(photo credit: Dan Forges)
The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion, which also serves as the
orchestra of the Israeli Opera, opens the 2012-2013 season in its home
city of Rishon Lezion and in Tel Aviv. Participating in the rich and
varied program are a number of excellent soloists and conductors, such
as worldrenowned cellist Nathaly Klein from London, Israeli
pianist/conductor David Greailsammer, pianist Daniil Trifonov, violist
Gilad Karni and conductor Paolo Olmi.
Music director and
principal conductor of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion Dan
Ettinger, one of the most successful Israeli conductors of the young
generation, spoke to The Jerusalem Post about the new season.
spending five years at the Staatsoper Unter den Linde, where he first
was the assistant to maestro Daniel Barenboim and then served as the
kapellmeister, Ettinger currently serves as the general music director
of the Nationaltheater Mannheim and chief conductor of the Tokyo
In addition, he appears as a guest
conductor at some of the world’s best opera theaters, such as the
Metropolitan Opera of New York and Covent Garden in London..
me, it is important to have an orchestra of my own,” says Ettinger in a
phone interview from Mannheim. “As Sir John Barbirolli said at the
beginning of his conducting career, it is very easy to conduct the
world’s best orchestras, but working for years with the same orchestra,
which is not as great, you can achieve far better results.
important thing, which I heard from my mentor maestro Daniel Barenboim
and which I have realized only now. is that it takes about 10 years of
conducting and learning from orchestras to reach a kind of maturity. It
is the ultimate artistic satisfaction to reach an understanding with the
orchestra that you’ve been working with for years, so that it plays in
your individual style – the one that you developed yourself.”
Rishon Lezion Orchestra undoubtedly benefits from having a young and
vigorous conductor of international stature on its podium.
knows that it is not that easy to bring soloists and conductors to
Israel. Here, musicians earn significantly less than in other places, so
to come here they need additional reasons, which could be artistic or
personal reasons or maybe their Jewish roots. Anyway, creating a
season’s program takes about eight moths of intensive work, which starts
from scratch and requires discussions with the orchestra’s management
and various advisors,” he says.
Ettinger explains that the program is basically built on popular pieces.
is no secret that a substantial part of the audience comes to hear
familiar music. There is nothing wrong with that, and we don’t try to
fight it. We have no problem performing Mozart’s 41st Symphony or the
8th by Dvorak or Tchaikovsky’s 4th because this is a great music. But in
between, we play pieces that have not been performed for a long time or
not at all, like The Planets by Holst.”
As always, the season
program features vocal pieces. “I will not be at the opening concert,
and I really envy the conductor Paolo Olmi, who will lead Puccini’s
Missa di Gloria,” says Ettinger.
He stresses that in addition to familiar pieces, there also are challenging ones, such as a piece by Ligeti.
“We challenge and maybe even educate our audience, and we hope that maybe that will stop fearing contemporary music.”
orchestra’s program also includes pieces by local composers, this time
by two veteran composers, Shimon Cohen and Menahem Tzur.
year, Tzur is celebrating his 70th birthday, so for this occasion his
concertino for a quartet of saxophones and orchestra will be performed. I
will be conducting the evening, and I am really curious to hear how
this unusual combination will sound!” For the full program, visit www.isorchestra.co.il