We present music that is very close to our hearts; music from the Middle-East but also music from western classical tradition #Exotischklassiek

We bring together these two different worlds and build bridges between western – and non western cultures.

About Us

Even in these tough times, there are still living beautiful people with a rich culture and beautiful music in the Middle East. This deserves the attention in the Netherlands. The war is harassing but the music continues and musicians do not stop. Some have managed, however forced, to leave their country. They have settled in all parts of the world and are now trying to rebuild their musical dream.

The Mozaiek Ensemble consists of eight young professional musicians, five of them come from Syria, one from France, one from Turkey and one from the Netherlands. The Mozaiek Ensemble offers the Dutch public a positive sound from Syria.

In doing so, we aim for a positive image within our pluriform society and pursue social cohesion. We bring together two worlds and bridge the gap between western and non-western cultures. So people get acquainted with each other’s cultures, with the intention of gaining more understanding, higher tolerance and more acceptance for each other.

Mireille Bittar

Mireille Bittar

Voice
Mireille's Bio

Mireille is an award winning Dutch-Syrian soprano singer based in Amsterdam. She is the founder and artistic director of Mozaiek Ensemble. In 2018, she achieved a Master degree in Music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, and in 2013 she gained her Bachelor’s degree in Music from the High Institute of Music in Damascus.

Mireille’s notable achievements include:
• In 2021 she participated in the second season of the Dutch television programme ‘We Want More’.
• In 2019 she performed with the prestigious Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra which was conducted by Ruman Gamba.
• In 2016, Mireille was the solo soprano in ‘It is here if you see it, here if you hear it” with the Dutch National Opera & Ballet.
• In 2016 she sang the soprano role in Bach Cantate (BWV 61).
• In 2016 she sang the soprano role in Liebeslieder – Brahms.
• In 2017 she sang the mezzo-soprano role in Gloria Vivaldi.
• In 2015 she sang the mezzo-soprano role in Stabat Mater by Karl Jenkins.
• In 2013 she sang the soprano role in Mass G-dur Schubert.
• In 2011 she sang the soprano role in Mozart’s ‘Requiem’.
• In 2010 she played Cherubino in Mozart’s ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ at Syria’s national opera house – directed by Julius Kalmar and Missak Baghboudarian.
Mireille has also worked with the Syrian Women Eastern Ensemble and with several middle eastern bands and ensembles inside and outside Syria.

She has won numerous awards for best singer and best Oud player with the ‘Kitharet Al Rouh Festival’.

Mireille has been a visiting tutor of Arabic singing in the Opleiding Docent Muziek department at the Conservatory of Amsterdam since 2017, and a singing teacher at Aslan Muziekcentrum Amsterdam since 2019.

Feras Khouri

Feras Khouri

Piano
Feras' Bio

Founder and artistic director of Mozaiek Ensemble. A Syrian pianist, composer and music arranger, specialized in composing and arranging eastern and Arabic music.

Graduated from The Arabic Institute of Music as a pianist in 1992, studied the piano with professors Vladimir Zaritsky, Cynthia El-Wadi and Gaswan Zerikly.

A member of the Syrian Artists Association since 1998. Played the piano with big stars in the Arab world: Mayada El-Hennawy (1994-1996), Majida Al-Roumi (2000-2008), George Wassouf, Abdallah Al-Rowaished, Nour Mhanna, Samira Said, Elias Karam and Melhem Barakat.

He was the conductor of several singers’ bands in the Arab world including: Asala Nasri – Moeen Sherif – Rida – Houwaida – Rouwaida Attieh – Melhem Zein and others.

Composed and arranged many musical pieces, some of them are short songs and some are instrumental music without singing. On an assignment for opera Spanga 2018 he composed the Arabic March, inspired by Verdi’s triumphal march from the Opera Aida.

Feras comes from a musical family, he is the oldest son of Assad Khoury (1953) and the grandson of the famous musician Muhanna al – Khouri. Father Assad Khoury founded one of the first recording studios in Syria, the “Al Rabea studio” in 1985. The studio worked for the most important singers and musicians from the Arab world. Sayed Makkawi, Hulmi Bake, Mouhamad Soultan, Mayada Al-Hinnawi, Abdallah Ruwaished, Assala Nasri, Elias Karam and many others.

After becoming a member of the“Syrian Artist Association”in 1988, Feras worked together with his father in the studio and besides that as an arranger, composer and pianist with the Syrian Radio and Television. Until the attacks on the studios mid-2012. Unfortunately none of the archives with recordings are accessable.

Feras is a classical trained musician by his education, but he also learned everything about eastern music by his origin and work for the studios. The combination of this knowledge and experience can be found in his compositions and arrangements. A crossover of eastern and western-classical music.

Beste Sevindik

Beste Sevindik

Violin
Beste's Bio

Beste Sevindik studied violin at Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory with Ceylan Kabakci and completed her Master’s degree with Sonja van Beek at Prince Claus Conservatoire as laureate of the Klaas Dijkstra Stipendium which she obtained at the Peter the Great Festival 2013. As chamber musician she has performed several times in Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey. In addition to her work on the stage, Beste works in projects which explore the role of musicians in society, such as Meaningful Music in Healthcare, in which music is made for surgical patients and their care staff at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG).

Ayman Hajjmian

Ayman Hajjmian

double bass
Ayman's Bio

A Syrian bass player, graduated from the High Institute of Music in Damascus in 2006. Worked with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra from 2003 until 2015. Worked with the Arabic Orchestra in Damascus. Worked with Algerian Symphonic Orchestra 2014/2015. Member in the “West Eastern Divan” Orchestra conducted by maestro Daniel Barenboim in 2005/2006.

Karel Bredenhorst

Karel Bredenhorst

Cello
Karel's Bio

Dutch celloplayer. As a soloist and chamber musician he is known from the Cello8ctet Amsterdam, Cuarteto Sol Tango and Duo Verzaro. Since 2012 he is founder and artistic director of the Cervo Chamber Music festival.
He studied with Monique Bartels and Paul Uyterlinde at the Royal Conservatory The Hague and the Twents Conservatory Enschede. In 2004 he achieved his bachelor of music in 2004 and in 2009 his master of music at the Musikhochschule in Lübeck with Troels Svane.

He won several prizes with the EnAccord String Quartet and played with different ensembles. He was also a part of the company of Herman van Veen, Erik van der Wurff, Jann Cnossen en Edith Leerkes, and played with Carel Kraayenhof.

Adeline Salles

Adeline Salles

Flute
Adeline's Bio

A French flutist, now a Master student at the Conservatory of Amsterdam in the Baroque music department. Freelancer with Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Radio Philharmonic, Zuid-Nederland Philharmonic, Gulbenkian Lisboa, Palau De Los arts Valencia, BBC concert London, Orchestre du capitol de Toulouse.

Khalil Khoury

Khalil Khoury

kanun
Khalil's Bio

Kanun player and composer Khalil Khoury is quickly building a reputation as one of the new generation’s most versatile and creative Palestinian musicians – admired for his extraordinary sensibility and musicality.

A graduate of the Edward Saïd National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) in Ramallah and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Khalil is currently pursuing a highly selective advanced diploma program at the Abbey Road Institute in Amsterdam in sound engineering and music production.

As a multi-instrumentalist player, Khalil is a former prize-winner at the 2006, 2010 and 2012 Palestinian National Music Competition for his unique Kanun playing. At the age of 12, he had the privilege of being selected among the top three musicians from Palestine to participate in a masterclass of world-renowned Palestinian Oud player Simon Shaheen. A decisive experience in his career. In 2013, Khalil has been appointed Professor of Kanun at the Edward Said National Conservatory. A position he has held until 2020.

His recent solo engagements include performances in Bahrain, Qatar, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Netherlands and in the UK. In 2015, Khalil was invited to perform at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and took part a year later in the UK tour of Palestinian singer Nai Barghouti as Kanun player, including a concert at the London Union Chapel. Most recently, Khalil has been invited to perform at the prestigious Aga Khan Music Awards in Lisbon and made his debut at The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in a unique concert-tribute to iconic Lebanese singer Fairuz. In December 2019, Khalil had the honour to play at the Prince Claus Awards ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, in the presence of the Dutch Royal Family.

Since the beginning of his career Khalil has been collaborating with lot of wide range musicians and local bands. He has been featured on a serie of albums and music projects as instrumentalist, sound engineer, arranger and composer, including: “Kazdara” album, Yalalan’s first album, Dalal Abu Amneh’s “Ya Sitti” album, and a number of singles with Nai Barghouti, amongst other artists.

As a composer and arranger Khalil has recently composed, recorded, arranged and produced different musical projects that carry on his own musical vision. One of his latest releases, “Ecliptic”, has been viewed and admired by thousands of people on social media. He is currently working on his debut album.

Khalil is constantly searching for new forms of expression to equally appeal to his “Eastern” and “Western” listeners. His music is strongly influenced by Arabic/Eastern melodies and rhythms. His penchant for Arabic scales and modalities smoothly blends with his inspiration from jazz, flamenco andIndian music to create a unique and captivating sound. His music hold a rich rhythmical language, combined with his heartfelt melodies.

● The Kanun is a string instrument, famous for its unique melodramatic sound. It has 78 tuning tones. The Kanun is not very well known with the western public but is one of the most important instruments in eastern music. In Arab music there are whole, half and quarter notes (in Turkish music even eighth notes).

Modar Salama

Modar Salama

percussion and riq
Modar's' Bio

A Syrian drummer and percussionist and riq player. He studied classical and Oriental percussion at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus. He played with the Syrian National Orchestra, the Syrian Big Band and many other international projects in China, Jordan, Tunisia, Austria, Germany, Lebanon and Egypt. He is now working in the Netherlands on a number of projects as an Arabic percussion player and drummer and he is creating his own style influenced by the soul of the Orient.

● The Riq is a type of Tambourine and a traditional instrument in Arab music. It consists of a woorden frame covered with goat skin and has ten pairs of small cymbals mounted in five pairs of slits.

Music

Press

Mozart in het Arabisch? In de Gloria klassiek concert

Mozart in het Arabisch?

Met klassiek geschoolde musici uit Syrië, Frankrijk en Nederland opende het Mozaïek Ensemble op 13 oktober 2017 in Club Doelen de muzikale dialoog tussen de Arabische wereld en het Westen. We spraken de Syrische sopraan Mireille Bittar over de werkwijze en boodschap van de formatie. ‘Hoe meer je weet over elkaars cultuur hoe comfortabeler je naast elkaar kunt leven.’

SYRIA Beats Again In The Heart Of AMSTERDAM

SYRIA Beats Again In The Heart Of AMSTERDAM

In a gezellig church built between 1668 and 1670 by city architect Daniël Stalpaert, and restored in the late eighties of the last century, on the chilly evening of January 6, 2018, some fine Arabic music was heard. As soprano Mireille Bitar, voice of the Mozaiek Ensemble, puts it in words: that music that delighted a mainly Dutch audience, was rather “classical combined with eastern music”.

Jong Amsterdam

Jong Amsterdam

Martijn nekoui begeeft zich onder creatieve talenten. Elke week tipt hij een aanstormend kunstenaar.
Tijdens Arabic Delight mixt Mireille moedeloos het Oosterse met het Westerse. En dat is niet nog alles, belooft ze. “Ook alle aarangementen voor alle muziekstukken zijn nieuw.”

Column De Volkskrant – Nell Westerlaken

Column De Volkskrant – Nell Westerlaken

In de muziek van Feras Khouri zijn Oost en west nauwelijks meer te ontrafelen.

Arabische Liederen

Arabische Liederen

Het Mozaïek Ensemble spleet poëtische Arabische liederen, opnieuw gearrangeerd in een mix van westerse klassieke en oosterse muziek.
Morgenavond om 20.30 uur geeft het gezelschap, met onder anderen de Syrische pianist Feras Khouri en sopraan Mireille Bittar, in de Amstelkerk het nieuwjaarsconcert Arabic delight.

eSyria

ميراي بيطار – اللغة الغنائية الخاصة بين الشرقي والغربي

استطاعت المغنية “ميراي بيطار” أن تحققا مكانةً مرموقةً في الغناء الكلاسيكي؛ من خلال موهبتها المتميزة، وصوتها العذب، وساهمت في تأسيس فرقة فنية في المغترب لتقدم من خلالها موهبتها في الغناء الشرقي والغربي، إضافة إلى اجتهادها في إكمال رسالتها الفنية أكاديمياً

Mozaiek Ensemble imponeert in schuilkerk voor kwetsbare muziek

Mozaiek Ensemble imponeert in schuilkerk voor kwetsbare muziek

Amsterdam telt meer dan 180 nationaliteiten en je zou mogen verwachten dat het muziekaanbod in de hoofdstad daarvan een afspiegeling is. Delta Sounds nam het initiatief voor ‘Old Roots & New Routes’, een serie van zeven wereldmuziekconcerten van bijzondere ensembles die alle in Nederland gevestigd zijn en een spannende kruisbestuiving presenteren van muziek uit diverse delen van de wereld. Het vierde concert in deze boeiende serie werd afgelopen zaterdag gegeven door het Mozaiek Ensemble, dat bestaat uit muzikanten uit Syri, Frankrijk en Nederland.

Videos

Events

The 10th Catching Cultures Festival

The 10th Catching Cultures Festival

TivoliVredenburg, Vredenburgkade 11
Utrecht, 3511 WC Netherlands
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Free

Free – Reservation required

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21 November 2021
Concert and workshop

Concert and workshop

Aslan Muziekcentrum, Louis Bouwmeesterstraat 214
Amsterdam, 1065 LG Netherlands
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Free

Free – Reservation required

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20 November 2021
Dutch Delta Sounds

Dutch Delta Sounds

Amstelkerk, Amstelveld 10
Amsterdam, 1017 JD Netherlands
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25€

Old Roots New Routes

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07 October 2021
Arabic music workshop

Arabic music workshop

Openluchttheater Cabrio, Soesterbergsestraat 140
Soest, 3768 MD Netherlands
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Private event. Workshop With IMC Weekend School.

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28 July 2021
SUMMER CONCERT

SUMMER CONCERT

DOMUSDELA, Kanaalstraat 4
Eindhoven, 5611 CT Netherlands
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25€

Classical music with an oriental touch

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25 July 2021
Minimal Music Festival

Minimal Music Festival

Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Piet Heinkade 1
Amsterdam, 1019 BR Netherlands
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Free

Mozaïek Ensemble & Bas Gaakeer. ROUTE 10

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02 July 2021

Contact

Fundraising by: Stichting VoorUit ANBI RSIN 818708670

Founders & Artistic Directors: Mireille BittarFeras Khouri 

General Manager: Hedwig Paesbrugge