The 16th annual Aviv Competitions for musicians will take place at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art on December 18-30.
The competition, which is organized by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, will host 21 young musicians. The event, which is open to the public, includes competitions in three categories. This year violinists, pianists and brass players will compete. In addition to the prizes in each category, other prizes will be awarded, such as Best Performance of an Israeli Instrumental Piece and the Meira Gera Audience Award.
The Aviv Competitions, one of the most important Israeli music contests, are supported by the Ted Arison Family Foundation, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Jerusalem Music Center and the Music Department of the Culture and Sports Ministry.
This year, music life organizer Avigail Arnheim is the director of the competitions.
“I have been part of this event since its inception in 1999,” says Arnheim. “I was among those who formulated its principles. The Aviv Competitions are the continuation of the Francois Shapira Contest but are far more interesting, and the prizes are much better.”
The major aim of every music competition is to give young artists an opportunity to display their skills and talents and, by being exposed to audiences and professionals, to launch their career at home and perhaps abroad. The Aviv Competitions are no different.
However, Arnheim stresses that for her, it is also a tool to attract the public to classical music which, regrettably, is far from making the headlines.
“The spirit of a competition brings added value to a musical event,” she explains. “People are more likely to want to see a young musician performing within the framework of a competition than at a recital. This is human nature, and you can’t do anything about it. Or you can exploit it to serve its aims.”
And Arnheim’s aim has always been to bring classical music back to the public’s attention.
“I believe that playing music is important for everyone. I want to show people what kind of life it is to be a musician,” she says.
Generally, the judges selected for music competitions are veteran musicians because of their vast experience and because big names add to the reputation of an event.
But this time, the jury members will also include people such as former IPO cellist Micha Haran and Israeli musicians in their 30s and 40s who are very active on the local and international music stage, such as violinist Yael Barolsky and pianist/conductor Yaron Gottfried.
“The variety of musical approaches is very important,” says Arnheim.