1. Abu Gosh Vocal Music Festival—Abu Gosh
The Abu Gosh Festival was established in 1992. It takes place twice a year, on Sukkot and Shavuot, and lasts between three to five days. The concerts are performed in two churches: the Crusader-Benedictine Church, built in the 12th century and located in the center of the village, and the Kiryat Ye’arim Church, which looks over Abu Gosh from a nearby hilltop. Hanna Tzur has been the Music Director of the Abu Gosh Festival since 1995, and served as music director of the Ramat-Gan Chamber Choir for 19 years.
Visitor Information: Tickets are available during the festival at the box office in the churches. Only cash is accepted.
2. The Haifa Symphony Orchestra—Haifa
The Haifa Symphony Orchestra, the most significant musical institution in the north of Israel, was founded in 1950. Maestro Noam Sheriff is its current music director. The orchestra offers six programs: The Classical Series, The Vocal Series, Haifa Proms, Friday Morning Classics, The Children’s Series & The Chamber Music Series.
Visitor Information: See website for ticking information for upcoming performances.
Street Address: Mahanayim St 7, Haifa
3. Israel Philharmonic Orchestra—Tel Aviv-Yafo
Established in 1936 as the Palestine Symphony, the IPO is Israel’s premier classical ensemble. The great Polish-born Jewish violinist and musician Bronislaw Huberman was prescient enough to foresee the Holocaust, and persuaded 75 Jewish musicians from major European orchestras to immigrate to British Mandate Palestine, thus founding the iconic orchestra. Today, the orchestra performs regularly in its Tel Aviv home, the Charles Bronfman Auditorium, as well as throughout Israel and the world. The IPO plays an average of 30-40 concerts aboard each year. Maestro Zubin Mehta has led the world-class symphonic ensemble as Music Director and Conductor for over 50 years. The IPO is unique in its cultural diversity, as members of the orchestra represent over 15 different nationalities, and were born, raised and educated in 17 different countries across three continents.
Ticket information: Tel Aviv Series: Regular Price: 180-550 NIS; Subscriber Price: 135-413 NIS; Jeans Concert Series: Regular Price: 150-420 NIS; Subscriber Price: 113-315 NIS; Friday Matinee Series: Regular Price: 170-490 NIS; Subscriber Price: 128-368 NIS; Haifa & Jerusalem Series: Regular Price: 130-430 NIS; Subscriber Price: 98-323 NIS; Chamber Music Concerts: 120 NIS; The IPO for Kids: Children: 60 NIS; Adults: 120 NIS
Street Address: Huberman St 1
4. The Israeli Opera—Tel Aviv-Yafo
The Israeli Opera, previously known as the New Israeli Opera, is Israel’s premier opera company. Founded in 1985, the company has had residency in the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center since 1994. The Israeli Opera also founded the Israeli Opera Festival, which has performed large-scale outdoor productions, originally at Caesarea, and from 2010 at Masada. In order to cultivate the future generation of the Israeli Opera singers, the Israeli Opera established the Opera Studio program for young artists. Since its founding, the Israeli Opera has also commissioned and performed several operas by Israeli composers.
Visitor Information: See website for ticketing information for upcoming productions. Subscriptions are also available for 2-5 operas (prices vary).
Street Address: 19 Shaul Hamelech Boulevard
5. Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival—Jerusalem
The Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, which began in September 1988, occurs annually at the YMCA Jerusalem. The 2017 festival opened with an original Woodwind Quintet composition by Israeli composer Omri Avram.
Concert ticket prices: 7 concerts: 1020 NIS; 5 concerts: 770 NIS; Single concert: 170 NIS; Students: 60 NIS; Soldiers: Free entrance; Last minute tickets (1 hour before): 100 NIS
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 10:00am-2:00pm, 4:00pm-8:00pm, Friday: 10:00am-1:00pm
Street Address: King David 26, Jerusalem, 91002
6. The Jerusalem Opera—Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Opera, established in 2011, has presented six full opera productions: Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Madame Butterfly, The Barber of Seville, The Magic Flute and Hansel and Gretel. The company aims to provide a platform for the promotion of Jerusalem and Israeli artists, especially young artists.
Visitor Information: See website for ticking information for upcoming productions.
Street Address: 26 Caspi Str., Jerusalem 9355429
7. Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra—Jerusalem
The JSO was founded as the Palestine Broadcasting Service Orchestra in the late 1930s, and became the Kol Israel Orchestra in 1948. Its current music director is Maestro Frédéric Chaslin. The orchestra’s varied repertoire ranges from the Baroque and the Classical periods through the Romantic period, and includes contemporary works. Several living composers received their Israeli premieres with the JSO. The orchestra has toured throughout Europe and the United States.
Ticket Prices: Single concert: 155-175 NIS; Single concert, The Vocal Series: 160-180 NIS; Single concert, The Family Series: 80-100 NIS; Open subscription (4 concerts): 380-520 NIS; Open Subscription (6 concerts): 560-780 NIS; The Soloist Series (10 concerts): 840-1060 NIS; The Conductors Series (11 concerts): 930-1290 NIS; The Popular Series (9 concerts): 750-1050 NIS; The Family Series (5 concerts): 300-425 NIS
Street Address: The Henry Crown Symphony Hall, The Jerusalem Theater, Chopin St. 5
8. Kalman Sultanik Confederation House—Jerusalem
Confederation House, a center for ethnic music and poetry, emphasizes innovation in ethnic music and poetry both in Israel and abroad. The institution also promotes the cultural activity of Ethiopian olim immigrants. Effie Benaya has served as the Confederation House’s general and artistic director for twenty years, over which period the House has become one of Israel’s most influential musical institutions. Confederation House embraces diversity through the heterogeneous genres and styles performed there, as well as the diverse ethnic backgrounds of the performers themselves. The House’s aim is to develop cultural pluralism throughout Israel.
Visitor Information: See website for ticket information for upcoming performances and festivals.
Street Address: 12 Emile Botta St. P.O. Box 7218, Jerusalem 9107102
9. The Opera Festival—Masada
Over 4,000 spectators come to the Opera Festival at the foot of the Masada fortress. The Israeli Opera inaugurated this open-air festival in June 2010. The breathtaking views, combined with fabulous music performed by Israeli and international artists, ensure an unforgettable experience.
Visitor Information: Check the Israeli Opera’s website for information regarding tickets.
Street Address: Masada National Park
10. The Red Sea Jazz Festival—Eilat
Founded in 1987, the RSJF is a four-day international jazz festival with nine concerts per evening. It is held annually during the last week of August, and features artists from all around the world. RSJF is also active in jazz education in Israel, promoting original jazz compositions and youth jazz bands.
Visitor Information: See website for tickets for the annual August festival. Ticket prices range from 465 NIS-1,115 NIS.
Street Address: Port of Eilat