International Festival of Symphonic Music
The International Festival of Symphonic Music of El Jem is a symphonic music festival that has been held every summer in the Tunisian city of El Jem since 1985.
In Tunisia, the city of El Jem is the only one in the Arab world to organize a truly international festival dedicated to symphonic music. It is sheltered by the El Jem amphitheater built around the 3rd century and with a capacity of between 27,000 and 30,000 spectators.
Since its creation, the festival attracts many orchestras who come there to give performances, including the Orchestra of the Vienna Opera Ball, the National Symphony Orchestra of Algeria, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Rome, the Symphony Orchestra Globalis of Moscow or the Tunisian Symphony Orchestra, but also the Gypsy Philharmonic Orchestra and for the first time in Africa, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma conducted by Francesco La Vecchia.
El Jem is the heiress of Thysdrus. It was a small rural Berber agglomeration which developed thanks to its advantageous position on a plateau constituting the most direct passage from North to South and the most convenient junction point between the coast and the interior of the country.
During the Punic invasion, it probably served as a relay or support for the penetration from the coast towards the interior.
The village remained modest in size during this period. At this first stage of development, the city corresponds, at the urban level, to an archaic central core which does not seem to be very extensive, covering about twenty hectares and forming a circle 500 meters in diameter. The blocks are irregular and the streets winding and narrow.
Lors de l’invasion punique, elle a vraisemblablement servi de relais ou de support à la pénétration à partir de la côte vers l’intérieur.
Le village reste de taille modeste pendant cette période. A ce premier stade de développement, la cité correspond, au niveau urbain, à un noyau central archaïque qui ne paraît guère étendu, couvrant une vingtaine d’hectares et formant un cercle de 500 mètres de diamètre. Les îlots sont irréguliers et les rues sinueuses et étroites.