Arts in Brief: June 24

Habima hosts peace child Israel; Canetti Festival comes to Israel; Magnes Museum moving to Berkeley.

June 23, 2010 21:51
4 minute read.

Canetti 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

Habima hosts Peace Child Israel
The Habima National Theater is hosting Peace Child Israel’s (PCI) Du-Drama Festival 2010, dubbed “The Impossible Dream?” For those familiar with the The Man of La Mancha, the lyrics will strike a goose-bump chord: “To fight for the right / Without question or pause / To be willing to march into Hell / For a heavenly cause.”

That’s what Peace Child Israel does – fights for Jewish Arab mutual understanding through theater.

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On July 5, 100 Jewish and Arab actors from PCI’s Du-Drama leadership program will present the best of its 22nd season, five scenes from the many plays that some 10,000 Arab and Jewish school children have seen since March this year. These include Don Quixote (Tel Aviv and Jaffa Troupe), The Little Prince (Nazareth and Yagur Troupe), and Pocahontas, John and Us (Tira and Kfar Saba Troupe). There will also be a performance of Hillel Mittelpunkt’s tough drama Railway to Damascus, which charts the breakdown of Jewish/Arab relations in the years leading up to Israel’s statehood.

The guest of honor is US Ambassador James B. Cunningham.

“Peace Child Israel uses theatre and the arts as a tool for inter-cultural awareness and education towards democracy and pluralism in Israeli society through weekly leadership meetings between neighboring Arab and Jewish schools,” is part of what’s said on the flyer.

PCI was founded by late Habima actress Yael Drouyannoff and David Gordon in 1988 and persists obstinately despite slurs and racism on and from both sides.

You know what’s sad? That there’s a question mark after the song title. • Helen Kaye

Canetti Festival comes to Israel
The International Canetti Festival and Violin competition celebrates its 15th consecutive year and this one is being held, for the first time, in Israel, where its founder, violinist/conductor Robert Canetti was born and raised.

The festival, to be held in Acre, Haifa and Ra’anana, runs from July 7 to 21. The first week is a series of chamber concerts in Acre and Haifa, with one (7/10) taking place in Ra’anana. The second week is given over to the competition. Thirty entrants from Asia, Europe, and Israel of course, will compete in three stages with six expected to reach the finals and the three winners playing at a gala concert on July 20.

Participating musicians (all of whom are eminent practicing musicians and teachers, and some of whom will also give master classes), include Vienna’s Aron Quartet, pianist Maria Prinz, violinists Vladimir Ivanov and Ludwig Mueller, flautist Gulnara Hecht and cellist/composer Ofer Canetti, Robert’s son, who also wrote the compulsory piece for this year’s competition.

Other Israeli composers who have written works for the competition include Gil Shohat, Noam Sheriff and Yinam Leef.

Something of a prodigy, Canetti was already a member of the Israel Chamber Orchestra at 20. He went on to study at Juilliard, and then to an international career. In 1996 he founded both the New Israeli Chamber Ensemble and the Canetti Foundation, the latter to promote and further the careers of young musicians. These days, he and his violinist wife Bella divide their time between Israel – they have a home in Haifa – Vienna and Moscow. • Helen Kaye

Magnes Museum moving to Berkeley
The collections of the Judah L. Magnes Museum, one of the world’s top collections on Jewish life and history, is moving to the University of California, Berkeley.

The 10,000-piece collection, including music, art, rare books and historical archives, will move to the university over the summer and open in a renovated building in downtown Berkeley in the fall, according to the UC Berkeley News.

The museum, which was founded in 1961, announced the move Monday.

Five years of gifts totaling $2.5 million from philanthropists Warren Hellman, Tad Taube and the Koret Foundation is financing the move, the university said.

The museum’s name will change to the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the Bancroft Library.

The Magnes’ Western Jewish History Archives, the world’s largest collection of letters, diaries, photographs and other archival documents relating to the Jewish settlement of the West, will move into the Bancroft Library, according to the university. Musical manuscripts and sheet music will be housed at the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library.

A building in Berkeley’s arts and commerce district also will be renovated for the collection to include a lecture room, seminar rooms and exhibition space for the museum’s prints, paintings, photographs, costumes and Jewish ceremonial objects. • JTA

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