14 - 17 December 2023

Liebe Freunde des Louis Lewandowski Festivals,

The 2023 festival was planned as a celebration of joy, marking 75 years of Israel. Our intention was to showcase the diverse musical cultures of Israel over the past 75 years. These cultures emerged from a fascinating mix of Orient and Occident, European influences, traditions and the sounds and rhythms brought by immigrants from Islamic countries. This mixture formed the fertile ground for the independent Israeli musical culture.

However, everything changed on October 7, 2023 with the horrific massacre of Jews, the worst since the end of the Shoah. This incident prompted us to transform our festival of joy into a festival of solidarity for Israel. The “Never again” is now being proclaimed louder than ever as “Never again is now!”. However, the events of October 7 and the war that followed required some adjustments. Unfortunately, the Geffen Choir and Maureen Nehedar from Israel will not be able to take part this year. The musicians understandably do not want to leave their families alone or are on reserve duty. Our thoughts are not only with the artists and their families, but with all the victims and their families.

This year we welcome the impressive Tehila & Band. Also the Nashirah Chorale from Philadelphia – “Nashirah” means “We will sing”. The Yamma Ensemble with Talya G. A. Solan represents another facet of the new Israeli music cultures by bringing in her Yemenite and Bulgarian-Sephardic roots. And of course the Synagogal Ensemble Berlin as the host choir.

At all concerts we ask for donations for the fund for victims of terror “Swords of Iron War: Requested for Children” in Israel. This institution is currently taking special care of children traumatized by the terrorist attack of the Islamist fascist Hamas.

The opening concert with all the artists is in Cottbus this year. Then it continues in Berlin with performances in the synagogue on Fraenkelufer, the hospital church in Wuhlegarten and the Reinbeckhallen in Oberschöneweide. Finally, the grand finale, again with all the artists, in the Rykestraße synagogue.

Kind regards

Ihr Nils Busch-Petersen | Festival Director

ISRAELI MUSIC CULTURES FROM THE ORIENT AND OCCIDENT

Jews from all over the world have been immigrating to the Land of Israel for more than a hundred years. Before the founding of the state and in the first two decades, Israel was culturally dominated by Eastern and Western European Jews. Through various immigrant groups from North Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, it became increasingly diverse in the 1970s at the latest. The diversity of musical cultures from all over the world has given rise to new Israeli musical cultures, which the 13th Louis Lewandowski Festival aims to bring closer to the Berlin public.

Read an introduction to the topic by Francesco Spagnolo (University of California, Berkeley)

Final concert live recording

Choirs and artists 2023

Tehila & Band

Out-of-the-box, expressive and warm timbered, Tehila is a versatile and soulful musician with a wide range including both soprano and mezzo soprano repertoire. Her musical interests and passion begin with early baroque and folk music and end with pieces written for her unique abilities. She enjoys…

Regina Yantian – Musical Director

Since the very beginning, musicologist Regina Yantian has been the artistic director of the Louis Lewandowski Festival, which is taking place in Berlin for the thirteenth time this year.

Yamma Ensemble

The Yamma Ensemble is one of the projects of the Israeli singer Talya G. A Solan. With the Yamma Ensemble, she is searching for the roots of traditional Israeli music.

Nashirah Chorale

Nashirah was founded in 2002 when a group of singers wondered if we could start a choir with auditions and a focus on Jewish music. At the time, there was no such choir in the Philadelphia region. We decided that we would have a professional artistic director and a professional accompanist. We…

Synagogal Ensemble Berlin

The Synagogal Ensemble Berlin (SEB) was founded in 2002 by Regina Yantian as a concert ensemble. It consists of 8 - 16 professional singers, who work at international opera houses and are also active as freelance concert singers in the choir of the Pestalozzistrasse Synagogue, among others. Choir…

Patronages

Greetings from our patrons

Kai Wegner, Governing Mayor of Berlin,

The Louis Lewandowski Festival is a tribute to the rich musical culture that characterizes Europe. In our multifaceted city, we find the ideal setting to discover together the musical treasures that unite us.

Greeting Minister President Dr. Dietmar Woidke

The Minister President of Brandenburg, Dr. Dietmar Woidke: "In this spirit, I wish you a wonderful festival with moving concerts and wonderful times together, wherever you are following the Louis Lewandowski Festival.

Dr.-Gideon-Joffe,-Vorstandsvorsitzender-der-Juedischen-Gemeinde-zu-Berlin

Dr. Gideon Joffe | Chairman of the Jewish Community of Berlin

Instead, I must take this opportunity to express my anger and sadness at the criminal and insidious terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7 of this year.

Gefördert mit Mitteln des Landes Brandenburg