For many years now, Sarband has been building breathtaking bridges between cultures and religions [….] Their performances count among the most exciting and beautiful concerts in the entire, extensive Early Music scene […]” Kritisches Journal der Alten Musik, 2012

The highly esteemed Sarband Ensemble offers a unique and inspiring combination of early Western music and music of the East that spans from the Ottoman Empire till China. Composed of gifted musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds, Sarband has performed alongside some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic, The King’s Singers and many more.

Sarband ensemble will present a special concert for the Israel Festival, focusing on the most significant European composers of the Ottoman Empire – Ali Ufki or Wojciech Bobowski of Poland and Prince Cantemir of Russia.

The Polish church composer, Wojciech Bobowski was captured by the Tartars and sold as a musician and composer to the Ottomans. He left behind three volumes of Turkish music transcribed into western musical notation as well as original compositions inspired by Turkish music. Prince Cantemir, a captive of the Ottoman Court for a long period of time, developed a special notation system with which he created an extensive chronology of Ottoman music, thus becoming the most important researcher and composer of music of this kind. Along with Bobowski and Cantemir, the program will also highlight other important European composers influenced by the musical styles developed under Ottoman rule, which were integrated into their own works of western classical music.

Sarband Ensemble was established in 1988 and is directed by musicologist Dr. Vladimir Ivanoff. Under Ivanoff’s direction, the ensemble takes us on an uplifting musical journey. The audience is given fascinating insight into an intercultural discourse which took place in the Ottoman Empire of the 18th century and its remarkable product – unique music weaving together elements of both east and west.

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