Philadelphia, January 5, 2017 - Acclaimed cellist Udi Bar-David (Philadelphia Orchestra) and violinist Hanna Khoury (2010 Pew Fellow) headline From Tarshiha to Rabin Center - An Artistic Journey, the second concert of Intercultural Journeys' 2016-17 season, and a reflection on the tour undertaken by the artists and Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, in partnership with Intercultural Journeys. The two talented musicians recount their recent experiences in Israel, piecing together an intricate musical language and channeling the emotional intensity of the journey, as well as the hopes and challenges of traveling through communities threaded with tensions. The performance features musical selections from the tour, shared through live performance as well as the sound and video that documented their journey. Bar-David and Khoury will be joined by master percussionist Hafez Javier Kotain (2013 Pew Fellow).

Before the concert, Intercultural Journeys will host an installment of the popular Food for Thought series. Beginning at 4:30 pm, audience members are invited to participate in a casual potluck and discussion led by a local scholar or community organizer. Panelists for this installment of Food for Thought include Reverend Judith Sullivan and Rabbi David Strauss, and the panel will be moderated by Dr. Ian Lustick.

The concert will take place at 7pm in the Ibrahim Theater at International House. Tickets are $15 for General Admission, $10 for IHP members, and $8 for students. To purchase tickets, visit or call 215-387-5125, ext. 2.


Udi Bar-David & Hanna Khoury: An Artistic Journey

Sunday, January 22, 2016 - 7pm

Ibrahim Theater, International House (3701 Chestnut Street)



Udi Bar-David, an American Israeli cellist is widely considered one of the most versatile cellists in the world today. Equally at home as a classical cellist and an innovative improviser of music of all genres, he has enjoyed performing on international stages with both classical and ethnic musicians from all over the world.

An acclaimed soloist, Mr. Bar-David performed with leading orchestras in Israel and recorded at the Jerusalem Music Center, founded by Pablo Casals. He served as principal cello in the International Youth Orchestra, the National Orchestra of New York, American Ballet Theatre, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia and in 1987 joined The Philadelphia Orchestra, of which he served on the Board of Directors and as the artistic coordinator for the Hear O Israel concert at the Core States Center. 

Mr. Bar-David has toured Europe, Palestine, Israel, Asia, and across the United States with world-renowned artists, including Jie Bing Chen, Nawang Khechog, Hanna Khoury, Wu Man, Diane Monroe, R. Carlos Nakai, Kareem Roustom, Mandy Patinkin, and Simon Shaheen. Together they have made numerous appearances on international radio and TV programs. Udi Bar-David has recently founded Artolerance-  an important new effort to expand the crucial role music and the arts play in fostering understanding and tolerance between communities in conflict. 

Hanna Khoury, an Arab-Israeli, is a violinist and violist trained in both Western classical and Arabic classical music styles. In addition to directing the Arab Music ensemble at the University of Pennsylvania, which intersects with his work as an Artist-in-Residence and Music Director with Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture in Philadelphia, Khoury is the Artistic Director of the Arabesque Music Ensemble, with whom he has led nationwide tours, performing traditional Arab music in major venues and universities. He is also a violinist and Arab music advisor with Intercultural Journeys, frequently performing with cellist Udi Bar-David. Khoury recently toured with Lebanese superstar Fairuz and played lead violin with Iraqi singer Kazem Al-Saher and GRAMMY winner Youssou N'Dour. In addition, Khoury can be heard on several pop recordings including GRAMMY-nominated song "Beautiful Liar" (featuring Beyonce and Shakira), and "Love and Compassion" (featuring Paula Cole and Kazem Al-Saher).  Khoury recorded strings for Shakira’s GRAMMY performance of "Hips Don’t Lie," and he has collaborated with musician/composer Kareem Roustom on multiple projects, including an Arabic jazz album with El-Zafeer Ensemble. A recipient of the America-Israel Scholarship and Qattan Foundation Award, Khoury graduated Magna Cum Laude with departmental honors from UCLA with a Bachelor's in Economics and Music Performance, and obtained his Master's degree in Music from Temple University. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of Pennsylvania. Hanna Khoury is a recipient of the 2010 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, which is awarded each year to 12 Philadelphia artists who are of exemplary talent. 

Hafez Javier Kotain, an accomplished master percussionist, is fluent in both Arab and Latin rhythms — a fluency he honed in his native countries of Syria and Venezuela. He began studying the doumbek in Syria at the age of seven, first performed on stage at age nine, and went on to study with master Syrian percussionist Hady Jazan, winning the national percussion competitions in Syria for five consecutive years. In Venezuela he studied percussion at the TMV Institute for Music in Valencia, where he also taught a variety of percussion styles blending Arab and Latino music to youth. Kotain has performed with Lebanese composer/musician Marcel Khalife and Al Mayadine Ensemble in their latest US and Canada tour for “Fall of the Moon: An Homage to the Poet Mahmoud Darwish.” He has also toured with Syrian singer George Wassouf in Canada and the US, and has performed in Philadelphia with acclaimed artist Sting and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Kotain has worked with Al-Bustan for over three years as a performer and teacher in various school and community-based programs.