The ESNCM Orchestra

The ESNCM Orchestra comprises current and former students, teachers and friends of the ESNCM, and guest students from other music institutions. The orchestra gave its first performance at the Friends’ Boys School, Ramallah, in May 2004. From humble origins it has developed into a 75-member ensemble. The orchestra delivers diverse programmes of orchestral music to local audiences, and the music is often introduced and discussed from the podium or from the stage by the students. In 2015, the ESNCM announced the appointment of Swiss conductor Elena Schwarz as the orchestra's Principal Conductor. Participating in the Orchestra provides a first-rate training experience for young Palestinian musicians, and possibilities for concerto performances by the ESNCM's advanced students and teachers.


The orchestra’s programmes include arrangements of traditional Arabic music, alongside music by the greats of classical music. Highlights have included the annual Nativity Church concert in Bethlehem (broadcast internationally on television), a performance of the Requiem mass by Gabriel Fauré in collaboration with the Jerusalem Chorus, events staged by Unicef and UNDP, the first orchestral concert in Hebron, and a concert performance in Dubai. Highlights of 2014 included Prokofiev's popular Peter and the Wolf, narrated in Arabic.


To be eligible for participation, students must normally have reached at least level 6 standard (ABRSM / ESNCM) on an orchestral instrument.


All enquiries regarding the ESNCM Orchestra should be directed to Ms. Zeina Khoury- Orchestra Manager:, +970-2-281-9156.


February 2017

Naseeb Azeez Shaheen Auditorium, Birzeit University
Conductor: Elena Schwarz
Soloists: Rand Khoury - cello, Tala Akkawi - guitar, Hiba Tahhan - French Horn

Unfinished Symphony (1st movt)


Cello Concerto in C Major (1st movt) - Soloist Rand Khoury


Fantasia para un gentilhombre (2nd movt)- Soloist Tala Akkawi

Al-Qasabji, arr. Øystein Bru Frantzen



Horn Concerto no.3 KV 447 (3rd movt) - Soloist Hiba Tahhan


Polovtsian Dances

Traditional, arr. Øystein Bru Frantzen

Hala Lala Laya

ESNCM Ensembles Concert 2016

Nasib Shaheen Auditorium - Birzeit University
Conductor: Jay Crossland
Soloists: The Palestine Girls' Choir
Words by Wadi' Deeb, Music by Salvador Arnita, arr. Oystein Bru Frantzen

Birzeit University Anthem

Words by Marouf al-Rasafi, Music by Salvador Arnita, arr. Mathilde Vittu


Words by Iskandar al-Khoury, Music by Salvador Arnita

Ya Shabab

Words by Fouad Srouji, Music by Suhail Khoury, arr. Kjetil Bjerkestrand

Salam li Ghazzeh

ESNCMO with PNO, Palestine 2016

Bethlehem Convention Palace
Al-Najah National University Auditorium, Nablus
Naseeb Aziz Shaheen Auditorium / Birzeit University
Conductor: Elena Schwarz
Soloists: Mohamed Najem, clarinet, Dima Bawab (soprano)
Alfredo Casella

Overture to Suite “à Jean Huré”

Giacomo Puccini

O mio babbino caro from “Gianni Schicchi”

Giacomo Puccini

Quando m'en vo from “La Bohème”

Agustín Lara


Salvador Arnita

Images of Palestine, from Suite no. 4 “Oriental Sketches”

Kinan Azmeh


Carl Nielsen

Aladdin Suite


Dar Annadwa, Bethlehem
Ramallah Cultural Palace (In collaboration with Concordia College Orchestra)
Bethlehem Convention Palace (In collaboration with Concordia College Orchestra)
ESNCM Branch Hall, Ramallah
Conductor: Mathilde Vittu
S. Prokofiev

Peter and the Wolf