MESTO Successful Concert, Oct. 18, 2014
The Downey Civic Theatre
Featuring music of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and also of Mozart
World premiere of Mariam by Nabil Azzam for violin
Works by Farid El-Atrache, Muhammad 'Abd al-Wahhab
Guest artists Rafi Kamal (Iraq) Samir Rizq (Syria) Hasan Minawi
(Jordan) and Maestro Nabil Azzam
World premiere of Mariam for violin and orchestra by Nabil
Conducting Min Ghair Laih of 'Abd al-Wahhab
Consul general of Egypt HE AL-Husseini 'Abd al-Wahhab and
Mr. and Mrs. Adel Eskandar of Layali Zaman, Drs. composer
Sami and Mary Farag,
Dr. Abu Bakr El-Tawansy,Nabil Azzam and Mr. and Mrs, Maged
Girgis of Layali Zaman Ensemble
Dr. Sami Asmar of Turath Ensemble
Strings: violins, violas, celli and basses. Ethnic: qanun,
oud and mandolin.
Woodwinds include flute, oboe, clarinets and bassoons
The complete percussion section: Troy, Nahas, Payne and Martinelli
Our dedicated concertmistress Leola Wagner and Greorge Kuhr
Celli Belding (principal) and Votek and oud, Shaaban (also
unseen qanun and mandolin)
Azzam performs his violin concerto Mariam
Program included the instrumental works:
Mozart: symphony no. 40 (first
movement); Alla Turca
Atyaf (coktail) and Intal Hobb by
M. Abd al-Wahhab,
Mariam, for violin and orchestra
by maestro Nabil Azzam (World Premiere)
Min Ghair Laih, by M. Abd al-Wahhab
(orchestration world premiere, N. Azzam)
Lahn al-Khulud by Farid El Atrache
Dance of Abraham, by N. Azzam,
orch. Karim Roustom
Latest MESTO recrodings:
On Tuesdaday May 20th, 2014 MESTO
will record two major compositions that were
premiereed on the last concert in February: El
Mallah and the violin
both composed by maestro Nabil Azzam.
These recordings will appear on the upcoming CD of MESTO.
Maestro Azzam and Dr. Hassan Sassi present
Conductor's Award to
Composer and singer Mr. Nasser El-Mezdawi
(April 28, 2014)
MESTO proudly announces the release of the new CD
This CD includes
four Sama'is and four Longas.
The Downey Civic Theatre, Feb. 22, 2014
Nabil Azzam, music director/conductor
Karima Skalli, guest artists (Morocco)
Nasser El-Mezdawi, guest of honor (Libya)
Samba al-Qahira, Muhammad 'Abd al-Wahhab; Tutah,
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, W.A. Mozart; El-Mallah, Nabil
Azzam; Intal Hobb, M.A.al-Wahhab
Amal Hayati, M.A.al-Wahhab; Nour El-'Ain, Nasser
Violin suite in A Nahawand "Mutlaq", Nabil
Azzam; Naseem al-Rih, Marcel Khalifa;
Ana Albi Dalili, Muhammad al-Qasabji; Is'al Alayyah,
Bayni w-Baynak, Elias Rahbani; Nassam 'Alayna,
(Photos curtesy of Jay Calis)
Azzam conducts MESTO@ Downey Civic Theatre
Karima Skalli, the stunning and enchanting voice--great chemistry
Composer and performer Mr. Nasser El-Mezdawi moved the audience
with his HIT Nour El-'Ain
Azzam on his world premiere of El-Mallah for orchestra
Azzam performs his violin suite in A Nahawand "Mutlaq"
Our wonderful concert, October
5th 2013 at the Downey Civic Theatre
The program included Arab music, Spanish, Taiwanese and African...
A true celebration of multi-ethnic music program (see sponsorship
MESTO under Maestro Azzam at the Downey
Civic Theatre (photos courtesy of Mrs. Amani
Star singer HAMID sings Bitlumuni Laih
and Safini Marrah
Star singer Amal al-Refaie sings Fi
ADAAWE singers Phylliss Baily Brooks,
Monique Afenjar, Bridget Graham, Joselyn Wilkinson
and on the drums Dez Glover and Anindo Marshall (to the right
of the stage) playing along with the MESTO
percussion section (far left, Ava Nahas, back left Christopher
Payne, front T.J. Troy and right David Martinelli)
Photo by Samer Saba
Star singer Amal al-Refaie
This concert is sponsored by
individuals and organizations:
Drs. Hala, Hedab Al-Tarifi; Dr. Raymond Jallow;
Drs. Shawky and Fikria Hassan (Michigan)
Mr. & Mrs. Karim & Lily Karam: Dr. & Mrs. Nabil
And endorced by the following organizations: Los Angeles-Beirut
Sister City Committee
Jordanian American Association of Southern California; House
of Egypt; Egypt Cancer Network
PAWA; US-OMEN; Birzeit Society
Turath; AL-Awda; Arab-American Friends of Nazareth; Bethlehem
Society; PCRF; NAAPOC
M E S T OThe
Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman
February 7, 2012
MESTO under conductor Azzam
Guest star singer Dalal Abu Amneh of Nazareth...enchanting
singer and inspired conductor! she simply stunned her audience
both local Omanis and guests
Qanun virtuoso Lilit Khojayan shines in performing Jasmine
composed by Maestro Azzam
Azzam performs Unshudat al-Fann by M. 'Abd al-Wahhab. Principle
cellist Lisa Belding conducted the intro
His Excellency the American Ambassador to Oman Dr. Richard
Schmierer and his wife Sandy, Azzam, Dalal,
His Excellency Mr. Nasr Bin Hamood al-Kindy VP Board of Directors
the Royal Opera House in Muscat,
His Excellency Muhammad al-Zubeir, advisor for economic development
of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos.
Azzam is greeted by Dr. Issam El-Mallah, Advisor and Director
of music programs at ROHM
MORE TO COME SOON
The invitation sent out by the Art and Culture Organization
and the Greek Orthodox Parish Councel in the city of Nazareth
in recognition of the work and contribution of Maestro Azzam.
Feb. 22, 2012
at the community center of the Annunciation Church next to
Over 500 people attended this event that included music, memories,
ballet dance, poetry dedicated to
Azzam and a painting created on the stage...Mr. Nazir Mgally,
journalist and a close friend of Azzam "conducted"
Friend of Azzam, Mr. Ramez Jaraysi, the mayor of Nazareth
shared some memories and Ms. Odette Shomar wrote a nostalgic
piece that covered those days at the neighborhood and other
family ties to Azzam's parents
some memories are truely emotional and some concerns Mr. Mahmoud
Shawahdi's personal observation! also funny
Ms. Katy Jarjoura, a choir conductor and music therapist brings
up her use of MESTO's music.
She also read a message from the Board of Director of Arab-American
Friends of Nazareth
where Azzam is an active member in Los Angeles.
The talented singer Dalal Abu Amneh performed her song "Amman"
also composed by Azzam.
This original song was premiered at the Jerash Festival in
Brother of Azzam, Dr. and Mrs. Halim Azzam and sisters Nai'la,
Nabila and Nahida
Young ballerina Nadira Libbis dances to Azzam's violin. Original
painting by artist
Ms. Cicil Kahleh was inpired by the different program components
live on the stage. Title of paiting is yet to be named...
Singer Dalal Abu Amneh presents a special recognition to Maestro
Azzam for their long collaboration.
Dr. Azmi Hakim, chairman of the Greek Orthodox parish councel
presents the placque of high artistic excellence to Azzam.
Jounslist Nazir Mgalli (middle) addresses the attendees.
Alhan Achkar-Hillo and Nahawand Achkar daughter and son of
the late Maroun Achkar first violin teacher of Azzam
Poet Tamim Asadi presents a dedicatory poem to Azzam.
His performance sparked the audience while Azzam's school
Mr. Yousef Zaher shared his memory of Azzam while in 6th grade
playing the violin
Azzam was also recognized by a special group of intellectuals
who meet on
Wednesdays afternoon to discuss current social and artistic
On Feb. 29 Azzam attended their meeting and received their
recognition singed on behalf the group by Nabil Hayek, Esq.
(Left) The parish council of the Orthodox church; The Arts
and Culture committee and the
Orthodox Family Club awarded Azzam their prestigous plaque.
Singer Dalal Abu Amneh-Abbasi and Dr. Anan Abbasi presented
Azzam a very special plaque
as a token of appreciation to MESTO and his leading role in
the field of music.
(right) "Azzam, an ambassador of oriental music to the
West" Hadith al-Nas newspaper (Nazareth)
MESTO had two wonderful and successful concerts.
The Broad Stage on Friday, Dec. 3rd and in San Diego on Sunday,
Thank you our supportive and dedicated audience. We love you
and will continue to provide you with high level music and
MESTO would like to thank our guest artists for their participation:
Jimbo Ross; Yvette Holzwarth; Suhail Bachour; Anna-Suzette
Eblen; Prof. Joanna Medawar-Nachef;
Dr. Irene Behnan and the Coptic Orthodox Choir; Ms. Hanna
Muluneh and the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church Choir.
Jimbo Ross happily opens the concert with Have Yourself
a Merry Little Christmas
followed by Violinist/singer Yvette Holzwarth who sang I'll
be home for Christmas
and The Christmas Song (all arr.
by John Graves)
Professor Joanna Medawar Nachef, soprano, sang Silent Night
and Ikhtaliti, a Lebanese tune
(both in Arabic)
while maestro Azzam performed his violin copmosition The
Sheikh Dr. Saleh Kholaki recites from the glorious Qur'an.
Dr. Raymond Jallow welcomes the audience on behalf of Friends
Syrian-born singer and cantor Suhail Bachour with three eastern
hymns accompanie by MESTO (arr. Azzam)
Soprano Anna-Suzette Eblen with The Prayer (arr. J. Graves)
and Christmas Medley (arr. Shelly Cohen)
The Coptic Orthodox Choir of St, Peter and St. Paul in Santa
Monica under the direction of Dr. Irene Behnan
with two songs: Shere ne Maria
(accompanied by Fahd
Shaaban, 'ud) and Eparthenos
(arr. N. Azzam)
The Ethiopian Tewahedo Church Choir of Los Angeles performed
with MESTO two songs:
and Elil Bey Bethelehem
has received so many phone calls,
messages and e-mails from members of the audience praizing
Thank you all for your unprecedented support for both concerts
at the Broad Stage and the Musuem of Contemporary Art in La
The La Jolla concert: Photos to follow...
Our gurest artists, bassoonist Charlie Gould was received
in a great welcome and our guest singer Ms. Karima Skalli
electrified the audience.
Music director and conductor Azzam shined as always. He introduced
some of the pieces and the guest artists. More details later...
One of our sponsors wrote:
The annual Christamas concert: Los Angeles has never heard
such a variety of music!
San Diego concert: Well, let's put it this way...Not even
Arab orchestras perform at that level!
Thank you MESTO and Maestro Azzam who brought a high-class
performance to San Diego.
of presenting Christmas music! It's MESTO style
"When music plays a social role and brings people together"
The Annual Christmas Concert
Friday, December 3, 2010 @ 7:30 pm.
Under the baton of maestro Nabil Azzam, music director
Program includes an unprecedented and unaccompanied
Recitation from the
glorious Qur'an by
Sheikh Dr. Saleh Kholaki
A special performances by choir members of the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church
And choir members of the
Egyptian Coptic Church
St. Peter and St. Paul, Santa Monica
with guest artists
Dr. Joanna Medawar Nachef
Joanna Medawar Nachef
For the first time at the new and prestigious concert hall
The Broad Stage
Performing Arts Center, Santa Monica College
1310 11th street, Santa Monica CA, 90401
your tickets now!
Sponsors $100 (front seats) $75 and $50
Call (310) 795-4280
The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica
Program also includes: Eternal River, Scheherazade, As'aluka
ar-Rahila, Maribel, Watlz of the flowers, Trepak, The Crescent
MESTO back in San Diego
Hosted and organized by Friends of MESTO
Sunday, December 5, 2010 @7:00 pm
Museum of contemporary Arts, San Diego
700 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037
Guest Star Singer
Performing songs of Asmahan, Umm Kulthum, 'Abd al-Wahhab
Sayyid Darwish and Farid el-Atrache
For tickets call;
(619) 840-1945 Mr. Ibrahim Dayeh
(619) 549--4110 Mr. Tayseer Odeh
(619) 227-1181 Mr. Victor Khouri
(310) 795-4280 MESTO tickets line
Sponsors $100; 75 and $50
to Abu Dhabi 2010
MESTO was invited by the Abu Dhabi Authority of Culture and
to perform in the Sounds of Arabia Festival
on May 13th at the Abu Dhabi Theater.
Under the baton of music director maestro Nabil Azzam
MESTO performed a series of Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab masterpieces
including al-Nahr al-Khalid (Eternal River)
, Andah Alaik
, Kallimuni Tani
, and Unshudat
In addition, MESTO entertained their audiences with other MESTO
favorites like Muhammad Abdu's Leila Leila
by Farid al-Atrash
, and The Leopard
an original composition by Nabil Azzam
The concert included three vocal pieces Ya Habibi Ta'ala
La' Mush Ana
, and Inta 'Umri
featuring the golden
voice of guest artist Karima Skalli
MESTO conducted by Nabil Azzam at Abu Dhabi Theater
MESTO featuring Karima Skalli
MESTO in front of Emirates Palace (Abu Dhabi's 7-Star Hotel)
Coming soon! MESTO's new CDFull Mooon
selection of world music
Nabil Azzam met with master musician Mikis Theodorakis at his
residence in Athens. Mr. Theodorakis is holding a special baton
that Nabil presented to him. It's made out of olive wood from
Nazareth especially made for him. Mr. Theodorakis promised to
compose a new piece for MESTO to be premiered this year!
Nabil Azzam at the Sheikh Zayid Mosque in Abu Dhabi and a kind
invitation to the Presidential Palace
The Honorable Mr. Zaki Nusseibeh in his office at the Presidential
Palace in Abu Dhabi. Advisor of Ministry of Presidential Affairs;
Vice Chairman, Abu Dhabi Authority of Culture and Heritage.
With Mrs. Noura Joumblat, President of Beiteddine Festival, Lebanon.
and his band.
With composer/arranger and poet Mr.
start singer Abeer Nehmeh. Jan. 30, 2010
Lilit Khojayan performed Carnival of Venice by Paganini
Lilit Khojayan, qanun vistuoso and Charlie Gould is so loved by
the audience> Charlie performed two Arab songs specially arranged
for bassoon and orchestra by Nabil Azzam
The Composer's Award is presented to Mr. Shelly Cohen in recognition
to his numerous arrangements for MESTO for almost ten years. Salute!
Our great wind section: Laura Halladay, Armen Khatchatryan, Mandy
Fey-Carota, Tom Jones and Marzena Nabours (while Charlie Gould
performed his solo
Group photo: Mr. Sami Asmar, Nabil Azzam, Dr. Jihad Racy, Karima
Skalli, Dr. Barbara Racy and Dr. Munir Beken
MESTO at the Max Fisher Concert Hall in Detroit as part of the
6th Annual Gala
Karima Skalli "The Golden Voice" shines in front of
The first half was dedicated to instrumental compositions of Abd
al-Wahhab, Farid El-Atrache, Rahbani Bros. and Baligh Hamdi
Karima sings with MESTO under Nabil Azzam songs of Umm Kulthum,
Fairouz, Asmahan, Abd al-Wahhab and Sayyid Darwish
@ Casino Libnan, May 30-2009
Karima performed with mastery songs of great Egyptian singers
Flute virtuoso Laura Halladay performed Celtic Fantasia by Stephanie
Halladay and Azzam acknowledging composer Bennett
Oud player Fahd Shaaban in his debut on guitar! The active audience
insisted on repeating the intro of the song of Umm Kulthum with
the perfected solos of Qanun virtuoso Lilit Khojayan and Shaaban
on the guitar, Leola Wagner, violin...Maestro Azzam was so accommodating
with his prompt action. He stopped the orchestra and started the
Reserve your tickets early January 2009. Call tickets line (310)
The fabulous Moroccan singer Karima Skalli has earned her fame
throughout the Middle East thanks to her success in performing
concerts of Arab musical traditions.
(Performing Celtic Fantasia by Famous American Composer Stephanie
The orchestra performed variety of compositions from around
Soprano Anna-Suzette; Star-singer Dalal Abu Amneh and Maestro
Qanun virtuoso Lilit Khojayan performs "Jasmine" by
dedicated to Dr. Tarek Shawaf
Talented soprano Anna-Suzette Eblen sings "Memory" and
"Besame Mucho"..she's the darling of the audience.
The orchestra in full...
Star-singer of the Middle East the fabulos Dalal Abu Amneh arrived
from Nazareth specially to perform with MESTO only a day before
her first performance in the US. Dalal captured the hearts of
Dalal performing on of three songs: "Haddi ya Bahar,"
"Misru Allati," and "Fi Yum wi-Laila"
The audience gave MESTO and the soloists a standing ovation
Encore!!Dalal sings Egyptian song Biladi Biladi and Azzam accompanies
MESTO is appreciated by a diverse audience typical of Los Angeles
Right before the concert Maestro Azzam with the two fabulous singers
Anna-Suzette and Dalal Abu Amneh of Nazareth