Israel Philharmonic Orchestra announces 'Global Hatikvah' to inspire hope and promote peace

Amid the rise of antisemitism all over the world, the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO) announced on Tuesday the launch of “Global Hatikvah,” an initiative to “inspire hope and promote peace” by uniting thousands of people worldwide in song.

Hatikvah translates to “the hope.”

The anthem celebrates nationhood and all that Israel means “as a place of safety and strength to Jews across the globe,” according to AFIPO, which shared details with Fox News Digital ahead of the announcement.

Jennifer Hughes, CEO of AFIPO, said the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has “used music to change the world since its inception.”

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No matter where they are, people are encouraged to submit recordings of the song, she and the organization said — and those recordings then will be combined into a single “virtual choir” to perform alongside the Israel Philharmonic.

This way, the group said, “thousands of voices can be showcased” in support of Israel.

The final video will premiere on May 14, 2024 — Israel’s Independence Day — in partnership with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) and the Canadian Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (CFIPO), the groups told Fox News Digital.

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is shown in Tel Aviv, at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium, during a recording of a children’s program for special war relief efforts. “Global Hatikvah” is an initiative to “inspire hope and promote peace” by uniting thousands of people worldwide in song. (American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic)

Hughes also told Fox News Digital, “Bronislaw Huberman founded the orchestra in 1936 quite literally to save lives, as nearly 1,000 musicians and their families escaped the Nazis and immigrated to Israel.”

The IPO is the leading orchestra in Israel. It is globally recognized as a world-class symphonic ensemble. AFIPO is based in New York City.

Ever since Oct. 7, 2023 — “the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust — the orchestra, as it always does, has used music to heal, to inspire and to connect,” Hughes said.

Since that day of terror, the orchestra “has performed frequently for the injured in hospitals and for displaced children and families in evacuation centers.”

It’s also performed “special war relief concerts for children and their families” at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv, its usual home base, she said.

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The “Global Hatikvah marries music’s timeless power to reach our hearts with the latest advancements in technology to make music together,” said Hughes.

She stressed, “I hope Global Hatikvah will provide connection and catharsis around the world,” given that music has a “unique, almost magical power to connect and unite us.”

Jennifer Hughes is CEO of American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in New York City. Ever since Oct. 7, the orchestra “has performed frequently for the injured in hospitals and for displaced children and families in evacuation centers,” she said. It’s also performed “special war relief concerts for children and their families” in Tel Aviv.  (Kareem Worrell)

Said Hughes, “When we sing together, we stand together … This project enables people all over the world to raise their voices as one and express a shared hope for brighter days ahead.”

To participate in the event and express hope and peace for all those impacted by war, terror and antisemitism, anyone can go online and learn more about the effort at https://globalhatikvah.org.

“Simply grab your smartphone or computer, sing along with the orchestra and submit your video to be included in the global chorus,” said Hughes.

Arranger Maxwell Karmazyn told Fox News Digital in emailed comments, “Most people don’t realize that the direct translation of Hatikvah is literally ‘the hope.’ This project reminds me that not only is hope possible — but important.”

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He added, “Nothing inspires hope as much as the language of music and people coming together to celebrate in song.”

Karmazyn is an ASCAP Award-winning composer, violinist, producer and songwriter.

He’s recorded for, and shared stages with, artists such as Stevie Wonder, Hans Zimmer, Andrea Bocelli, Earth, Wind, and Fire, John Legend and Lauryn Hill, among others.

“When we sing together, we stand together … This project enables people all over the world to raise their voices as one and express a shared hope for brighter days ahead,” said the CEO of American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO).  (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

His music can be heard on Netflix’s “Cobra Kai,” “The Snoopy Show” on Apple TV+, CBS Television’s “Bull” — plus “Blue Bloods,” the Dreamworks animated film “Trolls” and many other programs and productions.

“Music is the universal language,” said Karmazyn. “It is not divisive. It is not hateful. To me, it is the common denominator. It unites.”

So “my hope is that this piece can start a conversation on a local level, on a state level and on a global level. The more we communicate, the better off we are.”

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He said that given his training and background in scoring for film, “where I use music to tell a story, I approached this arrangement through a cinematic lens. The piece begins with one solemn voice — and crescendos, with one voice morphing into many.”

Maxwell Karmazyn is an ASCAP Award-winning composer, violinist, producer and songwriter. He’s recorded for, and shared stages with, artists such as Stevie Wonder, Hans Zimmer, Andrea Bocelli, Earth, Wind, and Fire, John Legend and Lauryn Hill, among others. He said the new rendition of Israel’s national anthem “begins with one solemn voice — and crescendos, with one voice morphing into many.”  (Elisha Knight)

In terms of how this project is unique compared to other projects he’s worked on in his career, Karmazyn said, “A project for media requires a group of musicians to be able to sync to a moving picture — and this project is no different.

“But I’ve never before planned for hundreds (potentially thousands) of individual singers to sing together like they are all in the same room.”

He said “the unique challenge” of blending all of “those individual performances from disparate corners of the globe and mixing them into a harmonious choir sound is a challenge I’m excited to dive into.”

Karmazyn said the “melody from ‘Hatikvah’ seems to have fairly disputed origins, although most sources agree that its first use was in Italy in the early 1600s, before the haunting melody spread throughout Europe.”

The group felt it was vital “for us to nod to this historic arrangement as a source of inspiration in the ‘Global Hatikvah’ composition,” he said.

At left, Lahav Shani, Israeli conductor, pianist and double bassist; at center (inset), composer and producer Maxwell Karmazyn; and at right, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra performing in Tel Aviv. (American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic/Elisha Knight)

He added, “The original version of ‘Hatikvah’ that is most commonly associated as the original orchestral arrangement is the Molinari orchestration that was first performed when the state of Israel was formed in 1948.”

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He also noted, “To tell a story that grows from one voice into many, the orchestration needed to reflect that growth. Uniquely, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Band joined us for the recording of ‘Hatikvah’ — resulting in an ensemble much larger than a typical symphony orchestra, and the composition needed to accommodate such a large group.”

(The above video is courtesy of American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra)

Said Karmazyn, “We begin with a single high note from the violins as the strings enter section by section, followed by the winds, brass and percussion — with a big and glorious finale.”

American Friends of the IPO “supports the world-class Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, celebrating Israel, culture and art,” it notes on its website.

It adds, “We believe in the power of music to move the world, forge connections and inspire belief in a brighter future.”

Anyone can learn more about the group’s work at AFIPO.org.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Maureen Mackey is managing editor of lifestyle for Fox News Digital.

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