad Mohamed Hassan was born in Ashmoun, Egypt in 1940. He began his musical studies at the Music Institute in Elminia, Upper Egypt with … read on

Press Coverage


New York Times


A few years in the making, a Middle East tour of a work called “Symphony for Palestine” will come to Ramallah, East Jerusalem and Jenin … weiterlesen




Two German musicians are presenting a symphony in East Jerusalem and the West Bank dedicated to their murdered Palestinian … weiterlesen


Al Arabiya


A symphony dedicated to two Palestinians killed in the West Bank has received its first performance in the Israeli-occupied territory after … weiterlesen