News and Views

Spotlight Zubin Mehta

Spotlight Zubin Mehta Mehta’s final, historic concert as Music Director was held on October 20th in the Charles Bronfman Auditorium, broadcast live on Medici.TV. The full scope of the IPO’s celebration of Zubin Mehta’s jubilee included performances with some of the world’s greatest artists, including Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman, Yefim Bronfman, Denis Matsuev, Gil Shaham, Mischa Maisky, Fazil Say, Chen Reiss and more. These last three minutes of Mehta conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”– the same piece he led when the…[Read More]


Dear Zubin, I want to say a few words on behalf of all the Orchestra members, past and present, and their families. After so much have been said in the past few weeks, I simply want to say thank you. Thank you for what you have done for our orchestra our lives and the cultural life of Israel. Zubin, you are a source of admiration and inspiration for us in so many ways. I can only name a few. One…[Read More]


INTERVIEW WITH MAESTRO ZUBIN MEHTA By Tali Gottlieb, Executive Director of the IPO Foundation   What is the source of your unique relations with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra? How did this very special relationship come about? The Orchestra and I are distantly related, through Indian Persian cousins – Ahashverosh who married the Jewish Esther. One of Esther’s children left for India and married one of my great grandparents. Seriously, I came to Israel by chance, to substitute for Eugene Ormandy,…[Read More]


Polly Levine is a an AFIPO Board Member and accomplished chef. An active member of AFIPO’s vibrant artistic community, Polly plays an integral part in supporting the IPO’s work around the world.   Hi Polly. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I’m a native Californian; however, I raised my family in Phoenix, Arizona. I studied Art History, but always had a passion for food and cooking. In 2009, I…[Read More]

Q & A with Gala Co-Chair Stacey Bronfman

Why do you support AFIPO? I don’t play an instrument, but I love music and appreciate it. I feel tremendous joy knowing that supporting AFIPO means that young musicians in Israel will flourish. There’s such a concentration of talent in Israel – and with support, it can all reach its potential. What’s your favorite, recent IPO memory? I was in Israel last June, and I went straight from the airport to an IPO “Concert in Denim” performance. It was 10pm…[Read More]

Shesh Besh in America

The IPO’s East-West Ensemble brings its multi-ethnic harmony to the U.S. in March and April   Shesh Besh, the Israel Philharmonic’s acclaimed Arab-Jewish ensemble, is coming to America for ten concerts in late March and early April. There will be four East Coast performances beginning March 24 (three in Washington, D.C. and one in Philadelphia) and six West Coast concerts (five in California and one in Portland) beginning April 1. (Complete schedule follows) “The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra does more than…[Read More]

AFIPO Donors: The Gold Standard

At 95, it’s not her AFIPO titles that Ruth Gold holds dearest, but indelible memories of concerts and conductors.   Ruth Gold‘s support of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has been significant and long-term. She is a member of its board of directors, Honorary President of its West Coast Chairman’s Council, and one of only seven Life Members on the IPO’s International Board of Governors. “Ruth has always been the grande dame of AFIPO on the West Coast,”…[Read More]

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…[Read More]

Meeting Mehta in L.A.

AFIPO members meet the Maestro, Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth during an exclusive rehearsal event at Disney Hall   On Saturday, January 5, hours before the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s evening performance in Walt Disney Concert Hall, the orchestra had a full rehearsal, filling the empty auditorium with the majestic sound of Brahms. Not all the seats were empty, however. Out beyond the reach of the stage lights were ten major donors and board officers of the American Friends of the…[Read More]

From Italy with Love

“Meal and a Spiel,” a new cookbook from Young Patrons Circle member Elana Horwich, gives Italian food a California accent.   If you were to take the most delicious Italian dishes, translate them for healthy contemporary California consciousness in recipes seasoned with Jewish comic timing, you’d have the necessary ingredients for a fascinating cookbook. That’s just what AFIPO Young Patrons Circle member Elana Horwich has done. Meal and a Spiel: How to be a Badass in the Kitchen is a…[Read More]

Family Music Day in L.A.

The popular event for children and their parents returns to the Beverly Hills Hotel on January 13 featuring Orli Shaham   The fabled Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard is the annual destination of people from around the world. On January 13, one who will make her third trip in as many years is Emma Dorner. Not bad for a 6-year-old. The occasion is the AFIPO’s Family Music Day, an annual event for children and their parents that provides interactive musical…[Read More]

Bringing Students to the Music

This month the Israel Philharmonic concerts that conclude the current semester’s KeyNote music education program will be out-of-this-world.   Since its launch in 2000, thanks largely to support from the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic, the IPO’s KeyNote music education program has been extending its reach into schools across Israel. Later this month, when the current curriculum culminates in a series of full orchestra performances, the soaring music will be part of KeyNote’s collaboration with Israel’s historic effort to…[Read More]

IPO Musicians: Yigal Meltzer

The IPO’s Principal Trumpet connects generations – in his family and his community – to a musical heritage.   In 1991, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was seeking a fourth chair, utility trumpet player. One of the musicians who auditioned, nearing the end of his army service, was a young man playing in the Israel Defense Forces Orchestra. “When I heard that the Philharmonic was conducting tryouts,” recalled Yigal Meltzer, now 49, “I told a friend, ‘Listen to me good: That…[Read More]

KeyNote Goes to School

Each year, music curricula in many Israeli schools depends on the IPO’s education program and musicians. Because the IPO’s KeyNote is of such special interest to AFIPO members, we begin a two-part feature this month, focusing on the education program’s work in the classroom. In January, a second part will look at full orchestral concerts that are part of this program.   The KeyNote Education Program of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra annually reaches more than 22,000 Israeli children. When the…[Read More]

The IPO in America

Announcing the cities, programs and benefit events for the Israel Philharmonic’s February 2019 U.S. tour. From February 2 through 9, 2019, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will be back in the United States for Maestro Zubin Mehta‘s final American tour as IPO Music Director. There will be six concerts: two in New York, three in Florida, and one in Michigan. Benefit events will enhance the experience in New York City, West Palm Beach and Miami by providing a chance to mingle…[Read More]

Supporting AFIPO: Varda Rabin

The 2018 San Francisco Gala Co-Chair Continues to Overcompensate for Childhood ‘Naughtiness’ in Tel Aviv   Varda Rabin has a confession to make. “I will have to share with you a little bit about naughtiness,” she said playfully by telephone from her home in Tiburon. Rabin is one of six co-chairs organizing the AFIPO’s Annual San Francisco fundraiser on October 28 and a prominent figure in launching and sustaining Jewish institutions in Northern California and her native Israel. She and…[Read More]

Fall Benefits: Top Brass

One shared highlight of this month’s three AFIPO benefits will be performances by the Israel Philharmonic Brass Quintet   This month, while the three annual AFIPO benefits will uniquely reflect their host cities – New York on October 23, Los Angeles on October 25, and San Francisco on October 28 – they will share two central elements: raising funds for the IPO’s KeyNote education programs and a performance by the IPO Brass Quintet. For the three AFIPO benefits, Maestro Zubin…[Read More]

The IPO’s 83rd

The Israel Philharmonic’s 2018-19 Season brims with musical highlights and historical significance   Even before its first note is played on Thursday, October 4 in Tel Aviv, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s 83rd Season is destined to be among its most historic. Maestro Zubin Mehta has planned a panoramic 2018-2019 Season of the world’s greatest music and invited many of the world’s most sought-after guest conductors and soloists to join him for what will be his triumphant final season as the…[Read More]

AFIPO History: How it All Started

Bruce Nadler recalls when Zubin Mehta, Fredric R. Mann, and Morton S. Ackerman launched the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra   In 1981, months before his appointment to be the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s Music Director for Life, Maestro Zubin Mehta sought help to raise funds for the orchestra. He decided to start his search with the American donor whose name graced the orchestra’s home in Tel Aviv. Decades before he helped the IPO build an auditorium in Israel,…[Read More]

2018 LA Gala Honoree: Stanley Silverman

AFIPO to celebrate the composer’s life and career on the occasion of his 80th Birthday year.   This October, the 2018 AFIPO Galas, first in New York and then Los Angeles, will each honor extraordinary individuals whose respective achievements in architecture and music have touched millions of people around the globe. In August, we visited with New York Gala Honoree architect Daniel Libeskind. This month we profile composer Stanley Silverman, the Los Angeles honoree. On Thursday, October 25, award-winning musician…[Read More]

2018 NY Gala Honoree: Daniel Libeskind

The internationally renowned architect behind Berlin’s Jewish Museum and the Ground Zero Master Plan began as a musical child prodigy.   This year the AFIPO’s New York and Los Angeles Galas will honor two extraordinary individuals whose respective achievements in architecture and music have touched millions of people around the globe and will continue to inspire generations to come. Next month we will profile the Los Angeles honoree, composer Stanley Silverman. This month, we visit with architect Daniel Libeskind. Despite…[Read More]

Interview with Yossi Arnheim

The IPO’s Principal flutist talks with his teacher’s granddaughter. AFIPO Patron Circle member Ilana Ransom Toeplitz recently met for an interview with Yossi Arnheim, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal flutist and a longtime student of Uri Toeplitz, Ilana’s grandfather and an original 1936 member of the orchestra. In addition to Arnheim’s decades in the IPO, he has performed with other Israeli orchestras and in recitals across Europe and in America, Brazil and Asia. The excitement of Ilana’s and Yossi’s connection…[Read More]

Music in the Mountains

    Magical is a word that was often uttered during our sold-out July patron trip to Aspen.  Twenty friends of the Israel Philharmonic from across the US and Canada gathered for a spectacular long weekend that showcased Aspen’s best cultural offerings.  Our exquisite home base was the Little Nell hotel and each day was filled with visits to private art collections and tours of the Aspen Art Museum, the Aspen Music School Buchsbaum Campus, the Anderson Art Ranch, and Maroon…[Read More]

A Leonard Bernstein Trio

A new exhibition in Philadelphia, a daughter’s memoir and a Tanglewood concert have special appeal for the AFIPO.   The two years of special concerts, exhibitions and conferences currently underway to honor Leonard Bernstein, are part of a worldwide centennial celebration centered around the 100th Anniversary of his birth next month, on August 25, 2018. Here are three ways for AFIPO members to deepen and share their appreciation for Leonard Bernstein as we near the big day.   BERNSTEIN’S ISRAEL…[Read More]

Introduction to Huberman

Former Journalist Peter Aronson brings the IPO’s founder and founding to middle-grade readers. It will soon be easy for those who love the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to share the extraordinary story of its founder and founding with young readers. On July 17, Peter Aronson‘s Bronislaw Huberman: From Child Prodigy To Hero, The Violinist Who Saved Jewish Musicians From The Holocaust launches the author’s series of books for middle-grade readers. The New York-based attorney and former journalist describes his open-ended “Groundbreaker”…[Read More]

2018 Fundraisers Announced

Dates, co-Chairs and Honorees are set for major AFIPO events to celebrate and support the Israel Philharmonic in LA, NY and SF this fall. This October the AFIPO will host annual galas in New York and Los Angeles and a special benefit in San Francisco. While each will be unique, chaired by that city’s business and cultural leaders, they all will share in celebrating the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and supporting its educational programs. Each will also feature a performance by…[Read More]

Playtime with the Israel Philharmonic: A Glimpse of Keynote

Danielle Ames Spivak, West Coast Director   It’s not hard to guess that my favorite destination in Tel Aviv is the Charles Bronfman Auditorium. I recently returned from Israel and I wanted to share with you the highlight of my meaningful trip. The last time I had been to Israel was in 2011 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the IPO. Back then I was pregnant with our oldest daughter Alexandra. I have vivid memories of Alex kicking in the…[Read More]

Interview with Yevgenia Pikovsky and Dmitry Ratush

An AFIPO interview with an IPO couple married to music… and each other   Arranging our family schedules so we never miss a concert is one thing. For two Israel Philharmonic members who are married to the orchestra and each other, the challenge is having a family schedule. Yevgenia Pikovsky, who leads the orchestra’s second violin section, and her husband Dmitry Ratush, the IPO’s Assistant Principal Viola, love each other, their two children, and being part of Israel’s premier cultural ambassador.…[Read More]

Interview with Chara Schreyer

One of the world’s leading collectors has a unique gift for supporting the Israel Philharmonic   As an arts patron, Chara Schreyer has been ranked by ArtNews among the world’s top 200 collectors for 16 consecutive years. As a philanthropist, her support for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is one-of-a-kind. In March, Schreyer hosted an event for the AFIPO’s West Coast Chairman’s Council, providing a personal tour of the Hollywood Hills home she and husband Gordon Freund share with major works…[Read More]

Winter & Spring 2018 at the AFIPO

Private Art Tour Members of the West Coast Chairman’s Council and AFIPO Board members attend a private art tour hosted by Chara Schreyer.   AFIPO Board Retreat    Itzhak the Film Screening Film Director Alison Chernick in a Q&A after the screening.   San Francisco Musicale Israeli Chamber Project (including IPO principal flutist Guy Eshed) performance for patrons of the IPO in the Bay Area.     House Music Concert   Bernstein at 100 Exhibit   AFTAU and AFIPO Miami Benefit


Celebrations from Tel Aviv to New York mark the anniversary of national independence.   The ceremony in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art on Friday, May 14, 1948, had been organized with such secrecy that the invited guests had learned of the location only ten minutes before it began. Inside were the 13 Ministers of the Government, the rest of the national administration, and the musicians who before long would serve as the new nation’s most visible cultural ambassadors. The…[Read More]

Interview with Avi Shoshani

An interview with the IPO’s longtime Secretary General   Avi Shoshani, the Secretary General of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, joined the IPO in 1973. At 25, he began a historic artistic partnership with Maestro Zubin Mehta, who four years earlier was appointed IPO Music Advisor. Together, as Israel marked its 25th Anniversary, they would reinvigorate both the roster and role of this influential institution. Last fall, while accompanying the Israel Philharmonic on its North American tour, Mr. Shoshani took time…[Read More]

A Patron Party in Aspen

The 70th Annual Aspen Music Festival is just one part of July’s AFIPO Patrons Trip   This July, the 70th Aspen Music Festival will provide the backdrop and musical highlights for an AFIPO members-only trip that includes elegant dinners in beautiful homes, guided tours of art museums and private collections, and time to explore this famous Rocky Mountain retreat and celebrity haven. “The Music Festival concerts will be wonderful,” said AFIPO West Coast Director Danielle Ames Spivak. “But they’re just…[Read More]

KeyNote’s Continuing Course

Expanded programs are helping the IPO Education Department reach more children in 2018.   KeyNote, the Israel Philharmonic’s dynamic Music Education and Community Outreach Department, is expanding existing programs and introducing several new ones. The wider range of interactive experiences – from full orchestra concerts in Bronfman Auditorium to IPO musicians visiting schools across Israel – will add to the tens of thousands of children of all ages and ethnicities who annually benefit from KeyNote. Instrument Day, one of KeyNote’s…[Read More]

Concerts of a Lifetime

David Jacoby and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra go way back.     David Jacoby‘s attendance record with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra may indeed be a record: There are 81 years between his first concert in Tel Aviv and his most recent one in Los Angeles. It’s a relationship that spans the lifetimes of both orchestra and octogenarian, with Jacoby continuing to provide the IPO with annual financial support and by purchasing Gala tickets to every Los Angeles concert.  “The orchestra is a prime…[Read More]

Buchmann-Mehta in Miami

On February 8, musicians from the IPO and Tel Aviv University will showcase their institutions’ historic partnership.   It is shaping up to be a landmark year for Tamir Chuzhoy, a Tel Aviv University student from the remote Israeli town of Netivot. Recently, the TAU Buchmann-Mehta School of Music bassist was accepted into the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Now he is one of eight musicians hand-selected by Maestro Zubin Mehta to perform on February 8 at an exclusive black tie event in…[Read More]

YPC February Fundraisers

AFIPO Young Patrons Circles host Spin Cycle Events this month in New York and Los Angeles     This month the AFIPO Young Patrons Circles in New York and Los Angeles will be raising heart rates as they raise funds to support the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s education programs. The two Charity Ride Spin Classes, on February 11 in New York City and February 25 in Los Angeles, also provide a fun way for YPC members to introduce like-minded friends and…[Read More]

Future Music Director Announced: Lahav Shani

Lahav Shani is appointed Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra At age 29, the Israeli conductor and pianist becomes the second ever Music Director of the IPO     The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra announced the appointment of Lahav Shani as its Music Director, beginning in the orchestra’s 2020-2021 season. In the 2019-20 season, he will have the title Music Director Designate. The 29-year-old Israeli conductor and pianist will succeed Zubin Mehta, the IPO’s legendary Music Director, who was appointed to the position…[Read More]

Nemirovsky’s Movement

Inside the IPO Percussion Section with Acting Principal Alexander Nemirovsky At an Israel Philharmonic concert, there are movements we listen to and movements we watch. There is Maestro Zubin Mehta’s conducting and the string section’s graceful bowing. Look beyond the baton and bows, however, and you’ll see the silent choreography of percussionists moving among a countless array of instruments. “Thousands,” offered Alexander Nemirovsky by phone from his home in Holon, Israel. “For starters, the standard percussion instruments in an orchestra…[Read More]

A Gift of Love

Linda Love’s donation to IPO’s KeyNote and Sulamot carries a healthy share of heritage. Linda Love‘s recent donation to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s youth music programs continues her family’s tradition of passing the passion for music from generation to generation. Donated in the memory of her parents, Sylvia and Bernard Shlutz, Linda’s transformative gift will be divided between the KeyNote program and Sulamot project, with a portion of the KeyNote funds earmarked to provide piano lessons for children. “I am very…[Read More]

AFIPO Awarded NYC Mayoral Proclamation 10/25

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has officially declared today, Wednesday, October 25, 2017, “American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Day.” Read the official proclamation:

A Legacy of Vision

A Legacy of Vision The AFIPO’s Bronislaw Huberman Society is dedicated to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s future. Bronislaw Huberman was already a world-famous violinist when he dedicated himself to the creation of an orchestra in Palestine that would save Jewish musicians and establish a classical music tradition in the future nation. Today, his personal legacy of vision, commitment, and generosity is the bedrock of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra‘s mission. Donors who create a legacy gift through the American Friends of…[Read More]

Origins of Amit Poznansky’s Footnote Suite

Origins of Amit Poznansky’s Footnote Suite Uzi Shalev, Assistant Principal Bassoonist     “It all started in 2012, when I went with my wife Edna to see the film “Footnote.” As we watched this magnificent film, with its very special plot, I whispered to Edna,”What beautiful music!!” The great drama, the father-son story revolving around these two Talmudic scholars and the tension, love and anger between them, captured my heart. But the music, the music, left me breathless. It is rare…[Read More] to Live-stream Carnegie Hall Concert 10/25 to live-stream Carnegie Hall Concert on October 25th at 7:00 PM EST Lead support provided by: Lily Safra Additional support provided by: The Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation Marilyn Ziering Fribourg Foundation   Heralded by The New York Times as “the closest thing to a classical Netflix, brings live classical music to passionate fans worldwide. Since its founding in 2008, it has captured the leading classical artists, ensembles and orchestras’ concerts from the world’s great concert halls, festivals and competitions. As the…[Read More]

Interview with Maestro Zubin Mehta

Interview with Maestro Zubin Mehta By Tali Gottlieb   Tali Gottlieb: What is the source of your unique relationship with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra? How did this very special relationship come about? Zubin Mehta: The Orchestra and I are distantly related, through Indian Persian cousins – Ahashverosh who married the Jewish Esther. One of Esther’s children left for India and married one of my great grandparents. Seriously, I came to Israel by chance, to substitute for Eugene Ormandy, the great…[Read More]

Countdown to Retirement: Gala 80th Festival

by Peter Marck

Gala 80th Festival for the IPO Foundation Two nights ago, I participated in the Gala dinner held at the Hilton Hotel for the IPO Foundation. I’ve done lots of these events; one time I found myself having a drink with Yitzhak Rabin until the guests showed up. Another time, we made friends with Lilly Elstein and another time we made a bunch of wine friends from England. Well this time I was invited by the younger generation to play in…[Read More]

Zucker Hall Opens

Zucker Hall Opens As it marks its 60th Anniversary and the orchestra’s 82nd Season, Charles Bronfman Auditorium opens a much-anticipated Chamber Music Hall   On October 12, in a single, singularly historic event, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will honor its past as it ushers in its future. That evening’s concert in The Lowy Concert Hall will mark the dedication of the 400-seat Zucker Chamber Music Hall, on the lower level of Charles Bronfman Auditorium. The new multi-purpose hall, named for Uzi…[Read More]

Poznansky Work Enjoys US Premiere

A featured ‘Footnote’ Composer Amit Poznansky adapts his film score for the IPO Season   A still from “Footnote.” Lior Ashkenazi (left) and Shlomo Bar-Aba (right).   Only one of the pieces the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will play to launch its 2017-18 Season in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem will also be performed in every city on the Fall U.S. Tour. It is Amit Poznansky‘s Footnote Suite for Orchestra, freshly adapted by the 43-year-old Israeli composer from his full-length score. Footnote, writer-director Joseph Cedar‘s…[Read More]

Family Music Day, NYC

Family Music Day, NYC   AFIPO’s Family Music Day returns to New York on December 3 with interactive musical fun   AFIPO Board Member Elaine Wolfensohn has fond memories of bringing her 11-month-old grandson to his first Family Music Day in 2008 along with his parents Jen and Adam Wolfensohn: “Micah already listened to many hours of music, and when he saw the orchestra perform, I decided that made a connection in his mind. He still loves music.”   On December…[Read More]

Countdown to Retirement: Festival 80

By Peter Marck

Festival 80 We are now starting the 80th Festival of the IPO. I can’t say I remember the 50th or the 60th, but the 40th, my first, I certainly do remember and I hope that the young people in the orchestra will remember the 80th! I remember the concerts with Mazel and Barenboim 40 years ago and thinking that I would be celebrating the 80th year in my last season before retiring; pretty close, only 2 years to go. Actually,…[Read More]

Countdown to Retirement: Memorable Moments

By Peter Marck

Memorable Moments December 2016 Last night we played Bartok Concerto for Orchestra in Haifa. It was the first piece that I played with the IPO in October 1976; they were returning from a 4-week tour in the US where they had played it every other night, and I was joining them for my first concert; after 7 weeks in the Ulpan. I had an hour rehearsal to fit in. But that is not what brought a smile to my face…[Read More]

Countdown to Retirement: Bass Solos and Sales

By Peter Marck

 November 2016 “L’Elefant” “The Elephant” is the bass player’s ultimate solo; you learn it when you’re young and use it your whole career. It’s actually a very clever portrayal of a four- legged beast dancing a waltz: 4 against 3. Camille St. Saens also mocked both Mendelssohn and Berlioz by including elephantine renditions of “Scherzo” from Mid-summers’ Night Dream and Dance of the Sylphs two of the most delicate pieces in the repertoire. Of course, it’s an “in-joke” that only…[Read More]

Countdown to Retirement: Starting the 81st Season

By Peter Marck

Starting the 81st Season October 2016 has arrived and the beginning of the 81st Season. Last July we had auditions for the principal bass opening of Teddy Kling, my partner of 38 years. It was the third audition and we finally found a player: Robin from America. He joined us for the remainder of the month and the South American Tour. Because Robin is Principal in Houston, he actually came to try us out and July was his chance to…[Read More]

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s 82nd Season

For 2017-18, Zubin Mehta shares a music world ‘Bigger Than Life.’ For the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s 82nd Season, Maestro Zubin Mehta is adding his personal touch to the programming. To share his world, in which “every day I am surrounded by the greatest works of art,” he has programmed more than 120 concerts, with a who’s who of the world’s most celebrated guest soloists and conductors. Music has made his world “bigger than life,” he says, and from October 2017…[Read More]

A Patron Party in Georgia

Maestro Mehta and pianist Khatia Buniatishvili lead the AFIPO tour This month Maestro Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra are on the road to the Republic of Georgia with a contingent of IPO Patrons and a tour guide who has Georgian geography – and the featured Schumann concerto – at her fingertips. Internationally acclaimed pianist and Georgia native Khatia Buniatishvili will be part of this special IPO Patrons Trip, September 13 to 17, and the featured soloist at the…[Read More]

Miriam Hartman: a Principled Principal

IPO’s forthright principal violist also has uncanny foresight Musicians who rise to the top of their field usually begin their ascent quite young, with a studious commitment to their instrument and the solid dream of a sustaining career. For Miriam Hartman of Philadelphia, childhood foresight was both broader and keener. Her developing musical talents were secondary to her sense of place.   Auspicious Beginnings “When I was ten, I knew I was going to come and live in Israel,” said…[Read More]

Countdown to Retirement: IPO Goes to Greece

By Peter Marck

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Goes to Greece September 16, 2016 We’ve just landed in Athens for one of our Greek “run-outs”: two concerts at the Megaron Theater with Zubin funded by an unknown admirer. Sure beats Haifa! While waiting for suitcases, I joked around with Rafi Glaser who retired 11 years ago from his position as second trumpet. Looking around on the bus, everyone was younger than me and I had no idea who were some of the people. I wonder…[Read More]

Countdown to Retirement: Winery Wins and Woes

Winery Wins and Woes   August 2016 We have just completed our first harvest, and I’m 12,000 Km. awah playing concerts in Chile…bad timing. Two summers ago we cleared the weeds, put in posts for trellises, asked our cousins from Kibbutz Hazerim to plan our irrigation, hung the wires, purchased the plants and in the first week of August, planted 700 vines. This year they gave first fruit…hundreds of kilos of grapes! We’re also completing the renovation of the house…[Read More]

Countdown to Retirement: IPO Buenos Aires Tour

By Peter Marck

   IPO Buenos Aires Tour August 27, 2016   Today, we are completing the 2016 summer tour of South America; my first tour to Buenos Aires was in 1980. Before last night’s concert, Zubin announced that there are already plans for 2019; he will be 83 and I will be 4 months after my 67th birthday. Will I be at home, or on tour with the orchestra? If I’m at home, will I regret not being on tour? Of course…[Read More]

A Golden State of Gratitude

(Left Photo from L-R: Damien Chazelle, Olivia Hamilton, Athena Karp, Matti Leshem; Second Row: Lynn Harris Leshem, Steve Kofsky, Julian Rachlin) (Right Photo from L-R: Jacob Zacuto, Irwin Field, Peter O’Malley) Los Angeles and San Francisco prepare benefit galas befitting the occasion. The middle leg of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2017 Fall Tour runs up and down the length of California with three concerts in three cities over three days. Of those three cities – Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Barbara…[Read More]

An August Return to China

Zubin Mehta leads the IPO to Nanjing and Harbin for five concerts. In the first weeks of August, months before its much-anticipated fall tour to the United States, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is making an historic return to China for concerts in Nanjing, Jiangsu’s provincial capital, on August 5, 6 and 7 and Harbin, the largest city in Heilongjiang province, on August 10 and 12. This will be the full orchestra’s eighth trip to China, but its first during the…[Read More]

The Bernstein Benchmark

The centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth has special resonance for the IPO. August 25, 2018 marks the centennial of the birth of Leonard Bernstein. Though his arrival to Ukrainian-Jewish immigrants in Lawrence, Massachusetts was quiet and unassuming, his departure 72 years later, as one of the century’s most recognizable and revered men, had impact around the globe. Bernstein left behind a body of work, circle of admirers and variety of energized institutions, notably the New York Philharmonic, where he was…[Read More]

Shows of affection

  The five Fall Benefit Galas honoring Zubin Mehta will be shows in themselves. PART 1 – The Eastern Region This fall, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra‘s tour will provide seven cities with a major musical event and, in five of them – New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami – one of the most significant social events of any year. For months, titans of philanthropy have cleared their calendars for the days surrounding the IPO’s appearance in their city…[Read More]

Young Patrons Circle: Refreshing support

Think classical music is lost on the next generation? Think again. The Young Patrons Circle, which the AFIPO is launching on both coasts this year, is attracting professionals from age 21 to 40 who want to support the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra while deepening their understanding of classical music and connecting with like-minded professionals, artists and entrepreneurs across the country. “Since our L.A. launch earlier this year we’ve had tremendous interest and our membership is growing quickly,” said West Coast Director…[Read More]

The right place

A little fate-tempting and a lot of talent brought Linor Katz to the IPO Several times during her 30 years, cellist Linor Katz has stood at a crossroads. A few years ago it was the intersection of Israel and the United States. In 2012, after spending the previous five years earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, the homeland was plucking hard at her heartstrings. She and her older sister Moran…[Read More]

A Historic Project

Dedication and detective work are getting an organized, digitized IPO Archives online Avivit Hochstadter picked up another unmarked photo from among the countless boxes and cabinets that long served as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s Archives. Once again the IPO Archives Manager’s monumental digitization project had ground to a halt. She showed the image to Archives Researcher Gabriel Volé, an orchestra bassist from 1967 to 2013 who, in addition to occasionally filling in on stage, helps Hochstadter two days a week.…[Read More]

Goodwill ambassador

Violinist Sharon Cohen represents the IPO and Israel at Alan Gilbert’s Farewell ‘Concert for Unity’ at Lincoln Center, June 8-10 A United Nations of music is coming together within blocks of United Nations Plaza. Individual members of 17 orchestras in 15 countries are joining with the New York Philharmonic for “The Concert for Unity,” June 7-10. Among them, 34-year-old violinist Sharon Cohen will represent both the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the State of Israel. They will perform Mahler’s Symphony No.…[Read More]

A Learning Experience

IPO holds its First International Music Education Conference, May 14-17 With a focus on “Music Education in the Community: Traditions, Challenges and Innovations,” the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will host its first International Education Conference May 14-17. Speakers and attendees representing orchestras and academia from as far as Seoul and Seattle will converge on Tel Aviv’s Bronfman Auditorium for four days of presentations and workshops led by leading educators, scholars and musicologists from 17 countries. The conference will also allow the…[Read More]

Mutual Benefit

The IPO and the Verbier Festival join fundraising forces on June 4 Beyond its art, one thing that sets an arts organization apart is an ability to turn annual fundraising into an international sensation. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation accomplished it three years ago when it first teamed with Switzerland’s Verbier Festival to create a one-of-a-kind joint benefit event including an intimate recital by a world renowned soloist, an auction with live online and call-in bidding, and a lavish dinner.…[Read More]

Cultural Exchange

Toronto and Tel Aviv Host Each Other’s Orchestra in 2017 On October 28, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall, ending a 25-year absence from Canada’s largest city and completing an intercontinental cultural exchange that begins this weekend. On May 7, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra heads to Israel for two concerts and a week of touring historic Israeli sites. It’s a dateline-hopping reunion of sorts, between two orchestras that in 1989 appeared side by side in…[Read More]

Symphonic Sampling

Symphonic Sampling Primephonic USA offers AFIPO’s newsletter subscribers free downloads from the IPO Discography   Generally when 80-year-olds want to talk about their discs, you’re going to get an earful on back pain. Not so with the 80-year-old Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. With, according to discogs[1], a healthy back catalog of 169 recordings, the IPO discography provides listening pleasure to millions around the world as well as a look back into the orchestra’s historical record. The IPO discography goes back to…[Read More]

Countdown to Retirement: A Two-and-a-Half Year Blog

by Peter Marck

March 2019 will mark a huge change in the life of Peter Marck. Join us on an intimate and personal quest through the tides with a passionate musician and IPO icon, and a dear friend. For the first time and exclusively to IPO colleagues and followers, a musician of our Orchestra will share insights into the challenging but also liberating process he goes through – towards his final performance with the IPO.   PART ONE My father was a doctor…[Read More]

L.A. Family Music Day

Musical Family Engagement AFIPO’s Family Music Day returns to L.A. May 21 with Orli Shaham and Windsync On May 21, the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual Family Music Day returns to Los Angeles with a morning of musical engagement for children and their families. The event, which benefits IPO’s KeyNote program, will feature internationally renowned concert pianist Orli Shaham and the Windsync wind quintet. All six musicians will join the children in an instrument “petting zoo” before…[Read More]

The IPO 2017 North American Tour

The IPO in America The orchestra announces the itinerary and programming for its fall trip to the U.S. and Canada The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s international tours are highly acclaimed and eagerly awaited cultural events around the globe. Recently the IPO announced its Fall 2017 concert dates and programming for a seven-city North American tour from October 25 through November 9. Led by Maestro Zubin Mehta, the orchestra’s Music Director for Life, the orchestra will visit New York City, Toronto, Los Angeles,…[Read More]

A Concerted Effort

IPO’s Sulamot Program for Social Change   With its philosophy of “Music for Social Change,” Sulamot is having a positive impact across Israel. Created in 2010 by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in association with Tel Aviv University, the program annually gives thousands of at-risk children a musical route to become happier, healthier adults. Taking its name from the Hebrew word for both a musical scale and a ladder, Sulamot currently provides more than 2,000 children with musical instruments and training.…[Read More]

The Maestro’s Sesquicentennial

A new Toscanini biography recounts his role in the birth of the IPO March 25 marks the 150th Anniversary of the birth of conductor Arturo Toscanini. His pre-eminence was such that for more than half a century before his death at 89 in 1957, the world knew him simply as ‘The Maestro.’ He lent that international stature to the 1936 launch of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, then called the Palestine Orchestra, by conducting a program that, to mark IPO’s 80th…[Read More]

Huberman in Hardcover

Josh Aronson puts his IPO documentary ‘Orchestra of Exiles’ into print   Some years ago, Dorit Straus had an epiphany. The Israeli-born amateur pianist, then living in New York City, shared it with another of her piano teacher’s students. “She told me that she had suddenly realized that her entire family was alive because of the actions of one man in 1936,” recalled documentary filmmaker Josh Aronson. That man was Bronislaw Huberman, and because, like many Americans, Aronson had not…[Read More]

A Message from our CEO, Naomi Grabel

Friends,   I am just back from a week in Israel visiting with our orchestra, and I have to tell you how exciting it was. The concerts I heard, featuring music by Stravinsky, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, with soloist Julian Rachlin and Conductor Gianandrea Noseda, were nothing short of superb. Audiences loved every minute, and not a seat was unfilled. I hope you watched the Live Stream on February 18th along with thousands of people from around the globe. We…[Read More]

2017 U.S. Tour to begin and end in New York City

October 25, November 7-9 at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall will once again kick off the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s U.S. tour commencing October 25, 2017 with Music Director Zubin Mehta. Following their national voyage, the Israel Philharmonic returns to the world-class venue in New York City for three performances beginning November 7th, concluding their U.S. tour on November 9th. It was recently announced that Maestro Zubin Mehta, who has been with the Israel Philharmonic for nearly 50 awe-inspiring years, is retiring from his legendary role as music director…[Read More]

Maestro Zubin Mehta To Retire October 2019

Legendary conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestro Zubin Mehta, emotionally announced that he will retire as musical director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2019. At his retirement, Mehta will have served as the musical director of the Israel Philharmonic for 50 years. He first came to the Israel Philharmonic in 1961, as a replacement for legendary conductor Eugene Ormandy. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra appointed Mehta as musical advisor in 1969 and as musical conductor in 1977. In…[Read More]

AFIPO Names First CEO

November 21, 2016 David Hirsch, President of the Board of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO), announced today that the Board, following a unanimous recommendation of a search committee, has appointed Naomi Grabel as the AFIPO’s first Chief Executive Officer effective December 12, 2016. Mr. Hirsch states: “Ms. Grabel’s extensive background made her a great candidate, but it was her vision that ultimately led to her selection as our very first CEO. The board of the AFIPO has…[Read More]

Music Festival to Celebrate IPO’s 80th Anniversary

December 26, 2016 will mark 80 years since Maestro Arturo Toscanini conducted the inaugural concert of the (later named) Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. This historic moment represented not only the culmination of Bronislaw Huberman’s courageous efforts to save hundreds of lives by establishing an “orchestra of the Jewish people,” but also the creation of a first-class musical institution. Ever since the modern founding of the State of Israel, the IPO has received international recognition, unlike any other Israeli cultural institution. The…[Read More]

IPO to Stream Live Concerts to Celebrate Mehta’s 80th Birthday

This week the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra kicks off a stellar series of concerts in Israel to celebrate Zubin Mehta’s 80th Birthday. These concerts, conducted by Maestro Mehta, will feature soloists Denis Matsuev, Khatia Buniatishvili, Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth. Each concert will be streamed live online. Here are the program details for each concert: MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2016 – 8:00pm in Israel time Zubin Mehta, conductor Denis Matsuev, piano Khatia Buniatishvili, piano Dvorak: Carnival Overture Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no. 2…[Read More]

Interview with Yuja Wang

Watch an interview with Yuja Wang conducted by IPO Principal Bass Peter Marck

Happy New Year!

Thank You For Making 2015 A Success!       Your generous support enabled the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to bring music and the spirit of Israel to dozens of cities across Europe and the United States.             The educational programs of the orchestra are thriving. Sulamot now has 18 ensembles and KeyNote reached 29,000 children, students and adults throughout Israel.                 The IPO continues to attract top international talent.…[Read More]

Major Gift Announcement

Helgard Field

Helgard Field has been an AFIPO board member and dedicated supporter of the Israel Philharmonic for eight years. On November 10, 2015  she announced to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra a $3 million donation that will support  guest conductors in Israel. Mrs. Field recently spoke with us about this generous donation and reflected on the orchestra’s recent visit to Los Angeles.   What were your impressions of the Los Angeles concert and gala? Every gala is something fabulous and different. But…[Read More]

Grains of Sand in NYC

By Sivan Maayani

Is there a city that means so much for so many people as the city of New York? It is a vibrant metropolis, sizzling with life, where there are at least fifty different places you can visit in a given time, each just as fascinating as the next. It is a place to both lose and find yourself, where you feel like a minute grain of sand in an infinite crowd; but every topic of your most personal interests can…[Read More]

Board Member Spotlight

Lauren Veronis

Lauren Veronis joined the Board of Directors of American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 2000 and currently serves as Chairman of the Executive Committee and Vice President. A dedicated supporter of the IPO, she has been involved in many events and is a co-chair of the November 5th New York Gala. Mrs. Veronis recently shared her thoughts on what the orchestra means to her, why the upcoming United States tour is so exciting and more.   You’ve been…[Read More]



The IPO played its last Mahler Wednesday night at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. At the rehearsal, we said thanks to Yakov and Amit the stage managers, Yuval the librarian, Drorr the doctor, Ofer the travel manager, Alexandra, Georgi and Tanya our last minute substitutes, Michael, Enrique and Omri who took care of suitcases, Michal the personnel manager, and Avi who planned the tour.  After a brief stop in Tel Aviv, the tour will continue with concerts in Athens, and…[Read More]

Wroclaw, Poland


After a quick lunch of pierogi in the old city of Wroclaw, Breslau, Poland, we performed at the brand new concert hall, the National Forum of Music. The Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta were the first foreign orchestra to perform in the hall which opened only two weeks ago!  It is a fantastic facility: beautiful dressing rooms, plenty of room backstage and incredible acoustics.  We played the best Mahler of the tour! Wroclaw, which was called Breslau when it was part…[Read More]

Bonn, BeethovenFest and Berlin


The tour “heats-up” beginning in Bonn; everyday a concert in a new city: Bonn, Berlin, Wroclaw, Milano and Rimini. In Bonn, where Beethoven was born, we were guests at the BeethovenFest where the orchestra performed Mahler’s Ninth Symphony.    From Bonn we flew to Berlin.  Backstage at the Philharmonie there was no lack of conductors: Kurt Masur, Daniel Barenboim and Omer Meir Welber came to visit Zubin and orchestra members. There were also musicians who teach and perform in Berlin.…[Read More]

A First Visit to Armenia


The Israel Philharmonic made its first visit to the Armenian Capital of Yerevan.  The city, dominated by Mount Ararat, a snow capped peak rising to 5500 meters, is an interesting mix of Oriental design and Soviet city planning. The Opera house and Republic Square, connected by a modern walking street, are surrounded by wide avenues and monumental buildings. In Republic Square, the fountains are illuminated and classical music plays while crowds cool off with ice cream cones. Behind the Opera…[Read More]

Enescu Music Festival Bucharest


Can you imagine Beethoven on the Euro coin, Michael Jackson on the one dollar bill or the Beatles on the Pound Sterling? In Romania, George Enescu, the national composer, is on the 5 Lei bill, and the Israel Philharmonic was once again at the Enescu Festival for 2 concerts.  On Tuesday night we performed Schoenberg and Bruckner and on Wednesday night Enescu’s “Symphonic Poem Vox Maris” (Song of the Sea) and Mahler’s Ninth Symphony.  The Sala Palatului was packed both…[Read More]

Lost in Transit: Bucharest


What makes a great tour concert?  A well rested, calm, well fed, comfortable orchestra? Absolutely! But sometimes things don’t work out.  Last Monday, the orchestra and Maestro Mehta flew from Zurich to Bucharest for their first appearance at the Enescu Festival. A well timed day: land at 3:30, one hour rehearsal at 7:00 of Schoenberg and Bruckner, sandwiches, then concert at 8:30.The boarding and flight came off like clockwork and we landed on time. We watched as the carousel delivered the…[Read More]

Lucerne and Gstaad


Just as prestigious as the Salzburg Festival, the Lucerne Festival hosts a long list of world class orchestras and conductors. The IPO arrived on a warm Friday afternoon in the middle of SommerFest, an alternative festival of street bands and musicians. The city’s squares were alive with an incredible mix of ensembles – Balkan Brass Bands, Classic-Cool Strings, and Country-Jazz to name just a few. It was a chance to stretch out on the lawn in the parks or have…[Read More]



The moment of truth has arrived: the Salzburg Festival – the Olympics of music, where the greatest orchestras, soloists and conductors come together. It all takes place in the city where Mozart himself used to run around, Salzburg. Even Zubin is nervous and that means more rehearsals; 3 hours the evening we arrive, 2 hours the next morning, then an acoustic rehearsal an hour before the concert. Maestro Mehta brought one of the most difficult programs to the festival, Schoenberg’s…[Read More]


By Peter Marck

The orchestra finally performed indoors in an actual concert hall! Although Ljubljana’s “Cankarjev Dom” is not the hall where Gustav Mahler was music director, it is a wonderful modern hall and we had a great concert. The standing ovation, not to be taken for granted in Ljubljana, was very rewarding for both the orchestra and Zubin. Tuesday was the first free day of the tour; an opportunity to re-charge our batteries before important concerts at Salzburg and Lucerne. The orchestra…[Read More]

Grafenegg Festival

By Peter Marck

A working weekend in the village!  The orchestra spent its first weekend on tour in the Austrian village of St. Polten, 30 minutes away from the Grafenegg Castle, Vienna’s favorite summer music festival.  The village consists of the Dom and Rathaus squares, the farmers’ market, and a 19th century synagogue. It is one of the quietest places one can imagine a tour weekend.  It will get a bit more exciting in a week when the regional wine and food festival…[Read More]

First Stop: Riga

By Peter Marck

The Israel Philharmonic set off on the 2015 European Festival Tour, leaving Tel Aviv’s 90 degree heat and landing in Riga, Latvia to 55 degrees of Baltic chill. Surrounded by a pine forest in Riga’s resort village of Jurmala, the orchestra rehearsed and performed at the Dzintari Concert venue; an outdoor stage with excellent acoustics…and plenty of fresh air! Maestro Mehta conducted Richard Strauss’ “Til Eulenspiegel,” Arnold Schoenberg’s “Verklarte Nacht” as well as Peter Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, “Pathetique.”  After the…[Read More]

Asaf Maoz

IPO Violinist

Born in Israel in 1979, Asaf Maoz is a graduate of the Talma Yellin School of the Arts, the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel-Aviv, and the Rostock Hochschule für Musik, Germany. He served in the IDF as a distinguished musician and has won several competitions and scholarships from the America-Israel Foundation, Yehudi Menuhin’s “Live Music Now” and the Fundación Barenboim-Said. In 2013 he joined the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as a second violin. This November he will perform as a soloist…[Read More]

European Festivals

Summer 2015

3 weeks, 8 countries, 12 festivals, 14 concerts, 120 musicians and staff – while most of us spend the last few weeks of August trying to fit in a few final trips to the beach, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will be on an extensive tour of Europe’s most prestigious music festivals. The orchestra begins on August 20th in Riga, Latvia and winds its way throughout the continent until September 9th with a final performance in the Italian coastal city of…[Read More]

Saimir Pirgu

IPO Guest Artist

Acclaimed by audiences and critics around the world, Saimir Pirgu has risen rapidly on both the opera and concert stages.  Born in 1981, in Elbasan, Albania, he began studying music at a very young age. The recipient of several honors and awards, he has performed around the globe, becoming one of the best-known singers in the international lyric world. This July he debuted the role of Riccardo in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Learn more about his career,…[Read More]

Sulamot Celebrates

Five Years

Our special program SULAMOT – Music for Social Change, completed its fifth year of activity, celebrating with a series of community concerts countrywide. Sulamot is an innovative and inspirational music education program for at-risk children. It focuses primarily on children with the least resources and greatest needs in peripheral areas and underprivileged communities. The program reaches children from many different backgrounds including immigrants from numerous countries, reflecting the diversity found in Israel. When Sulamot enters a school everyone participates –…[Read More]

Thomas Hampson

IPO Guest Artist

Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer, recording artist, and “ambassador of song,” maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach, and technology. The American baritone has performed in the world’s most important concert halls and opera houses with many renowned singers, pianists, conductors, and orchestras. This month he will again join the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which he likens to being with “family.”    How did your singing career begin and what drew you to opera?…[Read More]

Music for Children and Children in Music

On June 1st 2,500 children and their parents gathered for a special “IPO for Kids” performance in the Bronfman Auditorium. The theme, “Music for Children and Children in Music” brought smiles to the faces of not only the audience but also the musicians who shared the stage with two bright young stars.   The evening featured debuts by child prodigy Alma Deutscher and up-and-coming soloist Danielle Akta. At ten-years-old Alma is a composer, pianist and violinist. The orchestra performed her…[Read More]

Rachel Kam


Rachel Kam has been a member of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for over three decades. In the interview below she shares stories of performing with artists from Leonard Bernstein to her own extremely talented children and gives advice to the next generation of musicians joining this revered orchestra.   What made you want to become a classical musician? I never actually decided to become a musician. I don’t come from a musical family and I didn’t hear any classical music at home.…[Read More]

Jonathan Hadas

Bass Clarinetist

Jonathan Hadas is part of the “next generation” of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. At only 29 years-old he has been a bass clarinetist with the orchestra for four years. He recently spoke to us about how nerve wracking his audition was, his views on the future of classical music, a love of Stravinsky and much more.   What made you want to become a classical musician? I can’t say that at age three I knew I wanted to be a…[Read More]

The IPO for Kids

Harps in Harmony

On April 27, a special concert of “The IPO for Kids” series took place featuring the harp or, to be more precise, 53 harps – filling the stage to the brim! The performance was presided over by Israeli personality Tal Mosari and showcased the beautiful instrument in all its glory. The event featured the world premiere performance of Tali Gelzer’s work Water in which two soloists, Tali Gelzer and Marina Geneshin, displayed the ability of the harp to imitate the…[Read More]

March Music and Masquerades

  One of the IPO’s first concerts of the family series this season was a festive performance on Purim. Attendees and several orchestra members donned costumes and paraded in the lobby. Following that was a concert of lively pieces from musicals and movies. It was a wonderful day of tradition, music and fun.   Last week 15 orchestra members participated in a special production of Prokefiev’s whimsical Peter and the Wolf at the Ganei Tikva cultural center. Several musicians performed…[Read More]

AFIPO Events

2015 is off to a busy start! This quarter we have held diverse events across the country from New York to Los Angeles to Palm Beach.   Chamber Music Recital Our annual Palm Beach event was held on March 12 in a beautiful private home. The evening featured a gourmet dinner followed by a performance by the innovative Shuffle Concert. Guests were given a numbered menu filled with masterpieces in every possible musical style; if their number was selected, they…[Read More]

Itamar Zorman

IPO Guest Artist

Performing again with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra later this month will be Itamar Zorman. In addition to working with the IPO, Zorman has performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras throughout the world – the American Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, Het Gelders Orkest in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Tokyo Symphony in Suntory Hall, and Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra, amongst others. This talented musician recently took the time to discuss his upcoming engagement with the IPO, the release of his debut album,…[Read More]

Coexistence Through Music

Each year the KeyNote program reaches over 29,000 Israeli children and 2017 is off to a phenomenal start with events targeting diverse groups.   In 2014, 1500 students from across Israel were treated to a special concert entitled “When East and West Meet.” Pieces by Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov, Saint-Saens and Vilensky were performed by members of the IPO alongside the Young Philharmonic Orchestra (ages 15-18.) Additionally, 60 children from El Wasphia school in Nazareth played Darbukas (drums) and Shesh-Besh, (the Arab Jewish…[Read More]

our new concertmaster

Exclusive Interview

It feels like a family over there and I’m very much looking forward to joining that family. – David Radzynski   On December 19, 2014, the day that would have been IPO founder Bronislaw Huberman’s 132nd birthday, the Orchestra named 28-year-old David Radzynski as its new concertmaster, joining current concertmasters Yigal Tuneh and Ilya Konovalov in the position. The young violinist hails from Ohio and grew up among a musical family. His father, Jan Radzynski, is a composer as well…[Read More]

A Personal Note

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

Whenever I finish a tour blog I realize that there is no way to convey the hardships, small and large, that we share: the separation from family, friends, hobbies, familiar surroundings, the endless hours spent in lines at hotels and airports, the loneliness of hotel rooms, the frustration of not being able to read a menu or order a meal in a foreign language…it certainly looks exciting to travel the world, playing concerts in great concert halls with Zubin, but…[Read More]

Finishing the Tour

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

The IPO completed its tour of the Far East with visits to Xiamen and Zhuhai in the south of China. Zhuhai sits between Macau and Hong Kong. A bridge will soon connect the three cities making Zhuhai the center of this financial/vacation/gambling powerhouse. It is also a lovely area with long beaches and a promenade along the sea that stretches forever; it’s a bit like Florida. From the concert hall we could see Macau across the river. After the last…[Read More]

Blue Skies in Bejing

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

The IPO landed in Beijing at midnight and arrived at the hotel at 1:30, but we awoke to beautiful clear blue skies. We left Singapore in 30C heat and arrived in 3 C. cold! The air was unusually clean thanks to Beijing’s factories being closed during the 3 day APEC conference. Instead of performing at The Great Hall of the People, we performed at a real concert hall, the National Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to the concert…[Read More]

The IPO in Singapore

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

The Israel Philharmonic arrived in Singapore to perform for the first time. In 1978, Singapore was just a stop-over on the way to Australia for the IPO, today it is an essential concert venue celebrating “Asian Tiger’s” thirst for culture and admiration for Zubin Mehta. The visit was under the patronage of the Sassoon Family – Victor and Michelle, in conjunction with the Israeli Embassy. Orchestra members were treated to a reception at the Sassoon home. The morning of the…[Read More]

IPO, Maurice Bejart, and the Tokyo Ballet

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

The IPO and Zubin Mehta joined up with Maurice Bejart and the Tokyo Ballet for 3 performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the NHK auditorium. There was some initial confusion on stage, but soon everyone got down to work rehearsing the music and choreography.

Family Touring

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

The Israel Philharmonic tours more than any other major orchestra. We maintain an international reputation, we serve the diplomatic interests of Israel, and our Music Director, Zubin Mehta, has fans around the world. But how does it affect family life? When you join the IPO, you know it’s going to be tough on children and spouses; especially for couples in the orchestra. There have been “legendary” couples: Teddy and Talia; Toli and Liza, Shelly and Micha, Saida and Adi, who…[Read More]

Shabbat in Osaka

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

Shabbat evening in Osaka was marked with Kiddush while listening to the IPO concert of Schubert and Mahler recorded on Wednesday and broadcast by the NHK (Japan’s national public broadcasting organization). Afterwards we went for neighborhood sushi. We stayed at a particularly good hotel, rated number 1 in Osaka by Trip Advisor. The conversation at breakfast involved the amenities and gadgets in the room: Italian coffee maker and Japanese tea service, a bathtub with television and water-proof remote, a shower…[Read More]

Rehearsal Canceled

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

On Thursday, the IPO flew from Tokyo to the southern city of Fukuoka; a one hour 40 minute flight. A rehearsal of Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Vivaldi was planned for 5:00pm before the 7:00pm concert. We arrived at 2:00pm to hear the good news that the rehearsal was canceled! Still there was barely enough time to nap before the concert…however, the concert was a great success! The audience wouldn’t let Maestro Mehta leave the stage and we played two encores; the…[Read More]

IPO Concerts in Tokyo

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

The Israel Philharmonic finished a week of concerts in Tokyo with programs at Suntory Hall, Ikebukuru and the NHK Concert Hall.  Between rehearsals and concerts, players toured Nikko, the ancient capitol of Japan, Kamakura with the largest Buddha in the world, repaired instruments with local craftsmen, practiced in the hotel rooms, or rested for the rougher part of the Japan tour: Fukuoka, Osaka, Nagoya, Mie, and back to Tokyo. At the NHK concert, Zubin Mehta signed the first page of…[Read More]

Israel Philharmonic Participates In Tsunami Violin Project

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

Musicians of the IPO joined in the Tsunami Violin Project, performing on a unique quartet of string instruments in Suntory Hall, Tokyo.  The Tsunami Violin Project was born in the aftermath of the tsunami which left behind vast destruction in March 2011, only months after the orchestra’s last tour to Japan.  In addition to the devastation, 10,000 children were left homeless and 2,000 orphaned.  Violin maker Muneyuki Nakazawa built the quartet from wood torn from homes in the Tohoku region…[Read More]

Suntory Hall Tokyo

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

“The Israel Philharmonic with its music director Zubin Mehta is Israel’s greatest cultural asset!” a wonderful compliment from the Israeli Ambassador to Japan, Ruth Kahanoff, who attended the IPO concert in Suntory Hall. Sunday afternoon’s concert of Vivaldi, Mozart and Tchaikovsky was a triumphant opening for the Orchestra’s visit to Japan. Long after the IPO performed “The Death of Tybalt” as an encore, the audience remained in the hall applauding and hoping for another bow by Maestro Mehta…he didn’t disappoint…[Read More]

IPO in Japan

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

  The Philharmonic returned to Japan for concerts in Tokyo at Suntory Hall, Bunka Kaikan and the NHK, Kukuoka, Osaka, Mie, Nagoya, then back to Tokyo. Upon returning to Tokyo, the Orchestra will join the Tokyo Ballet in two performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; musicians, soloists, choir and dancers all choreographed on one stage. The IPO is no stranger to Tokyo: nature hikes, shopping, sushi – just great!

Bangkok Festival of Dance and Music

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

The Far East Tour of the IPO began with a return visit to the Bangkok Festival of Dance and Music under the patronage of the Queen of Thailand. The symphonic part of the concert was Mozart’s Linz Symphony and Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. Opening the concert was a special treat for the audience, Vivaldi’s concerto for 4 violins performed as Vivaldi probably first heard it, with four women of the orchestra playing the solo parts: Saida Barlev, Genia Pikovsky, Sharon…[Read More]

Back on Tour

by Peter Marck, IPO Principal Bassist

Three weeks ago the Israel Philharmonic returned from Budapest after 13 days in Siberia, the Baltic Countries and Eastern Europe; yesterday we landed in Bangkok for the beginning of the Far East tour. In between, we performed at Israel Music Week’s final concert and opened the IPO’s 79th Season with concerts of Ein Heldenleben and Mahler’s Second Symphony, The Resurrection. In all, we managed to squeeze in 13 rehearsals and 9 concerts. Denis Matsuyev, who was our host at the…[Read More]