Archive, Lectures

Merlijn Twaalfhoven


“Hidden Art in a War Zone”


Composer and theater-maker Merlijn Twaalfhoven discussed the challenges and strategies in creating Al Quds Underground, a secret festival in the living rooms of families from different cultures in the Old City of Jerusalem. Twaalfhoven explored the tensions between diplomacy, activism, and artistic quality, and suggest ways that students might become involved in future editions of the festival.


Merlijn Twaalfhoven is a Dutch composer and theater-maker.  With his non-profit organization La Vie Sur Terre he produces large-scale projects with local artists and musicians, using music to transcend political and ethnic boundaries, most recently in Cyprus, Japan, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, and Syria.  He has received awards from UNESCO for creating intercultural dialogue between the Arab and Western worlds, and several leading European prizes for composers and performers. He has collaborated with Toneelgroep Amsterdam, the Holland Festival, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dutch National Ballet, and the Springdance Festival, among many others.  He graduated from the Amsterdam Conservatory in 2003.

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