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MESTO in Egypt
A Musical Mission That Made a Difference During the
16th Arab Music Conference and Festival
Rave Reviews from Top Critics and Media...
More Invitations to Perform Worldwide
Dr. Ratiba El-Hefny, Festival Chair and Director
"MESTO performance has elevated the standard and put Egyption Music at a high international level...

...and what a performance at the Cairo Opera House!

Nabil Azzam leading MESTO

The orchestra presented a truly special concert under an inspired conductor

Our star guest singer Dalal Abu Amneh of Nazareth captured the audience

Dalal sang three songs and was the darling of the critics

Tar virtuoso Mohammad Omranifar enchanted the Egyptian audiece with music from Azarbijan Sanada Ghalmaz

The organizers of the Festival provided numerous tours including a special tour to the Arab Conservatory of Music where a big statue of Muhammad 'Abd al-Wahhab stands

Our musicians at the Great Pyramid in Guiza; A treat from Mr. Fadel Gad of Joy Travel International. MESTO received a special official invitation from Dr. Zahi Hawwas

MESTO members at the feet of the Sphinx..A rare moment

The main enterance of the Arab Music Conservatory. In 1932 an international music conference was held here to discuss various topics regarding the progression of Arabic music.

On the second floor of the conservatory our musicians were given a special visit at the
Museum of M. 'Abd al-Wahhab.

Mr. Ahmad Rashad curator of the Abd al-Wahhab Museum explains to MESTO in Arabic and Mr. Fahd Shaaban translates...

Qanun player Lilit Khojayan enjoys taking a photo of the shelf dedicated to the work of
Nabil Azzam on 'Abd al-Wahhab (his Ph.D. from UCLA 1990)

Durig our stay at the Umm Kulthum Hotel MESTO member Fahd Shaaban (right) had a rare opportunity of meeting Mr. Ahmad Hefney, renowned nay player (left).

Mr. Fadel Gad provided a wonderful trip, visit to the ancient sites and a great lunch...

Mr. George Kuhr in the middle of two very nice friends who accompanied MESTO on the trip to Egypt. Ms. Chisako Kanimaru and Major Ibrahim Jaber from Jordan, conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Jordanian Armed Forces.

Alexandria: Before our performance at the Sayyid Darwiche Opera House. We enjoyed a special seafood lunch at a restaurant on the Mediterranian Sea.

Back to the Umm Kulthum Hotel after the concert: Nabil and Dalal and the MESTO family


Great News MESTO in Egypt Great News

Dr. Ratiba El-Hefny, Chair, The 16th Music Conference and Festival 2007 sent her invitation to Maestro Nabil Azzam to perform with MESTO at the prestigous

Cairo Opera House

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at the Alexandria Opera House

First International Concert--more photos added

MESTO@Jerash Festival.Great concerts and important contacts and feedback

Maestro Azzam at the press conference introducing MESTO

Mr. Elias Libbis of Nazareth phographed the orchestra from all angles possible

Star singer Dalal Abu Amneh captivated the audience

In Amman concert (after Jerash) violinist Nabil Azzam performed "Unshudat al-Fann" by M. Abd al-Wahhab: A new arrangement and unique style so admired for the lyrical interpretation and good technique

An official photo of MESTO with the logo of the Jerash Festival

Star singer Dalal Abu Amneh was stunning and...gorgeous as usual. She premiered "Zahrat al-Urdunn" lyrics by Henri Zoghaib and music by Nabil Azzam

Santur virtuoso Kourosh Zolani (right) playing his composition "Shabnam"

Tar virtuoso Mohammad Omranifar on Tar (left) playing "Sanada Ghalmaz"

Maestro Azzam received rave reviews on his performance as conductor

What a treat! MESTO at the Northern Theatre in Jerash (built in 165 a.d)

(L-R) At the concert in Amman: Poet Henri Zoghaib (Lebanon) who wrote the new song "Amman"; Dr. Kifah Fakhoury, director of the National Conservatory of Music; Dr. Mohammad Ghawanmeh of al-Yarmuk University; a friend; Maestro Azzam and celebrated poet Samih al-Qasim (Palestine) who came specially to attend the performance!

A little off the chronology: On the eve of leaving Amman to Los Angeles our wonderful flute player Ms. Laura Halladay was run over by a car...Greeted at the hotel by Bob Applebaum (smiling, her left) Azzam (also smiling, her right) and very serious looks from Fahd Shaaban (back left) and Edward Shorrosh (right). At that evening Laura was 'treated' for a special dinner by (get this) the driver who hit her! what a great attitude. Laura is fine. Congratulations.

Dr. Raymond Jallow congratulates star singer Dalal and mestro Azzam in Jerash

The Jerash Festival also hosted the wonderful orchestra of Bahrain. Azzam had the pleasure of meeting maestro Ahmad Jumeiri and maestro Khalifa Zeiman

Courtesy of Dr. Tarek Shawaf, MESTO visited Petra. At the time of this photo, most members were 'busy' (or lost) trying to explore the greatness of the ancient city of Petra! one of the seven wonders of the world.

Important moments: Musicians arrive at the hotel (who didn't take photos?)

Concertmistress Leola Wagner leads the last group to the bus...Shaaban, Troy and Zolani are watching. MESTO was well appreciated and praized for its performance.

Media's Attention: NBC Channel-4 News reporting on MESTO concert in Jerash


Video Performances

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Best wishes to MESTO for the upcoming concerts in Jordan

Mr. Elias Rahbani-Lebanon; Prof. Issam El-Mallah-Germany; Mr. Henri Zoghaib-Lebanon; Mr. Safwan Bahlawan-Syria; Mr. Nagui El-Habashi-Sweden; Mrs. Helen Yi-Korea; Dr. Stanley Sheinbaum-USA; Bishop Riah Abul Asal-Jerusalem;

Star Singer Dalal with MESTO to

Jerash Festival in Jordan

July 28 and 29, 2007

In preparation for the upcoming concert at the Jerash Festival in Jordan, Palestinian star singer Dalal flew from Nazareth to Los Angeles with her husband Dr. Anan Abbasi in order to attend two rehearsals with MESTO. Our star singer will be singing the newly-composed song "Amman" (poem of Henri Zoghaib) at the Jerash Festival on July 28-29, 2007. Under Maestro Nabil Azzam, MESTO will be presenting two concerts and will also feature internationally acclaimed soloists: Muhammad Omranifar; Kousosh Zolani and Lilit Khojayan.

MESTO congratulates Ms. Lubna Alfarr the newly appointed general director of the Jerash Festival in Jordan. Mabruk for this important and creative position.

Maestro Azzam in Cairo and Nazareth Jan. 2007

More photos and details of the trip on "NEWS" (top right)

Maestro Azzam presents the MESTO Recognition Award to Professor Ratiba El-Hifney for her scholarly dedication and professional support of traditional Arabic Music. A truly unique personality.

At the Cairo Opera House (L-R) Mr. Rauf Sharbini; Dr. Muhammad Hamdy; Dr. Abdel Moniem Kamel, Dr. Nabil Azzam and composer Gamal Salamah

Rehearsing the new song "Amman" with star singer DALAL at the Azzam house in Nazareth

More photos and details of the trip on "NEWS" (top right)

Jerash in Hollywood

November 05 , 2006

Dr. Raymond Jallow, Co-chair addresses the audience

Consul of Jordan, Ayoub-Ambassador of Lebanon, Wehbe-Ambassador of Egypt Salahuddin with spouses

Guest Singer Zahra premieres "Amman" Lyrics of Henri Zoghaib, music by N. Azzam

Conductor Nabil Azzam and MESTO gave a wonderful performance: Lilit Khojayan is featured in Armanian composition for Qanun and orchestra (standing in back)

Kourosh Zolani performs his composition "Shabnam" for Santour and orchestra

Mohammad Omranifar, tar, captured the audience with his "Sanada Ghalmaz" from Azerbaijan

Mohammad Omranifar performs Sanada Ghalmaz---GET LIT, Jordanian Rap Group on Fire!

Mr. Mussa Nasser stunned the audience with Jordanian tunes on bagpipe---GET LIT couple

GET LIT sings Hizzy... and Lou Skoby performs Zorba which brought joy to the audience

Kourosh Zolani performs his "Shabnam" on Santur and Anna-Suzette was the audience sweetheart

"Time to Say Goodbye" Anna-Suzette and Zahra enchants the audience with "Fi Yum wi-Laila"and "Bhibbak Ya Libnan"

click here to know more about our successfully concert

To our friends: MESTO is preparing for a GRAND CONCERT that echoes in music and through music a sincere message of love. MESTO will host world-class musicians.

Her Majesty Queen Noor has agreed to co-chair MESTO concert "Jerash in Hollywood", the internationally celebrated Jordanian Music Festival that was cancelled recently due to the war in the Middle East. Above, with Dr. Hassan Sassi and Dr. Raymond Jallow representing "Friends of MESTO."

Concertmistress Leola Wagner gets an admiring look from Nabil Azzam before the downbeat

Nadia with her Arabic song

Before the Finale, maestro Azzam took a moment to greet the artists and the lovely audience

Last Armenian song with all 7 singers on stage

Photos by Samir Twair

This is the first concert MESTO performs in Glendale, CA. Under the extraordinary direction of Maestro Nabil Azzam, the orchestra accompanied nine singers seven of which sang in Armenian. All songs were arranged specially for MESTO. The list of the lovely and talented singers includes; Erna Hambardzumyan, Sosie Mardirosian, Salbi Mailyan, Gagik Badalyan, Mrine Abrahamyan, Varouhi Shahinian, Byuzand Azizyan, Nadia and Marinella. MESTO is fortunate to have collborated with Mr. Arlen Mirzuyan, a composer arranger and conductor living in Glendale, CA.
The concert also included poetry reading and some solo pieces that feature Armenian instruments such as Kanoon, Duduk and Dhol. Moon Productions, Inc. sponsored the concert which indeed was a musical and cultural show that will be remenbered...

MESTO @ ACCESS California Services...Feb. 4, 2006
Under the direction of Nabil Azzam, the program included variety of compositions both instrumental and vocal. Soloists were: Bob Applebaum, mandolin; Louis Skoby, bouzuki and Marinella Nittu, opera singer

Guest Star Singer Marinella Nittu with MESTO. In front, Dr. Raymond Jallow and two guests enjoy the concert.

Guests of ACCESS, The San Diego lovely group with Azzam


At the Roman Amphitheatre in Jerash, Jordan May 29, 2006

Director of the Jerash Festival, Mr. Jeryis Samawi; Jordanian actress Ms. Samira Khoury; Syrian Megastar Mr. Sabah Fakhri and MESTO director Nabil Azzam

MESTO octet in Washington 3-09-2006: L-R, Mohammad (on his cell phone) Hani; Lilit; Nabil; Roy; Hamdi a friend; Maurice. Top, T.J. and Kourosh

Here we go! Nabil Azzam on the pilot's seat of a Boeing 737 with his violin! After landing at LAX on Friday, March 10, a friendly conversation with AA Captain Bruce Smith ended by taking this photo (by the pilot) MESTO octet (below) performed at a welcoming gala hosted by Mr. A. Huda and Mrs. Samia Farouki for H.R.H. Prince Turki al-Faysal, the new Saudi Ambassador to Washington. March 9, 2006

MESTO octet (L-R) Hani Habash, T.J.Troy, Lilit Khojayan, Kourosh Zolani, Nabil Azzam, Mohammad Omranifar, Maurice Mitri and Roy Arslan (front) at the White House (outside!)


Who cares! On the way back playing @ Dullas Airport

MESTO at Zipper Hall, Dec. 10, 2005

Mae Nabil Azzam presents his dedicatory composition to Dr. Mohammad. Aliakbari, an Iranian world wide healer while Dr. Raymond Jallow (left) looks in admiration (November 8, 2005)

With With MESTO members (L-R) Najat, Soula Saad, Mohammad Omranifar, Fahd Shaaban, Dr. Aliakbari, Srur Lala and Joseph Chamaa
*** Here are some pictures from our trip to Dearborn, MI where MESTO performed at the inauguration of the Arab-American National Museum, April 24, 2005...Enjoy
On the bus in Dearborn...Snow and more snow
Flutist Laura Halladay meditates before the concert
Percussionist T. J. Troy busy with notes and music
Ud player Fahd Shaaban warms his fingers
Star Singer Woroud in Dearborn, MI
Nabil Azzam plays A'tini al-Nay with MESTO
Nabil Azzam and Joseph Chamaa with Great Hosts: Hanan Reda & Amal David (left) Michael Shamat (back), Maha Freij and Anan Ameri (seated), Nadia & Ed Youmans and Dr. Raymond Jallow (right) MESTO's sponsor from Los Angeles

    And what a wonderful tent under the...SNOW

Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center
Opera Singer Anna-Suzette, March 2004
Lilit Khojayan in the Carnival of Venice on her Kanun
Shelly Cohen, Bob Applebaum, Anna-Suzette, conductor Azzam and Lilit Khojayan after Christmas concert 2004
MESTO members enjoy a festive dinner well-deserved
Recording "The Crescent" at Entourage Studio, North Hollywood

Mixing "The Leopard" with sound engineer Scott Fraser

Star Singers: Hamid (left), Ahmadi (center) and conductor Azzam

Nabil Azzam and MESTO in rehearsal

One of the first rehearsals-December 2000

More Pictures? Click on Past Concerts


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