Adopted by all countries in September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call on us all to eradicate poverty, ensure that all children reach their full potential, support peaceful and healthy communities, and conserve nature. The vast majority of people around the world support these goals, but many do not know about them or have difficulty relating to them.
The artists who bring you Concert for a Sustainable Planet hope to address this gap, by fostering a dialogue and inspiring us to action. This concert will inspire hope, dedication, and commitment among groups of people worldwide to build a better planet together and foster positive change in society. The concert will build active connections between the performers on stage and the audience.
We hope you will join us!
The concert is presented by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
- Vivaldi, Spring first movement - Ronen Shapira, Changing Reality #1: Spring
- Villa-Lobos, Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for soprano, piano and cello
- Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue for piano and strings
- “A time for peace”- Izakson/Shapira, for singer, narrator, piano. Oud and violin
- Ronen Shapira, Changing Reality #3, Love and Despair, a concertino for piano and strings
- PDQ Bach, Blaues Gras Cantata for two singers and Baroque and Bluegrass bands
- Yotam Ben Or, Jazz quartet
- Ronen Shapira, Changing Reality #5: Peace Strings for Oud, piano and dance
The first half of the concert will include two mixes on the theme of Changing Reality, adjacent to the two canonical pieces they echo. Vivaldi’s Spring, that represents the love of Nature and its protection, highlights our concern over climate change, while Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, that recalls the challenges faced by immigrants and displaced people worldwide, represents concerns for social inclusion. The Bachianas Brazileras No. 5 by Heitor Villa-Lobos, which features the voices of lost tribes in the Amazon jungle, will be played in an arrangement made by the protégé of Villa-Lobos, Alfred Heller. This version is written for soprano, piano, and cello, and will be accompanied by video art about the Amazon and its people. The third part of Changing Reality, called “Love and Despair,” will engage most of the musicians participating in the concert in a wild Bolero, a kind of prayer that surges as the piece progresses.
The second half opens with the Changing Reality mix “Johan Sebastian”, that introduces PDQ Bach’s Blaues Gras Cantata. PDQ Bach is a fictitious composer invented by musical satirist “Professor” Peter Schickele. NY-based Schickele developed a five-decade-long career, performing the “discovered” works of the “only forgotten son” of the Bach family. Schickele’s music combines parodies of musicological scholarship, the conventions of Baroque and classical music, and slapstick. Blaues Gras Cantata tells the story of a stranded “Georgian cracker” that arrives in unfamiliar Kentucky to meet his “fairy Kentucky colonel”. The staged dialogue between the two is hilarious, not only because it consists of Appalachian slang translated to German (subtitles will be projected), but also because it is sung in an impossible mixture of Bach cantata style and bluegrass music, which only Schickele can produce. Of courses, this piece resonates Schickele’s family’s changing reality as German immigrants, as well as that of the Georgian cracker, who, disillusioned with Kentucky, returns to his home in Savannah.
One twist of this wild piece is that it uses a harmonica instead of an organ to accompany the recitatives. The harmonica player, together with his New York-based Jazz quartet, will perform a short Jazz piece of his own composition. It will be a tribute to the young generation.
The composition ending the concert will be the fifth and final part of Changing Reality, called Strings of Peace. This piece, composed for piano and oud by Ronen Shapira, will be played by a Palestinian oud player and an Israeli pianist, ending the concert with a message of peace. The piece consists of a moving dialogue between east and west, in which the piano is played at the beginning and the end of the piece directly on the strings, not via the keyboard. A dancer will join the piece in the middle and perform an original choreography accompanied by video art. At the end of the piece, while the piano strings and the oud are played softly, the dancer will escort to stage all the musicians-turned-dancers, for a memorable message of hope ending the concert.
Yotam Ben-Or is a NYC-based Israeli-Belgian harmonica player and composer. Ben-Or was born and raised in a small village called Nataf in the Jerusalem area. He started playing the harmonica at the age of 11, taught by his uncle.
After graduating high school, Ben-Or moved to Tel-Aviv to attend the collaborative program of the Tel-Aviv Conservatory and The New School for jazz studies (New York). During his studies, Ben-Or performed throughout Israel and shared the stage with Israel’s finest musicians, won the America-Israel Grant between 2014-2016, took the first prize in the Rostov International Jazz competition (Russia 2013), and recorded with his group “Jupiter” for the album “All Original – Best Young Israeli Jazz, presented by Avishai Cohen” (2013).
In August 2014, Ben-Or moved to NYC after winning a full scholarship to study at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music ,where he graduated in May 2016. In March 2015 he attended the prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead at John F. Kennedy Center, directed by pianist Jason Moran. Shortly after moving to NYC Ben-Or started leading his own group with which he performed in some of the city’s most renowned venues such as Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center), Cornelia Street Cafe, and Rockwood Music Hall, and toured Europe and Israel. Besides his activity as a bandleader Ben-Or is also a member of the TM Street Band and appears as a sideman in different projects.
Ehud Shapiro is a multi-disciplinary scientist, artist, and entrepreneur. A Professor of Computer Science and Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science with an international reputation, he made fundamental contributions to many scientific disciplines including machine learning, inductive inference, algorithmic debugging, logic programming, concurrent programming, molecular computers, molecular programming, synthetic biology, and single-cell genomics. Ehud was also an Internet pioneer and a successful Internet entrepreneur, founding Ubique Ltd., perhaps the first Internet social networking software company. Ehud is a recipient of the World Technology Award for Biotechnology and a member of “Scientific American 50” as a Research Leader in Nanotechnology. Ehud is a Bass singer and the founder of the Ba Rock Band, for which he conceived the original artistic program.
Piano, Yoram Quartet
Gabriel Chakarji is a young pianist and composer who is deeply passionate and committed to music as a cultural expression. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, he grew up in a multicultural environment full of music that expands from afro-Venezuelan Folk, Caribbean, and Brazilian music to Jazz and Gospel. At the age of 21 Gabriel moved to New York with a scholarship to study at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music under the guidance of great masters such as Reggie Workman, George Cables, Billy Harper, and Jane Ira Bloom. He quickly became active in the scene of the city performing in the most famous venues and concert halls. Gabriel was a Latin Grammy nominee for his participation on the album Tiempo by Linda Briceño. He has also toured Europe, Africa, and South America. The influences of cultures, rhythms, and harmonies became Gabriel’s own personality. His compositions and playing are rooted in social justice and multiculturalism.
Yelena Dudochkin is a Ukrainian-American soprano known for her rich, expressive, and warm voice. Her recent roles include Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Violetta in La Traviata, Snow Maiden in Snow Maiden, Iolanta and Brigitta in Iolanta, Gilda in Rigoletto, Chernyafka in Magic Mirror, Manon in Manon, Podtochina’s Daughter in The Nose, and Marfa in Tsar’s Bride, with a wealth of companies including Opera Boston, New Opera NYC, Commonwealth Lyric Theater, Opera Classica Europa, and The Mariinsky Opera Young Artists. A recipient of over 20 awards and honors, Yelena has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Jordan Hall, The Majestic Theater, and Boston’s Symphony Hall among others. Yelena concertized extensively abroad in Russia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, and France, with radio and television appearances including the Russian Radio, Russian Television RTVI and Rai Italian television. Yelena additionally works to expand the scope and impact of music and culture in society, with recent talks at the World Economic Forum in Davos and at the first Music X Summit.
The Israeli tenor, Doron Florentin, completed his Bachelor of Music degree in harpsichord at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, where he had studied with David Shemer. Following his army service in the Outstanding Musicians Unit, he applied He took vocal studies at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music’s vocal department in Tel-Aviv, and about to finish his Bachelor of Music degree there. Recently he went to the Felix Mendelssohn Music Academy in Leipzig in a student exchange program. He is a recipient of AICF scholarship.
Performing in Israel, Doron Florentin has soloed with the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, Barrocade Ensemble, Raanana Symphonette, Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra, and more. He is a former member of the Moran Singers, with whom he sang at the annual Toronto Bach Festival under the baton of Maestro Helmuth Rilling.
Among his operatic roles are Nemorino ‘in The Elixir of Love by Donizetti and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte by W.A. Mozart. Doron Florentin gave an outstanding performance in The Fairy Queen by Henry Purcell, the event that opened the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra’s current season (2015-2016). He currently lives in Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Manuel García Orozco
Manuel García-Orozco is a music producer and composer from Colombia. Including the GRAMMY® and Latin GRAMMY®-awarded El Orisha de la Rosa (Magín Díaz), he has dedicated his career to produce significant musical documents that enrich the world and preserve cultures in resistance under his label Chaco World Music. His career spans across many genres and cultures working with traditional artists, symphonic orchestras, and mainstream acts including Petrona Martínez, Magín Díaz, Carlos Vives, Aterciopelados, the Colombian National Symphony, the Bogota Philharmonic, Celso Pina, Xenia Ghali, and Chango Spasiuk, among others. He is the recipient of the Colombian Ministry of Culture’s National Award for Music Research, The Latin GRAMMY® Foundation’s Music Research Grant, and the ASCAP Foundation’s Cy Coleman Award. As a composer and performer, he has been featured in international venues including Cannes Film Festival, Lincoln Center, Blue Note, Symphony Space, and major TV networks such as Sony Entertainment and MTV Latino. In regards to Colombian music, Garcia-Orozco has authored two books and Bullerengue.com, a digital educational platform dedicated to the historical, structural and creative framework of bullerengue music, an Afro-Colombian traditional genre led by elderly women in the Caribbean. Garcia-Orozco is a Ph.D. student in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University and holds an M.A. in Film Scoring from New York University and a B.A. in Music Composition from Universidad El Bosque.
A native of Tel Aviv, Israel, Daniel Hass is an up and coming young cellist currently residing in Toronto and New York City. He has received training at the Israel Conservatory, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and the New England Conservatory in Boston. In the spring of 2017 Daniel graduated from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Joel Krosnick as a recipient of the Kovner Fellowship. Daniel has played with a number of orchestras in Israel, Canada, and the United States, including the Israel Camerata Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. In the summer of 2016 Daniel brought home two major awards, the $25,000 Michael Measures Award from the Canada Council of the Arts, and the First Prize at the Stulberg International String Competition. An avid chamber musician, Daniel has performed with various ensembles around the world, traveling to Amsterdam, Budapest, Lisbon, Montreal, and Stanford. Travels have also brought Daniel to international masterclasses, where he has played for Gary Hoffman, Ralph Kirshbaum, Frans Helmerson, Janos Starker, and Leon Fleisher. Since the age of 13, Daniel spends his summers at the Perlman Music Program, where he studies with Ron Leonard and Paul Katz. Daniel plays on a 1914 Eugenio Degani Cello on loan through the course of his education.
Piano, Artistic & Musical Director
Acclaimed Israeli pianist Revital Hachamoff has performed as a soloist and chamber music player across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. She has played as a soloist with all of the leading orchestras in Israel and with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra (Tchaikovsky Hall), Berliner Symphoniker (Konzerthaus Berlin), Salzburg Chamber Soloists, The Solti Chamber Orchestra of Budapest, The Bucharest Philharmonic, Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra, Neuss Chamber Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, The NDR Symphony Orchestra, national orchestras in South America, and more.
Revital has played under the baton of Zubin Mehta, Sergio Comissiona, Maxim Shostakovich, David Stern, Dan Ettinger, Omer Welber, Lior Shambadal, Zsolt Nagy, and many others. She has cooperated with leading Israeli composers who have dedicated eight piano concerti to her.
Revital appeared as a soloist at many international festivals. She has recorded extensively and had her own television program. Her recording of Elgar’s violin sonata with Maxim Vengerov received editor’s choice of Gramophone magazine. Revital is a faculty member at the piano department of the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance.
Gilad Hildesheim, Violin
Israeli-born violinist Gilad Hildesheim started playing at the age of 6 in Belgium. In Israel Gilad studied with Haim Taub, Gad Kogan, Yair Kless, and Ilona Faher. Gilad has won grants from the American-Israel Foundation and has been the leader of many orchestras and musical groups in Israel and abroad, including The Haifa Symphony Orchestra, the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble, the Kaprizma Ensemble, and the San Carlo Opera in Naples, Italy. For the last eight years Gilad has led the NKO Chamber Orchestra and played with them as a soloist on tours in Israel, Croatia, Italy, France, Germany, and China. A passionate chamber player, Gilad has collaborated with Pinchas Zuckerman, Guy Braunstein, the Jerusalem Quartet, the Jerusalem Trio, Bernard Greenhaus, and pianist Revital Hachamoff, with whom he has toured the U.S.A and Bulgaria, and performed numerous live radio broadcast concerts.
Mais Hriesh is a flutist from Nazareth. She began playing the flute at the age of thirteen at the Barenboim-Said Conservatory, which later became the Polyphony Conservatory, with Avichai Ornoy. Three years later, she began studying with Roy Amotz. She took part in several master classes in Austria with Michael Kofler, in the United States with Carla Ordoniez, and in Germany with Guy Eshid and Gili Schwarzman.
In 2011, she played with the Polyphony Ensemble on its first U.S. tour, performing in California, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. Following that year, Hriesh played with the Andalucía Orchestra in Spain under Maestro Daniel Barenboim. In 2013 Mais enrolled at Bard College to study flute with Tara Helen O’Connor. In 2014, Hriesh toured with the Bard Conservatory Orchestra all around Eastern and Central Europe. Later on that year Hriesh was nominated to the Kempinski Young Artist Program and was to awarded to study with Peter Lukas Graf’s master class at the Mozarteum. In 2016, she studied with Claudia Stein and Pirmin Grehl in Berlin. Later that year, she performed solos with the Polyphony Ensemble under the direction of Zubin Mehta and Saleem Ashkar. Today, Mais is active as a chamber musician and member of the Bard Conservatory Orchestra and the Galilee Orchestra.
Drums, Yoram Quartet
Noam Israeli is a NYC based drummer, producer, and recording artist from Israel. He has been fascinated with music since his childhood, trying different instruments until he fell in love with the drums at age 12. Israeli has studied at the Rimon School of Jazz, the Israel Conservatory of Music, and the Berklee College of Music, from which he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Music Performance and Production. Through his studies in Berklee, Israeli was a member of the prestigious Berklee Global Jazz Institute, led by virtuoso pianist Danilo Perez. In 2013, Israeli was a finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Drum Competition, held in Washington DC. Noam has performed in major festivals and famous venues around the world, and performed with notable musicians such as Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, Ben Street, and Miguel Zenon.
Bass, Yoram Quartet
Alon Near is an Israeli-based bass player, currently residing in New York, where he performs with various bands. Alon graduated from the New School For Jazz with an Honorary Degree. Amongst many others, Alon has played with Kurt Rosenwinkel, David Liebman, and Eli Degibri. Alon also attended the prestigious “Berklee Workshops” Led by Terry Lynn Carrington, was awarded a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, won first prize in the “Rostov Jazz Competition,” played in New York’s Winter Jazz Festival with the Eli Degibri Quartet, and played with Multi Grammy Award winner Billy Childs and his Quartet.
Isabel Pérez has appeared in solo recitals and chamber music concerts in the US, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Russia including venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Tchaikovsky Conservatory Moscow, and Sala Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. She was a prizewinner at the American Protegé International Piano and Strings Competition (2nd Prize), Grand Prize Virtuoso International Competition (3rd Prize), Ciutat de Berga International Competition (1st Prize) and the Cidade do Fundao Piano International Competition (1st Prize), as well as the recipient of the Jorge Bolet Distinguished Performer Award at the Stony Brook International Piano Festival.
She has also given lectures and speeches at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, United Nations General Assembly, ECOSOC Youth Forum, European Parliament, V4SDGS at Google, I Jornadas Sostenibilidad e Instituciones Culturales, University of Michigan, IE University in Madrid, University of Vechta, Columbia University, Carnegie Hall, and Casina Pio IV at the Vatican. With mezzo soprano Anna Tonna, Isabel was awarded the 2016 New York Women Composers Seed Grant for their project Mujeres en Música, an initiative that promotes music composed by women in the United States and Spain. In addition to her concertizing career, Isabel leads the project SDSN-Youth Arts Twenty Thirty which combines arts with sustainability in the promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Isabel Pérez is a Ph.D. candidate at NYU Steinhardt, where she started teaching as an Adjunct Instructor at age 19. She holds a Professional Studies degree from the Manhattan School of Music, a master’s degree from NYU Steinhardt and a bachelor’s degree from the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid. Isabel is a member of the Executive Board of the Piano Teachers Congress of New York and co-chair of its Honors Program. She is the UN Focal point at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth, President of the Beta Pi Chapter at the International Honors Society in Education Kappa Delta Pi, and the Western European Representative of the Fair Air Coalition. She is also part of the UNWTO Honorary Committee for the Conference “The Way of Saint James and the SDGs” along with their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain, the Prince of Liechtenstein, among others. She obtained a J.D. in law from UNED and has completed courses in U.S Law and Methodologies courses at NYU SPS and the SDG Academy. She is currently a graduate certificate student in International Relations at Harvard University and an online student at the Harvard Business School HBX.
Ronen Shapira is one of the leading composers of our time. In his non-conventional virtuoso piano recitals, Shapira plays on a non-tempered piano and non-tempered keyboards, Classical pieces from the Western tradition along with oriental masterpieces, with Jazz, Rock and Oriental classical pieces. After getting his B.A. piano performance at the Tel- Aviv Academy of Music, Shapira studied Composition with Andre’ Hajdu and Joseph Dorfman and Piano with Leah Agmon, Pnina Zaltsman and Walter Houfhoizer. Shapira graduated M.A. degree in Jazz from the University of Michigan and His Doctorate from Northwestern University. Ronen teaches in Levinsky College of Education and teaches generations of artists, teachers and music therapists.
Lauren Siess began viola studies at age 11, after starting her musical studies on guitar and violin. Lauren is currently an undergraduate violist at Juilliard as a student of Carol Rodland. A native of Portland, Oregon, her former teachers include Brian Quincey, Helen Callus, and Paul Neubauer. An alumni of Colburn Music Academy, Lauren was featured as soloist with the Colburn Academy Virtuosi Orchestra and Colburn Chamber Orchestra, and served as principal viola of both orchestras.
Lauren has been a member of the Perlman Music Program since 2012. During summer of 2017, Lauren attended Banff Centre’s “Ensemble Evolution,” and “Chamber Music,” programs, where she studied contemporary chamber music works with ICE, JACK Quartet, Imani Winds and Miro Quartet. Lauren will be attending the Yellow Barn Program during summer of 2018.
Passionate about community engagement, Lauren has created and participated in numerous musical/artistic outreach projects. In summer 2017, Lauren co-founded the Joining Hands Project with violinist Leerone Hakami, where they taught music at schools in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Her and Leerone also presented a workshop/masterclass at Pacific University, titled “Research in the Performing Arts,” on diverse ways of building community engagement projects involving music. In spring 2018, her quartet, the Uhuru Quartet, conducted a workshop at the WIN (Women in Need) Shelter in NYC, and later presented a program of all women-composers as a benefit concert for the WIN Shelter.
Lauren is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship at the Juilliard School.
Choreography and Dance
Netta Yerushalmy is a dancer and choreographer who works across genres and disciplines. She is currently working with composer Julia Wolfe and cellist Maya Beiser on “Spinning,” she contributed to artist Josiah McElheny’s project for the Madison Square Park Conservancy, she choreographed a Red Hot Chili Peppers music video, and has collaborated on evenings of theory and performance at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (Berlin). Yerushalmy is the recipient of many honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a ‘Grant to Artists’ from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a Jerome Robbins Bogliasco Fellowship, a NYFA Fellowship, and the Toulmin Fellowship for Women Leaders in Dance at NYU’s Center for Ballet.
Her current project, Paramodernities, which will have its world premier in August 2018 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, received the National Dance Project award from the New England Foundation for the Arts. Yerushalmy’s works have been presented by venues such as the Joyce Theater, American Dance Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Watermill Center, Danspace Project, New York Live Arts, Suzanne Dellal Center (Tel-Aviv), and Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin). She has received commissiones from repertory companies and universities all around the USA. As a performer, Netta danced with Doug Varone and Dancers, Pam Tanowitz, Joanna Kotze, and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. A New Yorker for the past 22 years, Netta grew up in Israel and received her BFA with Honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. www.nettay.com
Yonatan Ziv is a User Experience Designer at Mobiquity Inc-Europe. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Design and Visual Communications at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. He started his career as a freelancer working for companies such as Adkit, the Wingate Institute, Israel Martial Arts Grading Committee, and Netogreen. In the year 2013, he started working as a UX UI Designer at Pumika where he developed Apps for mobile and tablet, webapps and complex systems, product landing pages and identity websites, branding processes and graphic identity, UX and design of smart glasses OS concept and gesture recognition technology. Two years later he worked at hoop.mobi as the Lead UX Designer.
He is currently working in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Tickets are available on the Carnegie Hall website. The site also includes a seating chart. Please direct any questions relating to ticketing directly to Carnegie Hall.
Concert for a Sustainable Planet
7:30 pm, September 26, 2018
Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York, USA
Entrance on Seventh Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets (Map)