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Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

The 110-member Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world's major symphonic ensembles, often described as "Israel's foremost cultural asset" and regarded by many as the "Orchestra of the Jewish People." As an organization it has a unique history and heritage.

Central European musical traditions were carried into the Middle East from the time of the first mass migration of Jews, in the 1880s, to Turkish-ruled Palestine. Following Turkey's defeat in World War I, the Balfour Declaration designated part of Palestine as a "national home for the Jewish people," and Jewish settlement of the area increased. Music teaching institutions were established. Nazi persecution of the Jews in the 1930s caused increas3ed immigration. One of the first was violinist Bronislav Huberman, who arrived in 1933 and immediately began urging the leading Jewish orchestral members of Germany, many of whom had lost their jobs, to come to Palestine. He organized the Palestine Philharmonic.

Conductor William Steinberg helped organize and prepare the orchestra, but the orchestra's premiere concert, December 26, 1936 was under the baton of Arturo Toscanini. The orchestra began touring almost immediately; during the next month it appeared in Cairo and Alexandria. When the State of Israel's independence was proclaimed, the orchestra was renamed the Israel Philharmonic.

Though the IPO has been directed by most of the major maestros of the world, two names dominate its history: Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) and Zubin Mehta. Bernstein began conducting the orchestra nearly from the time he rocketed to fame during World War II, and led the historic concert at Beer-Sheva in 1947 just after the Israel Defense Forces took the site. He also conducted an important concert at the Lebanon Border and, following the 1967 war, he led the legendary Mount Scopus concert of Mahler's "Second Symphony" in celebration of the capturing of Jerusalem. His forty-year association with the orchestra was deep, committed, and intense, even though he never held an official position with the orchestra.

The Philharmonic had no permanent conductor for nearly the first forty years of its existence. Instead, a large number of prominent guest conductors led its concerts. This exposure to a remarkable array of the world's greatest maestros gave the orchestra great flexibility, but at the cost of retarding its cohesion and attainment of a consistent sound. Mehta was appointed Music Adviser to the orchestra in 1968 and, in 1977, became its Music Director. In 1981 he was named Music Director for Life. He has shown commitment to the orchestra and continued with it as he has taken other leadership positions, notably with the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics.

The orchestra is a true "philharmonic" in the traditional sense, meaning that it is a co-operative owned by its musicians. It performs concert series in its home city of Tel-Aviv and in Haifa and Jerusalem, and makes frequent appearances elsewhere. Its main venue is the Mann Auditorium in Tel-Aviv, a hall with whose acoustics are often problematic for recording companies. ~ Joseph Stevenson
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Mehta - 70th Birthday Tribute

Disc 1
Composer: Leonard Bernstein
Title: Overture To Candide, For Orchestra
Composer: Gioachino Rossini
Title: Guillaume Tell (William Tell), Opera
Title: La Scala Di Seta (The Silken Ladder), Opera
Composer: Carl Maria von Weber
Title: Oberon, Opera, J. 306
Title: Der Freischütz, Opera, J. 277 (Op. 77)
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: La Forza Del Destino, Opera
Title: La Traviata, Opera
Composer: Franz von Suppé
Title: Dichter Und Bauer (Poet And Peasant), Operetta
Composer: Johann Strauss II
Title: Die Fledermaus (The Bat), Operetta (Rv 503)
Disc 2
Composer: Maurice Ravel
Title: Boléro, Ballet For Orchestra (Or Piano)
Title: La Valse, Poème Choréographique For Orchestra
Title: Daphnis Et Chloé, Suite No. 2 For Orchestra
Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Title: Circus Polka, For Orchestra ("for A Young Elephant")
Title: Le Sacre Du Printemps (The Rite Of Spring), Ballet In 2 Parts For Orchestra
Disc 3
Composer: Aaron Copland
Title: Fanfare For The Common Man, For Brass & Percussion (From Symphony No. 3)
Composer: John Williams (Composer)
Title: Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope, Film Score
Title: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Film Score
Composer: Charles Ives
Title: Decoration Day, For Orchestra (Symphony: Holidays No. 2), S. 5ii (K. 1A4/ii)
Title: Variations On "America," For Organ, S. 140 (K. 3d5)
Disc 4
Composer: Gustav Holst
Title: The Planets, Suite For Orchestra & Female Chorus, Op. 32, H. 125
Composer: Sir Edward Elgar
Title: Enigma Variations, For Orchestra, Op. 36
Disc 5
Composer: Anton Bruckner
Title: Symphony No. 8 In C Minor, Wab 108
Disc 6
Composer: Richard Wagner
Title: Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg, Opera, Wwv 96
Title: Rienzi, Der Letzte Der Tribunen, Opera, Wwv 49
Title: Lohengrin, Opera, Wwv 75
Composer: Gottfried von Einem
Title: Philhadelphia Symphony, Op. 28
Composer: Richard Strauss
Title: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster), Tone Poem For Orchestra, Op. 30 (Trv 176)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Let the FORCE be with you...awesom e Soundtrack!
Report as inappropriate
dugduvall
Go Batman!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Report as inappropriate
STARWARS IS FUCKEN AWSOME
Report as inappropriate
Kiss ur hand five times and post this under five songs and under ur pillow will be an iPod
Report as inappropriate
lkgrebnel
Zubin Mehta's done quite a job with this. Pertsonally, I don't like Bolero--but I truly like what he's done with it. Was going to shut it off but stopped--as I REALLY LISTENED. thx
Report as inappropriate
alf01
How do I get this Country music to stop. I wanted to listen to traditional praise religious music today?

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