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Israeli Klezmer wins UNESCO Prize

It happened for the first time in the history of musical festivals ever organized in Muslim countries: Israeli group won UNESCO prize.

"Lama Lo!", Israeli ensemble of folk music, became a prize winner of Shark Taronalari (Oriental Melodies) International Musical Festival, held this August in Uzbek city of Samarkand. Jerusalem musicians were the best among representatives of 35 countries and won the special UNESCO prize "For interactive dialogue through music".

The international festival jury comprised representatives of such countries as Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan, Bangladesh; Israel was represented by Dan Golan, the director of Music Department of Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Ms. Bella Kresnina, the director of "Lama Lo!" and the head of Israeli delegation, emphasized that "our success was remarkable not only because we proved to be the best on the background of very strong and talented musicians from many countries of the world, but also because we promoted Israeli art at the international level."

Among the winners of the festival there were musicians from Iran and Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. And Israeli musicians were happy that their artistry was recognized not only by the competent jury, but also by their colleagues- contestants and the audience. The spectators heartily welcomed the whole group, and especially Roman Kekhman, the clarinetist, and the charming singer Esti Svidensky.

Yuri Povolotsky, "Lama Lo!" musical director and the author of practically all compositions performed by the group, accented that "the very formula of the UNESCO prize – "For interactive dialogue through music" – seems to be very explicit and specific in this case since our performance strives to such a dialogue between Jewish art and the souls of our audience, regardless their nationalities, confessions, and the system of cultural values".

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