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The Israel Chamber Orchestra has several evenings planned in May that classical music lovers won't want to miss.
The concerts will all be held at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, with the exception of one at St. Peter's Cathedral in Old Jaffa. Some of the events will showcase musical talent from abroad, and each concert caters to a special-interest audience: piano or Baroque music aficionados, Francophiles, lecture-concert enthusiasts and families.
Israel's Arthur Rubinstein piano competition is one of the most important of its kind in the world, taking place only once every three years. The 2005 winner, Alexander Gavrylyuk, will perform at the Tel Aviv Museum on May 19. Dvorak, Brahms and Mussorgsky are on Gavryluk's solo agenda. Together with the Israel Chamber Orchestra on May 21, Gavrylyuk will play pieces by Stravinsky, Mozart and Mendelssohn, and will be conducted by the orchestra's artistic director and chief conductor, Gil Shohat.
Another special guest, this time a famous conductor from France, Phillipe Entremont, will make magic at the museum May 30 and 31. Monsieur Entremont is a world-renowned conductor known for his color as well as for his musical skills. Entremont's program is rich with French composers, including Berlioz and Poulenc. Two young Israeli soloists, soprano Merav Barnea and celloist Adiel Shmit-Binur, will play.
Those who like their concerts with a lecture on the side - in English - shouldn't miss "Musical Gems from the Baroque," May 16 and 17. This series grows out of what Shohat calls "the rising popularity of Baroque music in Israel." "Musical Gems" will highlight some of the greatest hits of the Baroque period, including pieces by Pergolesi and Vivaldi. Gyorgyi Vashagy from Hungary will conduct the violins and voices, and explain each piece to the audience.
"Fanfare of the King" is more than a concert. It is a special show complete with costumes and acting designed with first-time audience members in mind. "Fanfare" highlights the trumpet (to be played by virtuoso Arik Davidov), and the instrument's traditional association with royalty. The concert features classic works by Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Verdi and more, and is suitable for kids ages five and up. The show will be conducted by Aviv Ron, and will be performed twice on May 11 and once again on May 17.
What is perhaps the orchestra's most exciting event this month takes place outside the orchestra's normal performance venue. Perched atop a cliff overlooking Old Jaffa, St. Peter's Cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches in central Israel. It also has incredible acoustics, which will allow the Israel Chamber Orchestra to revive the tradition of classical music in Old Jaffa. The second concert in this new series, on May 18, will feature Bracha Kol and Merav Barana performing vocal duets by a collection of composers ranging from Bach to Kurt Weill.
For tickets and times for the concerts at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, call (03) 518-8845, ext. 5 and 6. For the Old Jaffa event at St. Peter's Cathedral, call (03) 682-8006.