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Peace, tolerance and innovation: CARAVAN ORCHESTRA AWARDED 2018 SHIMON PERES PRIZE

Caravan Orchestra | Photo: Johannes Bock

Peace, tolerance and innovation: CARAVAN ORCHESTRA AWARDED 2018 SHIMON PERES PRIZE

The Caravan Orchestra, an international youth music project initiated by Yiddish Summer Weimar with the Department of Music, School of the Arts, University of Haifa and the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar, has won the prestigious 2018 Shimon Peres Prize.

The prize is awarded by the German-Israeli Future Forum Foundation and the German Foreign Ministry to “young German and Israeli professionals and executives who have made an outstanding contribution to the shaping of German-Israeli relations”, recognizing “the promotion of shared values like peace, tolerance and innovation between the countries”.

The Caravan Orchestra shares and promotes this vision by bringing together a group of young musicians from Germany and Israel, representing diverse musical and cultural heritages to explore often overlooked connections between Jewish, Arab, and European musics.

During a three-week residential project, the young musicians travel to Haifa and Weimar, take part in rehearsals and cultural activities, and create and perform exciting new music with ancient roots. In the Caravan Orchestra, young musicians expand their musical and social horizons, growing into creative artists and ambassadors of intercultural dialogue, in their own communities and institutions and on international stages.

Yiddish Summer Weimar and its parent institution, the Other Music Academy, are proud to have been recognized together with the Department of Music, School of the Arts, University of Haifa and the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar for realizing this unique project within Yiddish Summer’s two-year exploration of “The Other Israel,” showcasing the potential for collaboration between academic and cultural institutions.

The Shimon Peres Prize recognizes the hard work of organizers, supporters and musicians in realizing this project, and gives us courage to continue to develop the Caravan Orchestra and to take on equally challenging subjects and projects in the future.

The Caravan Orchestra would like to thank its partners and supporters: the German-Israeli Future Forum Foundation, ConAct – the Coordination Center for German-Israeli Youth Exchange, the German-Israeli Association Erfurt as well as the towns of Weimar and Erfurt, Zughafen Erfurt, the Free State of Thuringia, Atran Foundation, Youth Music Israel and Zughafen Erfurt.  

The award ceremony took place on October 8 in the Rotes Rathaus, Berlin. In the presence of the Peres family, the Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas awarded the prize to Dr Abigail Wood and Jiryis Murkus Ballan representing the Department of Music, University of Haifa, and to Andreas Schmitges and Ilya Shneyveys, representing Yiddish Summer Weimar together with its Artistic Director, Dr Alan Bern.