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 Zucker and Rivka Saker, major donors and co-presidents of the IPO’s International Board, is part of the 60th Anniversary of Bronfman Auditorium, which opened in 1957 as the Fredric R. Mann Auditorium and was renamed in 2013 after two years of renovations.
Maestro Zubin Mehta will conduct the anniversary concert in The Lowy Concert Hall, which replicates the program originally performed in 1957 under the baton of Leonard Bernstein. As it did 60 years before, the concert opens with Beethoven’s “Overture, Consecration of the House.”
The first concert in Zucker Hall, on Friday, October 13 at 8 p.m., will be a special chamber performance also conducted by Maestro Mehta and featuring pianist Maria Joao Pires performing Schoenberg’s “Chamber Symphony” and Schubert’s “Trout Quintet.” On Saturday, October 14, eight IPO members will be joined by pianists Talmon Pachevsky and Yuval Small for a performance of Saint-Saens “The Carnival of the Animals,” part of the Philharmonic for Kids series. Chani Nachmias will host the event.
A FEAT OF COOPERATION
“The Bronfman complex, which contains halls, terraces, and ornate balconies at the very heart of Tel Aviv, is a vital asset of Israeli culture,” said Dalit Coral, the facility’s Director General. “The opening of Zucker Hall will turn the compound into a diverse cultural complex where music festivals, artist performances, conferences, conventions, exhibitions, and more can take place alongside classical music concerts.”
A cooperative effort by the city of Tel Aviv and the IPO and its Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation was required for the performing arts center to expand. Working together they have created the most modern and state-of-the-art cultural center in Israel, while maintaining the original character of the building design of architects Dov Karmi, Zeev Rechter and Yaakov Rechter.
Avi Shoshani, Secretary General of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, said, “I am thankful to the Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation for allowing us to realize a dream we’ve held for years: an intimate hall in the very home of the Orchestra that we can use for rehearsals, and also hold chamber concerts and various other activities and performances.”
Ofer Kolker and Barak Eylam of Kolker/Kolker/Epstein Architects designed the multi-purpose hall with acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, who oversaw the acoustics for The Lowy Concert Hall. It allows flexible seating configurations so the audience can be in front for classical concerts, or surrounding the stage for speaking engagements, master classes, seminars, and other programs. And, the seats can be removed and chairs arranged for rehearsals.
AN ORIGINAL CONCERT PROGRAM
The October 12 orchestra concert also includes Noam Sheriff’s “Festival Prelude,” which was the contest-winning piece chosen by Bernstein specifically for the concert to open the Mann. That is followed by Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E minor,” op.64, featuring violinist Christian Tetzlaff, and Bloch Schelomo’s “Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra,” featuring cellist Mischa Maisky. Beethoven’s “Concerto no. 5 in E-flat major for piano and orchestra,” op. 73 brings the historic program to a close, with Yefim Bronfman the featured soloist.
The 82nd Season opening celebration continues with a series of performances by leading artists:
- October 17 – Mosh Ben-Ari and Roy Zu-Arets acoustic show
- October 18 – Shlomo Gronich featuring Alon Eder
- October 19 – Chanan Ben-Ari launching his new album in celebration of summer’s end
- October 20 – Rona Keinan featuring Assaf Amdursky at noon, and Arik Sinai special performance to mark 40 years of work at 9 p.m.
- October 21 – Oriental Kids Groove – a musical show for the whole family at 11:30 a.m., and Carolina featuring Kutiman that evening.