On Thursday evening, March 23rd, we went to The Music Settlement in University Circle to attend a Foreign Policy Forum presented by the Cleveland Council on World Affairs (CCWA) titled “Art and International Cooperation: The Bridges Cleveland Helps Build” that highlighted the wonderful cultural attributes of Cleveland made possible by global collaboration.
The venue of the forum was a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Carina Van Vliet, CCWA’s Chief Executive Officer, wherein the participants were:
- Mr. Andre Gremillet, President and CEO of The Cleveland Orchestra
- Dr. Heather Lemonedes Brown, Virginia N. and Randall J. Barbato Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Cleveland Museum of Art
- Mr. Yaron Kohlberg, President of Piano Cleveland who was assisted in immigration matters by Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC
- Mr. Bishara Haroni, Founder and Director of ‘Bestival’ an international festival which brings together performances of Arab, Jewish, and traditional classical music.
Along these lines, Mr. Kohlberg, an Israeli, and Mr. Bishara, a Palestinian, both excellent pianists, joined forces around 2008 to form a piano duo called “Duo Amal” which has performed in several continents and shows “that music-making at the highest level can transcend political and national differences.”
In the course of the discussion, many of the terrific programs that the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Music of Art have bestowed upon the Northeast Ohio community over the years were talked through and the international cooperation that it took to bring them about was much praised.
As Ms. Van Vliet said at the conclusion, this has been “a feel-good conversation.”
The evening closed with the Duo Amal masterfully performing several selections including a beautiful piece based on both the Israeli and Palestinian National Anthems.