Edward Said Conservatory 25th anniversary celebration at Shaheen Auditorium

On the stages of Birzeit University’s Naseeb Aziz Shaheen Auditorium, more than 80 musicians from all across Palestine and diaspora celebrated the 25th anniversary of Edward Said National Conservatory of Music on December 30, 2018.

Conservatory teachers, students, and alumni, as well as distinguished Palestinian musical groups including the Palestine National Orchestra, the Palestine Youth Orchestra, the Conservatory Orchestra, and the Oriental Music Ensemble performed a special program of Western and Arabic music.

The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music is a Palestinian conservatory with branches in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus, and Gaza. It was established in 1993 with only 50 students, and today the number of students enrolled has increased to more than 2000. The conservatory was first launched as the National Conservatory of Music, falling under the umbrella of the Board of Trustees of Birzeit University, who offered the conservatory premises in the university board building in Ramallah and appointed the following founders to the Supervisory Board at the Conservatory: Salwa Tabri, Rima Tarazi, Amin Nasser, Nadia Abboushi, and Suhail Khoury.

The conservatory offers two programs of study: first, the regular program, which consists of training in a Western or Arabic instrument with examinations in eight grades. The program is set up in a manner to give students the broadest possible education in both Arabic and Western music cultures. The second program is the amateur program, in which private lessons are given to amateurs and music lovers without having to comply with the regular curriculum or to sit for exams.

Both programs are designed for all segments of the Palestinian community that believe in the role of music in deepening and maintaining Palestinian identity and culture, in addition to raising intellectual generations.