had created Hall
of Fame list of our beloved patrons
who supported the orchestra in many ways throughout its
establishment. Please click on the "Patronage"
buton on the menu on the right of homepage.
orchestra is preparing for the post COVID phase...Music
Music and more Music
CORONA PANDEMIC has hit the music industry
Oct. 2014--The orchestra members are excited
about premiering the new composition Mariam composed by
their conductor maestro Nabil Azzam. This composition
is for violin and orchestra. It will be premiered at the
October 18 concert in Downey, CA.
Feb. 2013--Maestro Azzam on a business
trip to the UAE, Jordan and Nazareth. Meetings and more
Feb. 7--MESTO shines at the Royal Opera
House in Muscat, Oman.
June 2012--Congratulations to our 1st
violinist Dr. Dimitri Olyvski for earning his Ph. D. in
violin performance from UCSB.
December 2010 --News about our successful
concerts echoes all over the states.
Conductor Azzam and the orchestra presented two remarkable
May-June 2009--As mentioned on homepage,
Maestro Nabil Azzam visited number of countires in May-June
2009...Here is some authentice shots
This unique group of friends gather on Sunday morning
in Reineh near Nazareth to have coffee and mana'iesh (...Arabic
pizza) at the house of Abu Qassim. Just come and relax
Star singer Sabah "Sabbuha" between two talkative
friends...Zoghaib and Azzam
Lebanese singer Ghassan Saliba and singer Joseph Azar
with Nabil Azzam
With violinist George, son of legendary Wdie al-Safi exchanging
This is the first WOW at Dubai airport...unbelievable
Hotels are loaded with original art..here is a special
Traditional tent at Abu Dhabi ministry of arts and cultures
Well, Salim Azzam finally got his present...his oud
The very first customer at the opening night of Crystal
Hotel in Abu Dhabi
Welcome to the 44th floor of the holel...
Nabil doesn't miss malls in LA but in Dubai it's a different
Lovely, clean, diverse, safe and hospitable hotels at
Will complete the cycle with the music of MESTO...
Happy 46th Wedding Anniversary to our great musician and
The famous bassoonist (and pianist) Mr. Charlie Gould
and his talented wife pianist Erika Zador...Congratulations
from the MESTO Family. What an amaizing couple!
Here are some photos of star-singer Karima
of Morocco. She visited Los Angeles for rehearsals with
Karima was showered with calls from fans
Around the table...Mr. Muhammad Rkha, Karima, Dr. Naji
Jurdi, Nabil Azzam and Fahd Shaaban
Nabil Azzam and Karima
Singing with the orchestra under Azzam...total dedication
MESTO musicians loved working with talented Karima
A very special moments...enjoying singing with Dr. Jurdi
at the break
Greeted by Dr. Raymond Jallow, Chair, Friends of MESTO
Mrs. Chisako Kanimaro admires Karima and her style of
Nabil Azzam in the Middle East July-August
With Prof. Ratiba El-Hefny, Cairo Opear House
Ambassador of Palestine to Egypt, the Honorable Nabil
Two small ouds (Zain size) are being delivered to Azzam
in Cairo. Oud maker Issam al-Waziri and son Islam string
the at the Umm Kulthum Hotel
One Zain-size oud is presented to the 11-month old Razi
Libbis in Nazareth
Azzam with Palestinian Minister Nabil Shaath
Dr. As'ad Abd al-Rahman (second from left)
invited special frinds over dinner to meet Nabil Azzam
in Amman, Jordan
With musician Dr. Kifah Fakhouri head of the Conservatory
There are no words to describe the beauty of the nature
With star singer Tony Hanna (second from left) and friends
Nabil Azzam and star singer Tony Hanna...an unusual cup
of coffee at his home in the quiet Lebanese village M'aad
far from any sound polution! Birds and the music of the
morning wind. The only place Tony Hanna calls it home
April 1st (AKA April Fool's Day) is a special day for
MESTO: Our concertmistress Leola Wagner's birthday. Orchestra
members celebrated this occasion with her favorate chocolate
cake. After the intermission the orchestra proceeded with
the rehearsal on "Baalbek in Hollywood" of April
20, 2008 at Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School
of Music, Los Angeles.
While MESTO is preparing for the upcoming concert on April
20, 2008 contacts have been made with top Lebanese your
singers to make her American debut during the concert
Baalbek in Hollywood. The concert will also include a
prominent singer from Los Angeles to sing three great
Lebanese "watani" songs. Check frequently for
more exciting news.
Happy 7th Anniversary MESTO September
19th. hosted by Friends of MESTO
MESTO will have 3 rehearsals in July
in preparation to the first international concert in Jordan...our
staff is in high gear.
Iva Katalieva and Claire
graduated from USC with master's
degree in violin
performance. She studied under professors Margaret Batjer
and Endre Granat. Her recital will take place in the fall,
2007. In addition, Iva has already recorded her first
CD that includes selective works for violin.
Last summer, Ms. Iva Katalieva was chosen as concertmistress
of Aegean Symphony in Greece under the baton of Maestro
George Skipworth. The orchestra played Scheherazade by
Rimsky-Korsakov and Iva also performed the violin concerto
by Tchaikovsky. The orchestra performed in Athens and
island of Lesvos.
our violist, graduated from USC's Rossier School of Education
with master's degree in teaching
on May 11th, 2007. Along with a master's degree, she will
also receive a multiple subject (Kindergarten-6th grade)
teaching credential. Claire plans to also fulfill the
requirements for supplementary credentials in teaching
music and art in kindergarten-9th grade.
Currently she is applying for work in music education,
educational research or developing arts curricula for
public school students.
In the meantime Claire will continue to work on her own
musical and artistic projects with MESTO and other programs.
Palestinian star singer
Dalal in her rehearsal on the newly composed song "Amman"
composed by Nabil Azzam after a poem by famous Lebanese
poet Henri Zoghaib. The performance during the Jerash
Festival on July 29 will also include a song of Wardah
by Muhammad 'Abd al-Wahhab.
And who can ignore Hollywood? Dalal couldn't
...and more rehearsals on the new program
of Jerash Festival
Dignitaries from the Asian commumity attended
MESTO rehearsal. Mrs. Chisako Kanimaru (top photo, second
from right) is a true supporter of the orchestra invited
key figures who will put together a concert featuring
Maestro Nabil Azzam visited
in Cairo and Nazareth to meet with officials and top artists.
Here is a brief pictorial documentation of the trip. Enjoy
Professor Issam El-Mallah
(Egypt-Germany) greets his friend Azzam at the hotel.
He left to Germany the following day! His professional
contacts were very instrumental
Maestro Azzam presents the MESTO Recognition
Award to Professor Ratiba El-Hifney
for her scholarly dedication and professional
support of traditional Arabic Music.
Mr. Mofied Fauzi,
a celebrated Egyptian jounalist and TV personality watched
with Azzam the performance of MESTO on DVD. He is waiting
for the orchestra to arrive in Cairo! He enthusiastically
commented : You have done a marvelous job with this wonderful
Dr. Khayri Malat and
Dr. Amel Ayad working on a new
big project: Research of ancient Egyptian music that goes
back to the time of the Pharoahs...
Dr. Abdel Moniem Kamel
(M) Chairman, Cairo Opera House
gave Maestro Azzam a very warm welcome. Mr.
Dr. Monammad Hamdy, Dr. Kamel, Nabil Azzam and composer
gave his blessing for inviting MESTO to perform in Cairo...details
Hallway decorated with photos of previous
directors of the Cairo Opera House.
Ms. Jehan Morsi
has just received today her appointment as responsible
of the Arabic Music Programs at the Opera House
Do you see 'tripples?' That's right. This
is the "Oriental" Piano capable of playing Arabic
scales invented by Najieb Nahhas in the early 40's of
20th century. It's on desplay at the artifacts musuem
of the Cairo Opera House.
Azzam examining the bronze bust of the
late Egyptian composer/singer Muhammad Abdel Wahhab
And of the legendary Egyptian singer Umm
Celebrated Egyptian poet
and lyricist Abdel Rahman Abnudi
(Left) and Ud virtuoso Dr. Hussein
Saber (R.) Abnudi has written songs for star
singer Abdel Halim Hafez. He promised to dedicate a song
for Azzam so he'll compose the music.
Azzam at the Museum of M. Abdel Wahhab
at the old Conservatory of Arabic Music on Ramsis Ave.
Three images of the composer at
three different stages of his life appear at the entrance
to the Museum.
Ahmad Rashad, director of the
Museum explains to Azzam the computerized archive of the
life and work of Abdel Wahhab.
Celebrated Egyptian composer/conductor
Omar Khayrat is one
of the most successful musician and movie composers in
Mr. 'Alaa Sabir,
a young promissing ud virtuoso, son of Dr. Husein Sabir
also his ud teacher. 'Alaa is a member of the Omar Khayrat
Mrs. Lotus Abdel
Karim, Editor of "al-Shumu'" magazine
talks about her high regards of the late M. Abdel Wahhab
and her struggle to better advance the public awareness
of the great composer. She has written
many articles about the composer and led several symposiums
on his music.
Mrs. Abdel Karim shares a moment with Azzam
and a marble bust of Abdel Wahhab (in his youth.) This
wonderful work is specially commissioned for her by an
In Nazareth, Nabil Azzam meets with his
friends and shares wonderful memories. At the office of
architect M. Abu Nofal
(R) and dentist Dr. A. Jammalieh
With members of the
Rotary Club in Nazareth and
his brother Dr. Halim Azzam, President (third from right)
In the city of Nazareth,
Mr. Atef Fahoum (R)
has a policy of open heart to all. At the coffee shop
of Mr. Fahoum friends are welcome to meet, chat and discuss
daily issues from politics to music! Nabil is always welcome
to spend time with leaders of the community...
Nazareth is known for embracing
arts and artists. At the old city hall, the work of Ms.
Cicile Kahle on the Lebanese star singer Fairouz is occupying
a vast space.
The young star singer DALAL
rehearses the new song "Amman" that will be
premiered in Jordan on July 2007 at the Jerash Festival.
Syrian master singer Mr.
Aboud Bashir (middle between concertmistress
Leola Wagner and Nabil Azzam) visited MESTO at the Dec.
19 rehearsal. He was accompanied with Maestro Wael
Kakish (top right) conductor of the Kan Zaman
community ensemble of Arabic music in Los Angeles. MESTO
musicians were very pleased to hear Mr. Bashir sing for
them some traditional tunes.
Stanley Sheinbaum is a good
friend of Nabil Azzam and sponsor of MESTO. Lately he
has written a nice letter to Her Majesty Queen Noor regarding
the upcoming concert "Jerash
in Hollywood 2006." Thank you Stanley.
Queen Noor of Jordan
visited Los Angeles on a lecture tour. Co-chairs of "Friends
of MESTO" Drs. Raymond
Jallow and Hassan Sassi had the chance to meet
with the Queen for a short time.
Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein has
agreed to co-chair "bringing Jerash to Hollywood
in 2006", the internationally celebrated Jordanian
Music Festival that was cancelled recently due to the
war in the Middle East.
The Jerash Festival
for Art and Music that was scheduled
to start in Jordan July 26, 2006 has be postponed
due the lates development in the Middle East. Mr. Jeryes
Samawi, director general of the Festival writes in his
formal announcement to all participants today.
The official announcement
to the orchestra
Opera singer Anna-Suzette
is being told the Festival is postponed!!!
MESTO cellist Ms.
Meghan Askins has received her Master Degree
in Music from the University of California, Riverside.
What makes this degree so special to the orchestra is
that her topic reads "Hitting
the Red Notes: Arab/American Encounters and Musical Citizenship
in MESTO. Congratulations to us all for your
achievements. We are so proud of you.
Askins at MESTO rehearsal.
FROM AMMAN BY PHONE--Poet
Jeryis Samawi, director
of the Festival to
Nabil Azzam: Jerash Festival
is waiting for MESTO, welcome to Amman and bring your
In preparation for the Jerash Festival
in Amman, Jordan, Maestro Nabil Azzam met with Chairman
of the Jerash Festival, Director general of Ministry of
Education, poet Jeryis Samawi,
below, and Mrs. Lubna Farr.
What a surprise to meet
with singer Isma'l Khader and Syrian legendary singer
Sabah Fakhri, second
And, for the first time
in Beirut, Lebanon, there was a very special treat to
connect with an icon of modern Lebanese music Mr. Elias
Rahbani and a young Syrian Superstar singer
Ms. Shahed Barmada.
A promising talent with great potential for collaboration
...and who deosn't know
the famous Lebanese poet and song writer Mr.
Henri Zoghaib! He wrote a special song dedicated
to Jordan "Amman" to be premiered in Jordan
with Palestinian star singer Dalal
during the "Jerash Festival" 2007
MESTO will perform at the
South Theatre in Jerash, Jordan! Nabil Azzam awaits the
orchestra with open arms...
After becoming a
US citizen: Dr. Nabil Azzam to visit
Nazareth, Amman and Beirut.
The 12-day trip is in preparation for the performance
of MESTO @ the Jerash Festival on July 30 and 31.
Azzam will meet with number of artists including Maestros
Elias Rahbani, Mansour Rahbani, Mr. Henri Zoghaib (poet,)
and Super Star Ms. Shahed Barmada and Tony Hanna among
others. Nabil will return to Los Angeles on June 5.
May 3, 2006
Nabil Azzam with Polish
former president Mr. Lech Valesa and Dr. Raymond Jallow
at the annual meeting of Arab-American Institute dinner
in Washington, DC where awards of the Kahlil Gibran Foundation
distributed. Queen Noor of Jordan also attended the event
and presented an award of her late father Najeeb Halaby
to Senator John Sunun
MARCH 25, 2006
Meeting with HRH Prince Turki al-Faysal
during his visit to LA. Dr. Raymond Jallow, Dr. Hassan
Sassi, HRH Prince Turki, Maestro Nabil Azzam and his daughter
March 19, 2006
of MESTO, a new support
group is established.
Dr. Hassan Sassi
(left) Dr. Raymond Jallow
and Maestro Nabil Azzam met in Hollywood to launch the
new group headed by the two wonderful friends of the orchestra
Ibrahim Naddaf and star singer May
Naddaf (Canada) visited MESTO on Feb. 21. MESTO
musicians had the chance to hear Mr. Naddaf improvise
on his Qanun. May also sang one of her favorate songs
accompanied by MESTO without any preparation..
Photos by Mansour Mouasher
an invitation to perform at the famous internationalJerashFestival
in Jordan under the baton of Nabil Azzam, (August 2006.)
This will be the 25th anniversay of the Festival. A special
committee was formed to determine the program of the concert
that includes instrumental and vocal compositions. MESTO
plays variety of both Arabic and classical music. Renouned
Jordanian oud player Sami Khoury
will be one of the orchestra's guest artists...
Stay tuned for an update.
In the last concert, at
Zipper Hall in Los Angeles, MESTO honored five of its
members. They were given a special recognition for their
years of serving their community with their exeptional
talent. The five are: Charlie Gould (bassoon); Joseph
Chamaa (violin); Tom Jones (clarinet); Hans Phillips (viola)
and concertmistress Laola Wagner (violin). The ceremony
took place at the beginning of the second half of the
concert. Dr. Raymond Jallow and maestro Nabil Azzam presented
the awards among the cheering orchestra and the audience...Congratulations.
MESTO is now in association
with American InterContinnental
University. Students of this institution are
accepted to internship program with MESTO for credit.