Keshet Eilon’s 23rd summer master course for string players opens on July 21 at
Kibbutz Eilon in the western Galilee. The three-week master course offers young
musicians private lessons and master classes given by some of the world’s finest
teachers and artists, as well as performance in evening concerts at the
This year, the course hosts 39 student violinists and 15 viola
and cello students from 25 countries, such as Israel Australia, Canada, China,
Croatia, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
activities are open to the public, many of them free of charge, such as private
lessons, master classes and open-air concerts. The concerts at the music center
hall cost a nominal fee.
A gala concert at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts
Center entitled Opera House on Wednesday will take place on July 31, featuring
performances by student soloists and joint studentfaculty
Special programs include Russia Days, devoted to the Russian
violin school of the 20th century, an homage to the great Russian violinist
Mischa Elman and others. An intriguing aspect will be an encounter with pianist
Joseph Seiger, who worked and recorded with Elman during the last 15 years of
the violinist’s life and who now lives in Israel.
range from practice and performance in chamber groups to Olympic archery
practice for string instrumentalists – a synergistic form of recreation
pioneered at Keshet Eilon.
Among the faculty members are veteran Keshet
Eilon teachers – important violinists and pedagogues who return to Israel now
and again, as well as musicians of younger generations, such as Tanja Becker-Bender, a rising star from Germany who was a Keshet Eilon student in 1997 and
now has a solid international career as a soloist and chamber
“I’m very happy to come to Israel as a Keshet Eilon faculty
member in many ways,” says Becker-Bender in a phone interview from her
home. “I felt most honored when KE artistic director Itzhak Rashkovsky
asked me to join the faculty of this prestigious summer course. Many of
my musical friends are Israelis, and this will also be a great opportunity for
me to return to my past. I still have vivid memories from 1997: highlevel
training, plenty of young talents and, yes, archery, a very special experience
that helps to develop concentration.”
As a performer, Becker-Bender
appears all over the world. She says that for her, contemporary music is of
“I am particularly fascinated by the music of the
beginning of the 20th century, when music languages became so varied. Such
composers as Bartok and Prokofiev especially attract me, and I recently recorded
a CD of Shulhoff’s music. I also enjoy working with current composers. I will be
performing a Ligeti concerto soon and will be working on it while in Israel,
Becker-Bender is a professor of violin in Hamburg. What are her
principles as a teacher?
“To develop individual perception and performing style
of every student. That is the only way,’” she replied without
In a summer course that lasts only three weeks, what can be
taught during this rather short period of time?
“Three weeks is not enough to
really develop something, but within that time you can share new ideas with your
students and challenge them. That is exactly what I am planning to do this
summer,” she said.
Lodging is available at Kibbutz Eilon and the
surrounding kibbutzim and moshavim.For more information and a detailed
schedule of Keshet Eilon activities, visit www.keshetei.org.il or call (04) 985-
8191; (04) 985-8131
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