Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ebony & Ivory... Living in Perfect Harmony

His name is Yaron Kohlberg, and he's a pianist from Israel. What impressed me upon first reading his bio (other than the fact that he's quite a handsome lad!) is that he's only 27, and already he has clinched numerous international awards and travelled the world, sharing his gift.

It's a gift he was born with, with both parents being musically-inclined. His mum was a performing violinist with an orchestra, while his dad played the piano, albeit not professionally. But Yoran tells us that it was a demanding Russian piano teacher around the time he was 10 that really made him recognise his talent and set him on the path of professional musician-hood.

When he yawned and asked for coffee, I knew we would bond! *LOL* When Stan was reading the Business News on-air, I ran upstairs to grab some coins and then down to the vending machine to get him some. He had arrived in Singapore from Mumbai, and prior to that, was performing in Poland.

And he's such a charming young man who spoke English proficiently and exuded an air of quiet confidence. That was how I felt about Hen Lasker too, an Israeli filmmaker I interviewed for International Women's Day last year. But I digress!

The reason Yaron is in town is because the Embassy of Israel is staging a one-night-only concert featuring two accomplished young pianists from Israel for the Singapore community. What's heartwarming is that Yaron Kohlberg is Jewish, and Bishara Harouny is Arab, and despite their religious differences, they will be playing side by side on stage, and in complete harmony.

Hmm, now doesn't that remind you of the song 'Ebony & Ivory'? *grin*

Pianist Yaron Kohlberg & Idit Abu, Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of Israel join us in The Living Room.

The concert is entitled Israeli-Arab Piano Duo Concert Gala, and it's held at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts on Thu 22 April, for one night only. It promises to be a spectacular show! And joining Yoran in The Living Room to tell us more is an "old friend" I interviewed with filmmaker Hen Lasker last year, when we did an IWD special on Women in the Israeli Army. Her name is Idit Abu, and she's Deputy Chief of Missions with the Embassy of Israel here.

Well, we're all crossing our fingers now that Bishara makes it to Singapore by tomorrow. He was stuck in Berlin due to the Icelandic ash cloud that has paralysed air travel all across Europe...

Yes, every day this week, Stan & I experienced the volcanic ash cloud's impact on The Living Room. We've had at least one guest missing on our couch each day this week! That's how connected we all are these days, isn't it? The world's become a Global Village.

And so, more than ever, I feel we need to be building bridges. Lots of bridges. Everywhere. And through ways & means beyond politics. And music is one of them. Music has the ability to transcend language, culture, and religious differences. And I take my hat off to the Embassy of Israel for recognising that, and for putting forth this message of peace & hope through this concert. We wish Yaron & Bishara all the best!!!

Israeli-Arab Piano Duo Concert Gala
Thu 22 April
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Campus 3)
Pre-register by emailing


Sangeetha said...

Bishara did make it and the concert was spectacular! Thanks for having Yaron and Idit on the show! :)


Pam said...

It was our pleasure, sangeetha! :D I always enjoy talking to Idit, and the embassy has such interesting events! I will try to be there for their next IWD event. i missed it this year..