In 2014, Vermont-based violinist Michael Dabroski initiated a three-part project, “The Palestinian Violin – A Journey to Elevate the Human Spirit”. In September 2015, pianist Michael Arnowitt will join Dabroski in playing a series of benefit concerts for audiences to experience the violin in performance.
Through these benefit concerts, the project acquaints audiences with aspects of Palestinian musical culture and raise funds for the Palestinian organization “Al Kamandjati” via “Tree of Life Educational Fund.” The concert program includes Bach’s Partita no. 2 in C minor for piano, Dabroski’s composition Suite for Palestine for violin, and Beethoven’s Sonata in G for violin and piano. As part of the program, Michael Dabroski also discusses trips he took to Ramallah in December 2013 and March 2015, during which he met with Shehada Shalalda, a Palestinian musician and violin maker in Ramallah.
The initial series of concerts have helped facilitate the purchase of a violin made by Shehada Shalalda; Dabroski will play this Palestinian violin in the September 2015 concerts.
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For more information, watch a 3½-minute video by Anne Troldtoft Hjorth, who writes: “In March 2015 I spend a day at Shehada Shalalda’s workshop in Ramallah Tahta. While once again being embraced by Arab hospitality, tea and magloubeh I was also introduced to the complex task of building a violin – by Palestine’s only violin maker.”
The Palestinian Violin Project is sponsored by Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel, Tree of Life Educational Fund, and Al Kamandjati.