Since 2009 primary schools from all over Europe have been taking part in their very own version of the Eurovision contest, entitled Schoolovision. This year, 41 countries took part in this event, which has won several international education awards. Since its inception over 100 entries have been performed by a total of over 400 children.
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The legendary Jewish actress and singer Barbra Streisand will receive an honorary doctor of philosophy degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem during her visit to Israel next month.
In a statement released Monday, The Hebrew University said Streisand will be presented with the doctorate in recognition of her “professional achievements, outstanding humanitarianism, leadership in the realm of human and civil rights, and dedication to Israel and the Jewish people”.
Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, president of the Hebrew University, stated: “Barbra Streisand’s transcendent talent is matched by her passionate concern for equality and opportunity for people of every gender and background. Equally important, her love of Israel and her Jewish heritage are reflected in so many aspects of her life and career. We are deeply proud to honor an individual who exemplifies these values which we at the Hebrew University share and uphold.”
A proponent of education, Streisand established the Emanuel Streisand Building for Jewish Studies on the University’s Mount Scopus campus in 1984. She dedicated the building in memory of her father, Emanuel.
Streisand will make her debut performance in Israel this June, acceding to the request of President Shimon Peres to be the opening act at the fifth Israeli Presidential Conference. She will perform before a total of 40,000 audience members in two performances in mid-June at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium.
One of the best-selling musicians of all time, Streisand has sold some 72.5 million records in the United States. In February, she performed at the Oscars for the first time in 36 years, and is fondly remembered for her role in the 1983 film adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “Yentl” (1983).
Israeli singer Achinoam Nini has enjoyed major success in the international market, especially in France where she is known by her stage name Noa, but that didn’t stop the rush of excitement she felt when she saw legendary American producer Quincy Jones attend her concert in Barcelona unannounced with two other record producers.
Jones also visited Nini backstage in what appeared to be the start of a wonderful friendship, yet lacking any professional opportunities.
But Jones, whose long career includes the production of one of the most significant albums in the history of Music, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” surprised Nini once again. He invited her to perform at a private event he hosted in Los Angeles and complimented her, this time on Facebook. At this point, there already seemed to be some potential for cooperation.
Jones, we also produced the “We are the World” charity song in 1985, is scheduled to attend Nini’s concert in Los Angeles on June 18 together with senior officials from the American music industry.
“I first met him a long time ago, after 9/11″ says Nini. “He produced the event and I was invited to sing ‘Imagine’ with singer Khaled from Algeria. We connected and I was invited to a major event he produced in Rome. We stayed in touch, and then last summer he suddenly showed up, bought eight tickets for my concert. You can imagine what I was going through. I was so excited.”
Veteran American pianist and composer Burt Bacharach will perform in Israel for the first time this summer.
Bacharach, who will celebrate his 85th birthday next month, will give one concert at the Zappa Shuni Amphitheater in the town of Binyamina on July 2.
Throughout his long career, Bacharach created some of the greatest pop classics of all times, including “What the World Needs Now is Love,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Magic Moments,” “Walk on By” and many others. He also won three Academy Awards in the music categories and a Grammy.
The concert ticket prices will range between NIS 299-449 (about $82-124), depending on the seat location.
Bacharach composed many of his famous songs to the lyrics of Hal David, his writing partner who died last year. Bacharach worked with many famous artists, including Dionne Warwick, Neil Diamond, Dusty Springfield and Tom Jones, and wrote many musicals and soundtracks for films which became classics, like “Alfie” and “What’s New, Pussycat?”
The younger generation got to know him as a guest star in the Austin Power movies, and he also appeared as a celebrity performer and guest vocal coach for contestants on the television musical reality show, “American Idol.”
Despite his advanced age, Bacharach is currently on a concert tour around the world. After several gigs in the United States, he is performing in South America this month and will travel to Europe in June.