The young pianists in Duo Amal were brought together by music to spread a message of hope.
When two pianists perform on the one instrument, sharing the same cramped stool, there’s no room for ego or rivalry. There’s definitely no room for a political agenda or religious conflict to get in the way of pure music-making.
Which is why Israeli-born Yaron Kohlberg and Palestinian Bishara Haroni chose to perform together under the name “Amal”, the Arabic word for hope.
Over the phone, I hear the same word spoken in two different accents. “Our idea is helping to represent the hope that we have for better communication between peoples,” Yaron explains.
His duo partner adds, “We believe that every problem can be solved through talk. Since music is a universal language, everybody can understand. It touches people in many ways. This might be the way forward.”
Certainly, there is a younger generation of musicians from turmoil-stricken parts of the Middle East starting to collaborate on the world stage, as in Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
Bishara, an alumnus of that inspiring ensemble, insists that Duo Amal “like the idea of the Divan Orchestra, but we’re not following a model – it’s just simple and...