A decade of Felicja Blumental

The opening concert of the annual Felicja Blumental Festival celebrates both its 10th anniversary and the centenary of Blumental's birth.

Music good 88 (photo credit:)
Music good 88
(photo credit: )
The opening concert of the annual Felicja Blumental Festival celebrates both its 10th anniversary and the centenary of Blumental's birth. Other goodies include a return visit from the UK's thrilling Armonico Consort, a generous taste of Brazil's urban music (the choro) from the Rabo de Lagartixa ensemble, movies, lectures and, of course, lots of piano playing by visiting and local artists. The festival takes place daily from noon to 11:30 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art from May 19-24. Every day at noon there's a musically themed movie, like one focusing on violinist David Oistrakh; there's also the music fair, in which one can attend three concerts for the price of one (NIS 70-85). There will also be a recital by award-winning Polish pianist Anna Starzec playing Chopin (May 20), harpsichordist Gidi Meir and flamenco dancer Sonia Garcia in a program of Rameau, Bach and Scarlatti (May 21), a lecture by Christopher Monks, the founding music director of Armonico (May 22), and Cleopatra in three different baroque operas by Handel (1685-1759), Hasse (1699-1783) and Mattheson (1681-1764) featuring the talents of singers Hila Baggio and Alexandra. Then there's the main concert in the evenings (NIS 105-170). It starts with the piano gala (May 19) that features the talents of Starzec, Alessio Bax, Lucille Chung (Canada) and Israelis Yoni Farhi, Ofer Itzhaki and Ron Trachtman playing a program that includes Handel, Scarlatti, Villa Lobos and Chopin. Another evening concert in the presence of Brazilian ambassador Pedro Motta Pinto Coelho is the Brazilian ensemble Rabo de Lagartixa playing choro - a musical genre that guitarist Marcello Goncalves explains in the 11:30 a.m. lecture earlier on May 23 and which they'll share interactively with children on Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. Armonico, conducted by Monks, also plays two concerts. A partially staged version of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, as well Lully's The Would-Be Gentleman based on Moliere's comedy, takes place on May 22. At 2 p.m. on Friday they'll be doing excerpts from oratorios by Allegri (1582-1652), Buxtehude (1637-1707) and Carissimi (1605-1674). The closing concert on May 24 is a 15th anniversary tribute to the 16 voice New Israeli Vocal Ensemble in a program ranging from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Felicja Blumental (Warsaw 1908 - Tel Aviv 1991) was a pianist of international renown.