April 1, 2008
March 20, 2007
Another round of MESTO's program connecting with the
Arrived in Cairo Jan. 18, 2007
The sign of the Mohamed
Abdel Wahab street in Cairo.
The interior of the Marriott Hotel in
Zamalek, Cairo where Azzam stayed during the trip.
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...
The stage of the Cairo Opera House where
MESTO is expected to perform in Fall 2007
Dr. Abdel Moniem Kamel
(M) Chairman, Cairo Opera House
gave Maestro Azzam a very warm welcome. Mr.
Rauf Sherbini, Dr. Monammad Hamdy, Dr. Kamel, Nabil Azzam
and composer Gamal Salamah.
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
Mr. 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 Egyptian artist.
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.
December 19, 2006
August 10, 2006
August 4, 2006
July 18, 2006
June 30, 2006
June 29, 2006
Amman, May 29, 2006
Amman, May 30
Beirut, May 31
May 24, 2006
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
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
More to come!
Guest artists at the MESTO rehearsal
international concert of MESTO
Roman Amphitheatre in Jerash
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.
Maestro Azzam on a business trip to the
UAE, Jordan and Nazareth. Meetings and more meetings!
MESTO shines at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman.
Congratulations to our 1st violinist Dr. Dimitri Olyvski
for earning his Ph. D. in violin performance from UCSB.
News about our successful concerts echoes
all over the states.
Conductor Azzam and the orchestra presented two remarkable
As mentioned on homepage, Maestro Nabil Azzam visited number
of countires in May-June 2009...Here is some authentice
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
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 friend
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
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.
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.
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.
Currently she is applying for work in music education, educational
research or developing arts curricula for public school
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
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 MESTO.
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
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.
HM 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 great music!
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 from Left.
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
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.
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
MESTO received 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. Congratulations...