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Watch and Listen: Israeli Mandolinist Shmuel Elbaz, Cellist Udi Bar-David, and Friends on WRTI

Musicians from Israel, led by international mandolin sensation Shmuel Elbaz, and ARTolerance founder and Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Udi Bar-David visited WRTI to play music of Andalusia and the Middle East. WRTI’s Susan Lewis, host.

Watch the WRTI performance on YouTube:

ARTolerance is a Philadelphia-based organization with a mission to transcend communication boundaries, and explore common ground, through performances, events, conferences and workshops. ARTolerance hosts musicians from Israel in programs promoting cross-cultural understanding thoughout March.Details about upcoming ARTolerance performances in the region.

Left to right: Nate West, bass; Moshe Barsheshet, kamanga (Andalusian violin) and cantor; Susan Lewis, host; Yoram Azulay, tar; Shmuel Elbaz, mandolin; Udi Bar-David, cello

Musicians visiting WRTI include: Shmuel Elbaz, mandolin and conductor; Moshe Barsheshet, kamanga (Andalusian Violin) and cantor; Yoram Azulay, tar; Udi Bar-David, cello; Nate West, bass

WRTI Program: Tushi Sahli, Yekara Mikar, Purim Medley, Lecha Dodi, Longa Shahnaz

ARTolerance performances with Shmuel Elbaz and his ensemble, along with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra:

Sunday, March 17th @ 1 PM at KleinLife in Philadelphia; Sunday, March 17th @4:30 PM at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Glenside, PA; Monday, March 18th @ 7 PM at Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, PA.

Shmuel Elbaz performs as a mandolin artist and as a conductor with all major orchestras in Israel, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestras and others worldwide.  Shmuel was the first Israeli to bring the mandolin to the front of the stage as a classical solo instrument. He has recorded the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin on a mandolin.

Udi Bar-David, cellist and founder of ARToleranceperforms on international stages with both classical and ethnic musicians from all over the world.  Born and raised in Israel, he began music lessons in Tel Aviv before coming to the United States to study with Leonard Rose from the Juillard School. An acclaimed soloist and chamber musician, collaborated with world-renowned artists, including Hanna Khoury, Wu Man, R.Carlos Nakai, and Mandy Patinkin. He has been a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 1997. 

Mosche Barsheshet, cantor and payytan, performs as soloist in the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra and performs with his ensemble around Israel and abroad.  Drawn to liturgical and Andalusian poetry from a young age, he began serving as a cantor in synagogues at the age of 13, later learning to play the violin known as the Kamanga, the leading instrument in Andalusian music.

Yoram Azulay serves as the musical director of the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra Ashdod since 2002, and the head of the Andalusian Ensemble. He is also musical director of the Jewish-Arab Center "Metrose," in the city of Lod. Born and raised in Israel in a family of musicians known from Morocco for six generations. His father, violinist and Kamenge artist Yeshua Azulai,  taught him the basics of Andalusian music and the music of the oud and the tamer. 

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.