Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs may not always get along, but two young pianists — one a Jew from Tel Aviv, the other an Arab from Nazareth — will be living in harmony next week at Carnegie Hall. Onstage, that is.
Nimrod David Pfeffer, 24, and Bishara Haroni, 25, will join forces for a performance at Weill Recital Hall billed as “A Concert in Honor of Peace.”
“It celebrates peace and understanding,” said Pfeffer, who organized the event as a fundraiser for the Jezreel Valley Music Center in Afula, Israel. The center promotes coexistence among Jews, Arabs and Christians in northern Israel.
Pfeffer, who attended the school as a child, approached the center about doing a fundraiser in May 2008, when the school was “on the verge of folding.”
“[The center] is about making people work together, two people in conflict in Israel — it’s so important that the tradition will be kept alive and that’s what I’m trying to do,” he said.
And when he approached his friend Haroni, with whom he attended the Israeli Arts Academy in Jerusalem, he was “very excited about the project. He didn’t study there, but he knows how important it is to create understanding, so he was more than happy to give service,” Pfeffer said.
The pianists will be performing both solo works and “piano for hands” duets by Chopin, Mendelssohn and Schumann, and the world premieres of specially commissioned pieces by Arab-Israeli composer Wisam Gibran and Jewish-Israeli composer Ronen Shapira.
The event is sponsored by the Davis Projects for Peace, an organization that invites students to create their own grass-roots projects for peace across the globe.
Pfeffer made his New York debut last May at a celebration of Israel’s 60th anniversary in Carnegie Hall.
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