The second of the Jerusalem Symphony's liturgical series, Haydn's Creation oratorio plays at the Jerusalem Theater on February 6 and at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center on February 7. Haydn (1732-1809) was already 64 when he started on the Creation in 1796, inspired by the Handel oratorios he had heard at a Handel festival on his first visit to London. Finished in 1798, the oratorio had its premiere in 1799, was a huge hit and has remained popular ever since. The first two parts deal with the six days of creation, the third with Adam and Eve. The soloists are soprano Hila Baggio, tenor James Oxley and bass-baritone Michael George, who sing the archangels Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael during the creation, with Baggio and George switching to Eve and Adam for the last part. The choir (they sing angels) is the multiple-prize winning Jauna Muzika from Vilnius and Karl Heinz Steffens is the conductor. This year Steffens finally relinquished a 20-year career as principal clarinetist in the Berlin Philharmonic in favor of the conductor's podium, from which he has been making a name for himself throughout Europe.