Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra can look back on more than 80 years of history. In the mid-1930s, the Polish violinist Bronisław Huberman tried to persuade Eastern European and German orchestral musicians who had lost their jobs as a result of Nazi policies to emigrate to Palestine in order to create a new orchestra there. The Palestine Orchestra was thereby formed and gave its founding concert on 26 December 1936 under the baton of Arturo Toscanini; with Israel’s independence in 1948, it was renamed the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Today the orchestra is the most important cultural ambassador of the State of Israel. Over almost half a century, its musicians worked closely with Leonard Bernstein, who conducted numerous concerts from the mid-1940s until his death, including the world premiere of his Kaddish Symphony in 1963; he became an honorary conductor in 1988. Zubin Mehta, who made his debut with the orchestra in 1961, was appointed Principal Conductor in 1977 and had this position extended for life in 1981. At the end of 2019, however, he will resign at his own request; Lahav Shani will succeed him in the 2020-21 season, working with Gianandrea Noseda, who has been Principal Guest Conductor of the orchestra since 2011. During the 2018-19 season, the Israel Philharmonic additionally collaborated with Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert, Pablo Heras-Casado, Manfred Honeck, and Vasily Petrenko. With Yoel Levi on the podium, the orchestra toured the United States in February 2019, with stops in Brookville, New York City, Palm Beach, Miami, Sarasota, and Ann Arbor. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performs subscription concerts in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa and regularly appears at major music festivals around the world.

LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 2 September 1971 in a concert of works by Ami Ma’Ayani, Felix Mendelssohn, and Béla Bartók, with Zubin Mehta conducting.

July 2019