Two Exciting Concerts of Mystical Music by the Yuval Ron Ensemble featuring Special Guests at the University of Philosophical Research on April 26th and May 7th

20 04 2015


I have recently had the great privilege of curating an ongoing series of musical performances at the University of Philosophical Research. I had originally been introduced to the University and the Society of Philosophical Research when I was scoring David Lebrun’s film, Proteus several years ago. It was during that time David visited the University’s library to shoot footage of several of their especially rare books for the film. At the time, I only had an opportunity to see David’s footage and hear his stories of the University. I was greatly intrigued that such a wonderful collection of rare texts from different wisdom traditions existed in Los Angeles. Curating this lecture series has given me an opportunity to see first hand the treasures in the University’s library. Imagine, having knowledge not from just one set of beliefs, but from many different beliefs, cultures, and traditions right at your fingertips. It is as if I had come across an ancient house of wisdom in Los Angeles!

If you would like to share this joy of learning and musical enlightenment with me, I’d like to invite you to two special upcoming concerts in the next few weeks.
On April 26th, the Yuval Ron Ensemble will perform a special program entitled, Music of the Psalms, dedicated to the creation and use of Psalms in ancient Jerusalem. We will musically explore their ancient origins and how they have been used in both ancient and contemporary settings. The concert will feature the Yuval Ron Ensemble’s own Katyanna Zoroghlian. While many of you have heard Katyanna’s soulful versions of the Ensemble’s standard repertoire, her renditions of these sacred pieces are truly magical.

On May 17th, we will perform a second special program entitled, Burning Heart dedicated to Qawwali: an ecstatic Sufi Hindu-Pakistani devotional genre of music. This concert will feature my dear friend, the very talented Sukhawat Ali Khan. Because Sukhawat lives in the Bay Area and is in high demand around the country, this is a special opportunity to see him perform with the ensemble and not to be missed!

Burning Heart will also be a wonderful introduction to the musical practices of the regions that border Rajasthan, India as well as Sufi devotional music. For those of you interested in joining my tour to Rajasthan this coming February 2016, this concert will provide you with an enticing taste of the wonders that await us.

I hope you will all join me for these two wonderful upcoming concerts. The University of Philosophical Research is a truly special place and I am already incredibly excited to once again make music in an enlightened realm of spiritual learning.

To buy tickets or learn more, you can visit the University’s Event page here:

To learn more about my upcoming tour to Rajasthan India, please visit the tour’s webpage on my website here:
Katyanna at St john


Israeli music, Bedouin music, Sacred Israeli Music, Yemenite-Jewish Music and West bank Story in UCLA

28 03 2011

In February-March 2011 I had the honor and the pleasure to lead a two week residency at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) focus on the untold chapters of Israeli music and culture, its roots in the ancient Kingdom of Israel and its relationship to Arabic music and culture. The series opened with a lecture demonstration titled: “My Heart is in the East” – Sacred Israeli Music. In it I discussed how ancient Israeli Hebrew music connects the Jewish people to their roots as a Middle Eastern tribe, where it originated and why it is important today for Israeli identity and peace with the Arab world. This event features the deep spiritual singing of Rabbi Hagai Batzri.

The next day, I presented a fascinating talk about the Israeli-Bedouin music connection. In it I explored how did Bedouin melodies end up in classic traditional Israeli folk songs and dances. We discussed the interest early Zionists musicians and artists found in the traditional music of the Nomads people of the Middle Eastern deserts and how this attraction impacted the music, dance and art scene of Israeli society from the 1920 to our times. I shared field recordings done in the desert dunes, and stories of travels with the Bedouins, and compared the original Bedouin melodies and the Israeli folk songs. THis lecture-demonstration featured the Arabic singer Ahmed El Asmer and Israeli singer Maya Haddi.

In the third day we took on a difficult question: What is Israeli Music ?
This was an opportunity to perform and talk about the rich and complex musical traditions of Israel from ancient times to contemporary styles. The unfolding of various musical expressions of East meets West, unique musical fusions and the fascinating history of some Israeli musical genres which went from being underground to being celebrated by the Israeli elite. This event featured the Yuval Ron Ensemble.

Then came the forth day with a most amazing untold chapter of the Yemenite Jewish music of Israel, featuring Margalit Oved (Yemenite dancer and singer), Barak Marshal (Yemenite male singer and choreographer) and Maya Haddi (Israeli Yemenite singer)
I discussed the question of why there is such high percentage of successful singers in Israel who came form Yemenite Jewish origins, the special music tradition that the Yemenite Jews brought to Israel and how they influenced Israeli folk music and dance. Also we explored the women songs of Yemen, the wedding songs and why they sing it.
In the firth day we had a special screening of the Oscar winning film “West Bank Story” which I scored in 2007 and a discussion on how humor and art could impact peace making efforts in the Middl East.

And finally for the sixth and final event we had a full concert of the Yuval Ron Ensemble with guests artists. It was titled; From Spain to Jerusalem – A musical journey following the traveling of Sephardic Jews and their music and poetry from Spain via Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Iraq and finally to Israel. The story of Maimonides escaping from Spain to Morocco, Israel and settling in Egypt as the Sultan’s doctor, the tale of the Spanish Jewish refugees rescued by the Ottoman Navy and the mystery of the oldest Jewish home in Jaffa, Israel, built by the Turkish Jews on their way to pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It was a fascinating journey in music, poetry and story telling which brought Jews, Armenians and Arabs together to celebrate the beauty of the music and culture of the Middle East, Spain and Jerusalem.

Prof. Arieh Saposnik, the director of the Y and S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies in UCLA who presented my residency in UCLA wrote: “Yuval Ron’s residency did an excellent job of shedding new light on a diverse array of perspectives on Israeli music, its history, and its multiple cultural influences. Each of the lecture-demonstrations managed to capture a particular aspect of Israeli music. Given the five events that preceded it, I knew the concert finale would be excellent, but it exceeded all expectations and managed to generate not only wonderful music, but also a spirit and energy that reverberated almost overwhelmingly throughout the audience in Schoenberg Hall. People simply did not want to leave when the concert ended. Yuval Ron’s ability to bring together such evocative and eloquent music with an intellectual exploration of the music’s history and development, and a subtle message about cultural fusion and coexistence made the concert—and the entire residency—a truly unique experience, both for me personally and for the many participants who commented on it to me in this spirit.”

I hope you would have an opportunity to experience such an incredibly deep inspiring and insightful events in your community. Please contact us at to arrange bringing this important work to your community.

For more info on my work and music , up coming events, music and video clips please visit