Mehta: Arab Spring may be upbeat for Israel Philharmonic

By REUTERS
September 1, 2011 13:06

 
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LONDON - Indian-born conductor Zubin Mehta is touring the world with the Israel Philharmonic celebrating its 75th anniversary and his 50th with them, but what he'd like to do is add more Arab capitals to the repertoire.

Mehta, who is the same age as the orchestra which gave its first concert in 1936, said as he prepared to conduct a concert at the BBC Proms in London on Thursday night that the Arab Spring has thrown up new challenges, and new opportunities, for Israel and his Philharmonic.

"One wonderful thing is nobody is blaming Israel for anything that is happening in those Arab countries -- usually it is always Israel's fault," Mehta told Reuters in a telephone interview from Israel a few days before the Proms concert.

"I hope Israel takes advantage of the new regimes to come close to them and that the new regimes will also try to make a detente with Israel."

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