Arabs and Jews meet in London

Hebrew and Arabic school is celebrated through music 07 January 2009 – On 22nd of February, at Wigmore Hall a concert of peace will celebrate a village of peace – Wahat al Salam/ Neve Shalom where Arabs and Jews have chosen to live together.

Gala Concert with Mark Padmore (tenor), Tom Conti (narrator), Natalie Clein (cello), Wissam Boustany (flute) and Margaret Fingerhut (piano).

This unusual and exciting evening full of hope brings together a constellation of renowned talents in aid of the village, Wahat al-Salam ~ Neve Shalom (WAS-NS). Here Arabs and Jews live together, promoting peace through a unique educational system.

The entire evening will be dedicated to raising funds for the primary school at Wahat al-Salam~ Neve Shalom, where children grow up bilingually in Hebrew and Arabic and with respect for both Jewish Israeli and Palestinian culture, and appreciation of the three main religions of the area – Muslim, Christian and Jewish. The diversity of the concert-programme reflects the harmony created when boundaries fall, as exemplified by the village. In this spirit all performers of this outstanding evening have agreed to wave their professional fees.

For Tom Conti his participation in the Gala Concert is part of a long-standing commitment to WAS-NS. Only a year ago he addressed an audience at a Walk for Peace in support of WAS-NS. Pianist Margaret Fingerhut stresses that WAS-NS is “a small community with a big message:” About Beyond Boundaries she says: "I wanted to put on this concert to help raise public awareness of the importance of what the village does; it shows how through education, understanding, tolerance and mutual respect different peoples CAN live together in harmony.”

This belief is shared by tenor Mark Padmore who claims that “great music can cross any division.” He passionately elaborates that it “demands imagination and understanding and a willingness to be moved and affected in unexpected ways. Nobody can own or possess the works of the musical canon – they are freely available to anyone, regardless of race or belief. Here is an incredible opportunity for communication and exchange." Cellist Natalie Clein adds that she is happy “to be able to contribute to this wonderful ideal, which has become a reality, ” and she summarises “The world needs such places!" Flautist Wissam Boustany whose support of WAS-NS goes back many years writes about this and other initiatives: "music opens the doors of inspiration between people and nations and helps us reflect on our common humanity…"

With so much heart felt enthusiasm we are certain that the event will be a great evening out for anyone who shares their and our passion for great music, and a better world.


Ernest Bloch: Three Scenes from Jewish Life

Liza Lehmann/Oscar Wilde: The Happy Prince

Astor Piazzolla: Two Tangos

Wissam Boustany: “…and the wind whispered….” (solo flute – world premiere)

Jules Mouquet: La Flûte de Pan

Franz Schubert: Vier Lieder

Tickets are available from 1st Dec 2008 with prices between £18 – £35 (concessions £10) from Wigmore Hall Box Office 020-79352141 or online at

Subject areas: Israel / Palestine – Jew/Arab – London Events – Classical Music – Peace – Education – February 2009
Beyond Boundaries
22 Feb. 2009, 19.30
Wigmore Hall, London

Related Links:

British Friends of Wahat al-Salam ~ Neve Shalom: 

A full 30 minute documentary can be viewed online here:

Layal Makki – Lebanese Beauty of the Arab World

Lost luggage at airport