20 December 2020
5:00 PM – GRAZ
6:00 PM – JERUSALEM
It all began many years ago, with a beautiful thought, a gentle whisper, maybe a dream. In the Old City of Jerusalem where history and tradition appear as solid as the thousand-year-old walls and cobble stones in the lively and picturesque narrow lanes; where cultural and religious gravity impacts so instantaneously and makes it hard to simply rise and face the headwinds. Could music – as a universal language – create some kind of lightness, even weightlessness, and touch people across their different cultures, opening new horizons?
All artists who have participated in this project so far, whether from Israel, Palestine, Austria or other European countries, have through their inspiration and involvement already made so much possible over the years, as part of a joint move towards a better understanding of music and culture, but also towards a greater openness in thoughts and feelings. We have built some bridges already, pointing in all directions; and we will gladly continue building more in the years to come.
However, it is only together that we are creating utopias. 15 years of encounters and artistic dialogues in the Old City of Jerusalem. 15 years during which many wonderfully deep friendships sprang up and blossomed!
This year we have to explore new paths, though. It is not possible to celebrate our festival in your city this time, but we will be with you, our audience, in our thoughts and through our music. With cordial regards from my hometown Graz to Jerusalem and its people who have become such an important and cherished part of me over all these years.
Erich Oskar Huetter
Founding the festival Sounding Jerusalem may have seemed like a logical step to Austrian cellist and cosmopolitan humanist Erich Oskar Huetter in 2006. Since 2004 he had led the cello class at the Barenboim-Said Music Center in Ramallah, and was set to stay on for two more years, and Jerusalem was only a few kilometres away – the beginning of a fond relationship!
Meanwhile, 15 years of artistic quest and temptation have passed, with a good helping of tenacity and courage and of many incredibly beautiful concerts. Yet, what makes Sounding Jerusalem so unique? Classical chamber music, jazz, contemporary folk music of different ethnicities, played by European and local musicians in the culturally condensed atmosphere of the Old City of Jerusalem. Magical concert locations such as churches, monasteries, patios and roof terraces.
A humanistic attitude supports the brightly scintillating music, connecting and enshrouding the people on stage and in the audience. Music as a strongly reconciliatory link between peoples and cultures, and artistic counterweight to existing realities; maybe a utopia of a beautiful, if unrealistic, future.
For obvious reasons, it is simply not possible to run the festival in Jerusalem this anniversary year. Therefore, Sounding Jerusalem embarks on new paths before Christmas: it goes digital and as a token of solidarity sends an audio-video live-streamed concert and musical greetings from the European Human Rights City of Graz.
Sounding Jerusalem is an European Chamber Music project produced at the top artistic quality, which surrounding the Austrian EU Council Presidency, was realized for the first time in the summer of 2006 in Jerusalem. Since then, the festival brought song through the Old City of Jerusalem six times already.
Founded, developed and led by Austrian cellist Erich Oskar Huetter, Sounding Jerusalem is a music festival for all people living in Jerusalem and the region around, irrespective of their ethnic, social and religious affiliation.
The aim of this concert series is to promote electrifying classical as well as innovative chamber music in inspiring surroundings as well as fostering intercultural dialogue that contributes towards the meeting, interaction and respectful communication between people from Europe and the Middle East.
Accompanied by internationally renowned European and local artists, extraordinary venues mainly in the Old City of Jerusalem are brought to life as concert halls which contribute towards a respectful, stimulating and communicative atmosphere being inevitable.
Workshops and seminars for young musicians are organized in cooperation with local institutions fostering high level artistic impulses and intercultural stimulation. Furthermore, young students of local music schools are actively incorporated into artistic activities, working and performing together with the festival’s international artists.
The festival’s setting is giving space for meetings, exchange and discussions between the musicians and the audience. Everybody is invited to join talks and to reflect on the performance.
Admission to all concerts in the Old City of Jerusalem is free according to the venue’s capacities. Donations for the music that help the festival running are very much welcome. Please note that in advance ticket reservation is only possible for donors.
5 PM - GRAZ
6 PM - JERUSALEM
Aretha Franklin: Respect
City music band Liezen / directed by David Luidold
Astrid Eder, vocals
Ludwig van Beethoven: String quartet in f major, op. 18, nr.1
Artis Quartet Vienna
Peter Schuhmayer, violin
Johannes Meissl, violin
Herbert Kefer, viola
Othmar Müller, cello
Musicians of different cultural and stylistic backgrounds meet to discover, trace and reflect the multiple voices, the history and the soul of the Old City of Jerusalem. The journey includes the interpretation of traditional pieces and original music on Western and Oriental instruments. Mélange Oriental blends these elements with Christian Jungwirth’s visual impressions of Jerusalem and creates a new language to tell the story of a sounding city.
Marwan Abado, oud / Shira Karmon, soprano (Israel) / Erich Oskar Huetter, cello /
Stefan Heckel, accordion/ Grilli Pollheimer, percussion / Armin Egger, guitar /
Christian Jungwirth, visuals
Gernot Rath, moderation / ORF Austrian Broadcasting Corporation
Together with the audience our artists will turn the Old City of Jerusalem – the heart of the festival – into a sparkling melting pot of music without limits.
The Austrian cellist Erich Oskar Huetter has established a successful worldwide career as a soloist and chamber music performer. He is a member of Hyperion Ensemble, a classical string sextet and the Arcus Ensemble Vienna. In recitals he regulary performs with the Viennese pianist Paul Gulda. As founder of the social-cultural initiative M.MUS.E – Austrian Music Encounter he creates and directs projects such as “haus.kultur – Die Steirischen Nachbarschaftskonzerte” (contemporary neighbourhood concerts in the Austrian province of Styria) as well as a music project in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Erich Oskar Huetter is co-founder of the renowned “Styrian Chamber Music Festival” and the festival “Sounding Jerusalem” in the Old City of Jerusalem. “Sounding Jerusalem” presents an Europeen chamber music festival as well as an intercultural platform for young musicians from the Middle East and Europe. Numerous appearances on radio and television as well as CD recordings made him known to a wider public.
Born in Graz, Austria, Tanja Schmid received her first ballet lessons at the age of 5. Classically trained under the direction of Diana Ungureanu, Tanima graduated from the academy of the renowned Graz Opera. During those years she appeared in numerous productions and performances, such as The Nutcracker and The Magic Flute. Tanja is not only an active dancer, but also a teacher. She recently set out as a pedagogue for free improvisation, dance theatre and classical ballet. Currently Tanja Schmid performed in Italy, South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe and Kosovo.
After courses of study in journalism and communications in Salzburg and Vienna Manfred Wusser worked several years for daily papers and magazines, mainly as a motorjournalist and economic editor. 2003 he went back to his hometown Graz, Austria, where he is still living and currently working as a freelance journalist and author. In addition to working on some other projects he is regulary involved in Erich Oskar Huetters‘ ‚haus.kultur – Die Steirischen Nachbarschaftkonzerte‘.
Anthony Saxton opened his first arts & culture club in 1998. In the year 2003 he developed and managed the gastronomical concept for Graz, European Capital of Culture. Since 2007 he has been part of the contemporary festival “Steirischer Herbst” and is responsible for catering services. He is mastermind and manager of the annual festival highlight “herbstbar”.
Since 2018 he is working as a cooking teacher with refugees in an United Nations awarded projekt.
audio, video, social medias
Born in Rottenmann, within the upper Styrian alps, volunteered as a radio host at the age of 13, before graduating as a primary school teacher in Graz. During studying he recorded radio commercials for several companies and radio stations and became very interested in editing video & audio. Currently working in the Human Resources Department of an Automotive Company in Graz, passionate piano, guitar and trombone player in his spare time.
The Livestream for the Sounding Jerusalem DIGITAL 2020 is free of charge! But we are kindly asking for a donation to make this festival possible again.
We cordially thank all our supporters and especially the ones below.