Fostering dialogue and inspiring action

The Concert

Adopted by all countries in September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call on us all to eradicate poverty, ensure that all children reach their full potential, support peaceful and healthy communities, and conserve nature. The vast majority of people around the world support these goals, but many do not know about them or have difficulty relating to them.

The artists who bring you Concert for a Sustainable Planet hope to address this gap, by fostering a dialogue and inspiring us to action. This concert will inspire hope, dedication, and commitment among groups of people worldwide to build a better planet together and foster positive change in society. The concert will build active connections between the performers on stage and the audience, and will be recorded for on-demand viewing for those who are unable to attend in person.

We hope you will join us!


  • The Five Continents (World Premiere)

    Ronen Shapira

    Israeli composer and musician Ronen Shapira’s new work The Five Continents explores the theme of partnership. A concerto for piano and keyboard, the music reflects the musical traditions of the five world regions (the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceana) and the interaction between them, demonstrating the unity of humanity through music.

    Shapira holds a B.A. from the Tel Aviv Academy of Music, an M.A. in Jazz from Michigan University, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He is the recipient of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Prize in Composition. His compositions are known for inventing new types of aesthetics and moods through the blending of western, middle-, and far-eastern sounds to produce new multicultural connections.

  • Symphony No. 3 (Eroica), First Movement

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No. 3 represents a major milestone in the history of music and is one of Beethoven’s most celebrated works. It is one of the pieces written in Beethoven’s middle period, which was characterized by greater freedom of expression and creativity. Further, it represents the noblest works of humanity, and is therefore in dialogue with the high aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    German composer Ludwig van Beethoven lived from 1770 to 1827, and his work figured greatly in the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era in Western music. Other well-known works include the Sonata quasi una fantasia or Moonlight Sonata for piano, nine symphonies, two masses, and the opera Fidelio.

  • Four Drifting Seasons

    Merlijn Twaalfhoven

    Together with Jan Driessen and Killian Elbers, activist composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven translated climate change data from the Northern hemisphere into music to create this striking vocal piece. The piece is true to the data, and the vocals are a direct reflection of the changes in our climate since the beginning of measurement in 1880 until spring 2017. This piece pushes a well-known graph from a visual to an auditory experience, ending intensely with one highly pitched tone. In this way, we can relate freshly to the story the data is telling us, surpassing the overly politicized and polarized tone which surrounds this topic.

    In Four Drifting Seasons each vocal group represents a season, with low voices singing the winter, middle voices the spring and autumn, and soprano voices the summer. The occurrence of extreme weather events like floods and storms are expressed through articulation, dynamics and percussive sounds.

    Since the music is neither melodic nor conventional, it is difficult to perform. To ensure accuracy the team developed an app to support singers in finding the exact during the performance. Instructions, examples and a manual can be found on the website

    Dutch composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven’s work explores audience engagement through interactive concerts and the innovative use of singers and choirs. His work further engages musicians and other artists more directly in society. He won the Young Artist UNESCO Award for intercultural dialogue in 2011.


  • Maya Belsitzman

    Maya Belsitzman


    Maya was born in Tel Aviv on May 26 1986 and started playing the cello when she was 7 at the Tel Aviv conservatory of music, studying with the great Israeli teachers Hillel Zori, Zvi Plesser and Shmuel Magen.At the same time she studied at the Tel Aviv School of Arts and later at “Thelma Yellin” high school of arts.

    Maya won music scholarships from the America-Israel foundation from 2001 to 2005 both in cello and chamber music.In the year of 2004 Maya joined the army and was part of the army string quartet in the “outstanding musicians” unit. When Maya finished her army service, she started working in the Israeli popular music industry. She played with many Israeli leading artists such as Ehud Banai, Miri Mesika, Ninet Tayeb, Danny Sanderson, David Broza, Keren Ann, Nurit Galron, Yoni Bloch, Izhar Ashdot, Efrat Gosh, Rita and many more. Maya is a session player, soloist, and string quartet player, and also arranges music for recording sessions and shows.

    In October 2010 Maya started to sing professionally and created a Duo with the musician-drummer Matan Ephrat. Their debut album was released in January 2015 and they have been performing in and outside of Israel for the last 4 years. They have been playing in Jazz music festivals around the world in - Paris, Munich, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Nairobi, Moscow and more. Their program contains original songs in Hebrew and English, original Instrumental pieces and covers from all over the world playing Cello, Drums and Vocal. They are working on their 2nd album that should be released in the end of 2017.

  • Gloria Benedikt

    Gloria Benedikt


    Gloria Benedikt was born in Austria and trained at the Vienna State Opera Ballet School and English National Ballet School, London. Since 2002 she has worked as a dancer and choreographer across Europe and the USA. A graduate of Harvard University (2013), she is particularly interested in connecting the arts and academia, defining her dance pieces as choreographed papers and creating artistically innovative, impact-driven arts projects that link the humanities and sciences to solve global challenges. She is an Associate for Science and Arts at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Recent performance engagements include the Kennedy Center, Washington (DC); the House of the European Union, Vienna; the European Culture Forum, Brussels; the European Forum, Alpbach; the Bridging Europe Festival, Budapest; the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, Ispra; and the Forum on European Culture, Amsterdam.

  • Revital Hachamoff

    Revital Hachamoff


    Israeli pianist Revital Hachamoff has a long history of cooperation with Ronen Shapira, who has written and dedicated several pieces to her, including a piano concerto performed with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. Hachamoff has played as a soloist with many leading orchestras in Israel and abroad including the Israel Philharmonic, the Israel Radio Orchestra, The Israeli Chamber Orchestra, The Moscow Chamber Orchestra, The Berliner-Symphoniker, Salzburg Chamber Soloists, Solti Chamber Orchestra, Bucharest Philharmonic, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and national orchestras in South America. She regularly performs at international festivals and has collaborated with many well-known conductors from around the world. She has recorded extensively and her recording of Elgar’s violin sonata with Maxim Vengerov received the editor’s choice of Gramophone magazine. She is a faculty member at the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance.

  • Gilad Hildesheim

    Gilad Hildesheim


    Israeli-born violinist Gilad Hildesheim started playing at the age of 6 in Belgium. In Israel Gilad studied with Haim Taub, Gad Kogan, Yair Kless, and Ilona Faher. Gilad has won grants from the American-Israel Foundation and has been the leader of many orchestras and musical groups in Israel and abroad, including The Haifa Symphony Orchestra, the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble, the Kaprizma Ensemble, and the San Carlo Opera in Naples, Italy. For the last eight years Gilad has led the NKO Chamber Orchestra and played with them as a soloist on tours in Israel, Croatia, Italy, France, Germany, and China. A passionate chamber player, Gilad has collaborated with Pinchas Zuckerman, Guy Braunstein, the Jerusalem Quartet, the Jerusalem Trio, Bernard Greenhaus, and pianist Revital Hachamoff, with whom he has toured the U.S.A and Bulgaria, and performed numerous live radio broadcast concerts.

  • Tali Kravitz

    Tali Kravitz


    Israeli-born violinist and violist Tali Kravitz has enjoyed a steadily growing reputation both as a sought-after performer and a respected pedagogue. Having received a MM from the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music where she studied under the guidance of Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec, Tali appeared at numerous esteemed venues, often collaborating with today’s leading artists. She has been on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division, the Summit Music Festival in New York, and the National Arts Center Orchestra Young Artists Program Precollege in Canada. Currently serves on the faculty of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance as well as the Jerusalem Conservatory Hassadna and the Lin & Ted Arison Israel Conservatory of Music, Tel Aviv. Tali is the recipient of number of prizes and awards among which are the First Prize at the 5 Town Music & Art Foundation String Competition, First Prize at the String Orchestra of the Rockies Concerto Competition, First Place at the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Instrumental Competition, and winner of the Virtu Foundation Scholarship Competition. Tali also earned a MS in Neuroscience and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 2013.

  • Mimmo Miccolis

    Mimmo Miccolis


    Mimmo Miccolis is an Italian-born dancer and choreographer who has worked across Europe and the USA for the past decade. He is particularly interested in creating work around social issues. In spring 2015 he won the Outstanding Choreographer Award at the Youth American Grand Prix, New York, and in 2011 the BBC Performing Arts Award for his choreography of RIGHTS(?). Miccolis obtained his dance education at Fondazione Niccolò Piccinni and Balletto di Toscana. He currently serves as faculty teacher and choreographer at the Washington Ballet, and at George Mason University.

  • Alexander Osipenko

    Alexander Osipenko


    Alexander Osipenko studied at the State Rachmaninov Conservatoire in Russia, the Prins Claus Conservatorium Groningen in The Netherlands, and the Liszt School of Music Weimar in Germany. He has played with the Nationaal Symfonisch Kamerorkest, the Camerata Ardesco Chamber Orchestra, the Bremer Philharmoniker, the Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest, and the Israel Camerata Jerusalem.

  • Ehud Shapiro

    Ehud Shapiro


    Ehud Shapiro is a multi-disciplinary scientist, artist, and entrepreneur. A Professor of Computer Science and Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science with international reputation, he made fundamental contributions to many scientific disciplines. Ehud was also an Internet pioneer and a successful Internet entrepreneur. Ehud is a Bass singer and the founder of the Ba Rock Band, for which he conceived the original artistic program.

  • Merlijn Twaalfhoven

    Merlijn Twaalfhoven


    Merlijn Twaalfhoven is a Dutch composer working in conflict areas, unconventional locations, and concert halls. He received a UNESCO award and collaborates with The Kronos Quartet and the New York Philharmonic. His projects explore the richness of cultural diversity and human interaction, often engaging musicians of contrasting styles, local traditions, or children in large events. He collaborates with artists, cooks, diplomats, and other idealists in new and creative ways. This results in a unique blend of sophisticated music and rough, unpolished sounds. Striving for a world without boundaries between art and society, his goal is to revive the creative and artistic potential in everyone in order to create new meaningful connections and understanding between people. Advocating a larger role for artists in society, he has presented practical and direct ways for artists to become engaged in global issues of today such as growing inequality, climate change, and disruptive technological change at conferences such as the European Cultural Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, TEDx Amsterdam and in universities such as Georgetown, Fordham, and Columbia in the USA and GeiDai in Japan.

  • Cesare Zanfini

    Cesare Zanfini


    Cesare Zanfini was born into a family of musicians in Milan, Italy. He studied with Fulvio Luciani and Roberto Tarenzi at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan and with Bruno Canino at the Fiesole Music School Trio repertory. He is recipient of many awards, including the Paolo Borciani Scholarship from the Milano Conservatory in string quartet, the Rovere d’Oro - Young Artists competition in piano trio, and the Antonio Beltrami Scholarship from the Milano Conservatory. He has performed with the Schumann Quintet, the Società dei Concerti in Milan, the Parco della Musica in Rome, the Dal Verme Theater in Milan, MiTo Fringe, and Milano Musica. He participated in masterclasses with Francesco Manara, Maureen Jones, Dario De Rosa, Malcolm Bilson, Olivier Charlier, Natalia Gutman, Dora Schwarzberg, and Eva Bindere. Since 2012 he has been part of the Orchestra of the Academy of Teatro alla Scala, with which he performed in several concerts in the best theaters in Italy, as Teatro alla Scala in Milan, and in other countries also as concertmaster. Since 2013 he has been part of the Ensemble of the Academy of Teatro alla Scala specialized in the XX century repertoire.


Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall website. The site also includes a seating chart. Please direct any questions relating to ticketing directly to Carnegie Hall.


Concert for a Sustainable Planet
7:30 pm, September 18, 2017
Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York, USA
Entrance on Seventh Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets (Map)