By April Trigg
Weekends in the Hamptons are magical as it is but, add in a moving musical performance by a group of talented children from Nazareth and an impressive art show by fine artist Clay Calvert and it’s truly glorious. Philanthropists Joan & George Hornig hosted an afternoon of inspiration which included a concert by Polyphony, a group of young Arab & Jewish musicians from Israel as well as an art show by New York City artist Clay Calvert who also generously donated 30% of proceeds from his sales to the Polyphony Foundation. Polyphony was founded in March of 2011 by Nabeel Abooud-Ashkar (Director & Founder of the Barenboim-Said Conservatories Nazareth & Jaffa), Craig Cogut (Founder & Managing Partner of Pegasus Capital Advisors/Pegasus Sustainable Century MB), Deborah Cogut (Lawyer & Civic Leader) and acclaimed singer, actress & all-around legend, Cher to encourage education in and through music, humanities and the arts, which they collectively believe is essential to creating tolerant, just societies and encouraging dialogue between conflicting communities.
Polyphony’s music education programs help to bridge the divide between Israel’s Arab and Jewish communities and help to facilitate cultural exchange, dialogue and partnership. Part of their Passport Initiative includes the US-based youth concert series which they feel will foster shared social values through this cultural exchange, as they share their stories & their music with communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, The Hamptons, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. I know all of the Hornig’s guests were certainly moved by not only the children’s music but also by their experiences which they told over a delicious lunch prepared by celebrity Chef Paavo Turtiainen. Executive Director and Co-founder Nabeel, who is also the group’s maestro, shared his excitement for the opportunity to bring children from conflicting religious & cultural backgrounds together to create beautiful music (ranging from Mozart concertos to Israeli composers) and to be a part of a truly unique, life-changing experience where their common goal is based upon their love of the arts and not of the strife that surrounds them. As guest James Lipton concurred, “I prefer music to religion any day.” That’s music to my ears.
Make a Donation: Polyphony