Leshman is unreservedly excited about the upcoming Tzlilei Yaldut
Festival, as well he might be. The bar mitzva edition of the annual
children’s event will take place at the Holon Theater from September 22
to 24, and artistic director Leshman has cooked up a delightfully
crafted program for the youngsters and their parents.
“I took over as artistic director last year, and I always look to improve,” says Leshman. “It is a challenge I relish.”
It is also a challenge that he has met with aplomb.
lineup bears out the fruits of Leshman’s aspirations. For starters, the
frontliner roster features Sarit Hadad, whom Leshman dubs “the national
singer,” no less.
“There are all kinds of big guns in this
year’s program, which I believe is a significant upgrade on last year’s
festival,” he says. “I look upon the festival as a vehicle to lead
Israeli culture – not just in the world of children – and to devise
productions that are different than the regular shows. We have some
wonderful original productions in the program.”
The Hadad spot is a good place to start.
had lots of discussions about her show before we got started,” says
Leshman. “We finally decided on classic Israeli songs for children.
have seen a few of the rehearsals, and I can tell you it is a fusion of
East and West at their most interesting juncture. You have Sarit Hadad
singing with an acoustic band of five musicians who all come from jazz
and world music.”
Evidently there has been no artistic
corner-cutting at Tzlilei Yaldut. The quintet in question features
seasoned performers whose efforts are orchestrated by musical director,
pianist and trumpeter Adi Rennert.
“We chose all the artists very carefully, and you get Sarit Hadad unplugged. This is a special show for her, too,” says Leshman.
general, he feels that the children’s music market has been in the
doldrums for quite some time and hopes the festival goes at least some
way toward righting that.
“If you look at the history of Israeli
music, you’ll see that since its very beginning there was not one
composer who did not think he should write material for children’s
all that stopped, for some reason, around the late 1970s to early
1980s, around the time of Hakeves Hashisha Asar (The Sixteenth Sheep
children’s book written by Yehonatan Gefen and the record and show based
on it). And now we have Sarit Hadad doing a show that is entirely
designed for children. I don’t know why they stopped doing stuff for
children's entertainment. It goes right through from people like
Mordechai Zeira and Sasha
Argov to more contemporary musicians and writers like Matti Caspi, Yoni
Yehudit Ravitz, David Broza and even Shlomo Artzi,” he says.
that stopped, for some reason, around the late 1970s to early 1980s, around the
time of Hakeves Hashisha Asar
(The Sixteenth Sheep
children’s book written by
Yehonatan Gefen and the record and show based on it). And now we have Sarit
Hadad doing a show that is entirely designed for children. I don’t know why they
stopped doing stuff for children.
Maybe it’s because they thought it was belittling to write and perform for kids,” he muses.
Not content with singing quality material for a junior audience, Hadad is now striking out with a new show-biz line.
will do some acting in the show, together with actress Tali Oren,”
Leshman continues. “They perform a little show based on the songs.”
in the big gun category is the iConcert slot, which is described as
“classical music with 3D technology.” This is a first local airing for
the Music Animation Machine technology devised by Stephen Malinowski.
The invention allows audiences to not only hear music played live in
concert but also to appreciate the sounds through their sense of vision,
whereby the notes being played are displayed in various colors and
enhanced through the provision of 3D glasses. The iConcert show will be a
highly entertaining and humorous affair, with actorcomedian Idan
Alterman playing the role of the mad scientist. It also stars acclaimed
Swiss violinist Etienne Abelin, who will operate the technology and
computers together with the Israel Camerata Orchestra, Jerusalem.
75-minute show is for children from the age of four and will be
followed by a workshop where the kids will be able to use the technology
“There is a Music Animation Machine clip on YouTube,
which I believe has been viewed 100 million times. I think this is the
future of music education,” Leshman declares.
violinists will be able to avail themselves of the polished teaching
services of some top-notch classical musicians, such as Hagai Shaham and
Itai Shapira at the Ilona Feher Master Classes for Young Violinists.
Feher was an internationally renowned Jewish Hungarian violinist and
teacher whose past students include the likes of Pinchas Zukerman,
Shlomo Mintz and Shaham. Feher spent the last two decades of her life as
a resident of Holon.
Elsewhere in the jewel-strewn three-day
program, you can find the How a Song Is Born session at which Yehonatan
Gefen will share some of the secrets of his writing craft with small
children and their parents. There will also be quite a few dance and
music shows over the three days, including a performance of Clothes Stories
by the Fresco dance company choreographed by Yoram Carmi; the Story
Flutist musical show directed by Yarden Bar-Kochba; and the Pinocchio Dell’arte
production that incorporates music, acrobatics, masks and puppet theater.
Leshman is happy with the mix of events in the festival program.
“Where else could you come across Sarit Hadad, Hagai Shaham and Stephen Malinowski?” he says.
have managed to bring them together at the festival, and there will be
some wonderful musicians playing for the children. We should always aim
to give children the best quality musical entertainment we can.”
For tickets and more information about the Tzlilei Yaldut Festival: (03) 502-3001 and www.hth.co.il