A Palm Beach Benefit

In Florida, the IPO tour will include three concerts and two benefits, one of which honors AFIPO supporters Tamar and Milton Maltz


At the heart of this month’s six-city U.S. tour by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra are concerts in three Florida cities. Two of them will be preceded by benefit events, one of which honors the exceptional support of two special members of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

The three Florida concerts will be February 5 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, February 6 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, and February 7 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota.

The first benefit will be in Palm Beach and is being organized by co-chairs Mrs. Harvey Blau, Sherry and Kenneth Endelson, and Sara and Charles Fabrikant. Chaim Katzman is chairing the second benefit, in Miami, with co-chairs Vivian and Miguel Barg.

The Palm Beach Gala will honor Tamar and Milton Maltz, AFIPO supporters of the Israel Philharmonic for more than a decade whose major 2013 gift continues to help underwrite these IPO tours to the United States.

“The honor is unexpected,” said Maltz of the recognition from his office in Cleveland. The couple also has a home in Palm Beach Gardens where they founded the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.

Mr. Maltz built and served as chairman and CEO of Malrite Communications Group, Inc., one of the most successful operators of radio and television properties in the country, with stations stretching from New York to Los Angeles. He and his wife, Tamar, a former educator who sits on several non-profit boards, are active in numerous philanthropic and civic organizations in addition to the AFIPO. These include the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation among many others.


A change at the podium

In mid-January it was announced that due to health reasons Maestro Zubin Mehta had been forced to bow out of the six-city tour and that Yoel Levi, one of the world’s leading conductors, would conduct the concerts. Currently Chief Conductor of the KBS Symphony Orchestra in Seoul since 2014, Levi has led major orchestras in the United States, Europe, and Asia, as well as some of the world’s leading opera companies.

Maltz met Levi in Cleveland in 2004.

“In fact, I have a signed framed photo of the IPO,” Maltz said. “I am sorry that Maestro Zubin Mehta is ill and has had to cancel his participation in the 2019 tour.  We have seen Yoel lead our Orchestra and know he is the best of all possible candidates.”

In making the announcement, AFIPO Board President David Hirsch said, “We had been looking forward to celebrating and honoring Zubin’s immeasurable contributions to the Israel Philharmonic during what would have been his final U.S. tour as Music Director. All concerts on this tour conducted by Yoel will still be performed in recognition of Zubin.”

The addition of Levi to the 2019 tour is a harbinger of the future Israel Philharmonic. In 2001, he became the first Israeli to serve as Principal Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic. Later this year, Lahav Shani will become the first Israeli-born conductor to serve as IPO Music Director when he takes over from retiring Maestro Mehta.

“We are grateful to Yoel for stepping in to conduct what we know will be a very exciting and uplifting U.S. tour for the IPO,” Hirsch said.

“Zubin has been very instrumental in making the IPO really what it is,” said Sara Fabrikant, who has co-chaired many IPO benefits in Palm Beach as well as helped establish the AFIPO in Miami. “He is a fabulous conductor and he’ll be missed a lot.

“Fortunately we have a young shining star taking over,” added Fabrikant, who has attended many IPO concerts in Israel including the opening of Charles Bronfman Auditorium. She and her husband hope to be back in Tel Aviv this October. “Though I’ve not met Lahav, I’m looking forward to it: we’re on the right track.”