Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra prepares for its two 2011 summer concerts

The Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is an orchestra made up of 80 of Israel’s finest young orchestral players; their ages range from 14 to 18. The orchestra meets annually for an intensive summer course, rehearsing under the baton of world famous conductors. The YIPO is one of the flagship programs run by the Jerusalem Music Centre, an organization that discovers and nurtures young players in its projects, and enjoys the support of musicians from the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Marc Rich Foundation for Education, Culture and Welfare and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. This year, to perpetuate the memory of Hanan Zoz, the chair of concertmaster will be dedicated to his name, with the help and generosity of the Hanan Zoz Family Foundation.

The Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel’s national youth orchestra, was founded by Bruno Landesberg and the late Hanan Zoz. Selecting its participants from the finest players of classical music in Israel, its aim is to give these outstanding young people a love of orchestral music, the joy of working together, experience and a chance to work with some of the world’s best-known teachers and conductors. A number of today’s internationally renowned Israeli artists cut their teeth in the YIPO when starting out. Meeting and working together in an environment of excellence and equality, players of the YIPO come from religious- and secular homes, Jewish- and Arabic communities, from the cities, agricultural villages, from peripheral towns, from the north of Israel to the south. Some of the players have grown up with classical music from early childhood, whereas others have discovered it and become deeply involved in it in their teens.

One of the many success stories of the YIPO players is that of double bass player Talia Horwitz, a 12th grade student originally from the western Negev town of Sderot, today living on moshav Nir Akiva (close to Netivot). Talia’s mother runs a day centre for the elderly, her father is a mechanical engineer, her older sister is studying education and her brother is now completing his army service. Talia’s parents have never put pressure on her to study music. She started by playing the guitar and was accepted as a student to the Israel Arts and Science Academy in Jerusalem, a high school bringing together motivated and very able students. It was there that the music staff became aware of Talia’s outstanding musical ability and suggested she learn the double bass. Through her studies on the giant instrument, Talia discovered the world of classical music. Teachers at the high school contacted the JMC, informing its specialist teaching staff of their talented young double bass player. She was auditioned and selected to play in the YIPO and, in addition, was presented by them with a double bass on loan. In the 11th grade, Talia left the Israel Arts and Science Academy to study at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University, completing her matriculation examinations at the same time. Talia Horwitz has recently been accepted as a student to the Julliard School of Music (New York) on a full scholarship, the dream of every outstanding young musician. If all goes to plan, Talia will defer her mandatory army service by four years and will need to have a double bass of her own for her studies in New York.

The 2011 July YIPO workshop is taking place in the Ben Shemen Youth Village. Participants are busy playing music from morning to night under the guidance of renowned musicians from Britain, Italy and Israel. The results of their hard work will be heard and seen in two concerts with the well-known Austrian conductor Hans-Peter Ochsenhofer. In the meantime, the young players are spending weeks consolidating musical notes and rhythms into fine orchestral performance, at the same time, enjoying the company of their co-players. Ochsenhofer worked with the YIPO in 2008, inspiring the young instrumentalists and audience alike in a program of works by Haydn, Tchaikovsky and Gulda. This year’s program will include Dvorak’s Symphony no.7 and Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber. Audiences will enjoy hearing two great orchestral works not frequently performed in Israel. These concerts will surely be among this summer’s most attractive and inspiring musical events!

Concerts will take place in the Henry Crown Auditorium (Jerusalem Theatre) Thursday July 21st at 20:00 and in the Frederic Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv Friday July 22 at 12:00.

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