Founded in 2006 by Israeli violinist Leonid Rozenberg, who has been serving as its music and general director, the festival won recognition among local audiences and has been lauded by critics as one of the country’s most important annual music events.
Following the Rozenberg’s winning concept, the festival hosts musicians who have already won recognition – or are on the brink of doing so in Europe, but are still unfamiliar to the Israeli public. The festival also offers its stage to leading ensembles which local entrepreneurs, who are unwilling to face financial risks, hesitate to invite.
Over more than a decade of its existence, the festival hosted outstanding artists Misha Maisky, Nataly Klein, Pieter Wispelwey, Maxim Vengerov, Julian Rachlin, Franz Helmerson, Shlomo Mintz, and Ida Haendel, as well as orchestras and ensembles Gabrieli Consort and Players, Concerto Koln, Concergebau Chamber Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Red Priest and more.
They not only performed, but also presented workshops and master-classes to students who come to study from all over the world.
Special guests included John Malkovich, Sir Roger Moore, Amos Oz, Moni Ovadiah and Giya Kancheli, among others.
This year, the festival is hosting two orchestras, famous soloists, programs of classical and Baroque music, jazz, music for various instruments, vocal music, as well as a captivating Flamenco event.
Since 2013, the event has been hosted by the Dan Hotel Chain. All concerts take place at the Dan Hotel Eilat and master-classes and workshops take place both at the Dan Hotel and at the Dan Panorama, Eilat.
The program features both new and familiar names.
Among the guests are the Elias Quartet, who were awarded the BBC prize for the best young string quartet in 2010 and since have been in great demand. In Eilat, they will present works of English and Scottish string quartet repertoire from the Baroque until today.
Opera singer Claire Meghnagi and songwriter/singer Kobi Aflalo, together with pianist/composer Guy Mintus with a string quartet conducted by Zvi Orlianski will present an intriguing program, which will feature prayers and melodies of different traditions in new arrangements of different musical styles.
The prize-awarded Busch Piano Trio from Britain returns to the festival with pieces by Haydn, Brahms and Dvorák.
Conductor/violinist David Grimal and his stage partner Grigor Asmaryan (Armenia) bring French, virtuosic fragrance to the festival with their performance of Ravel’s “Tzigane” and sonatas by Franck and Enescu’s Violin Sonata No.3. Not to be missed also are “The next generation” concert in which young prize-winning pianists from Russia will showcase their dexterity.
A 21-year-old Danish pianist along with his brother Jean Paul Roseman will perform works by Boccherini, Debussy and Sibelius.
The PA’dam Orchestra from Holland will make its Israel debut, presenting Bach’s Goldberg Variations with an intriguing arrangement for orchestra and choir, interspersed with readings from different periods of J.S.Bach’s life, with Israeli actor Dov Glickman who will join them in the role of Bach. “Alba”, based on Federico García Lorca’s play “The House of Bernarda Alba” and performed by the Israeli Flamenco Dance Company will end the festival.
Dmitry Sinkovsky, who is regarded a one of the world’s finest Baroque violinists, is also a renowned counter tenor singer and a conductor. Last spring in his Israeli debut, he captivated one and all by his fresh and profound rendition of Bach’s Partitas for violin solo. He comes to Eilat with his La Voce Strumentale orchestra to perform two programs.
The busy musician said that his orchestra “is like a big family – which is always interesting yet not always simple,” adding that since its inauguration the 12 member-strong ensemble includes almost the same top caliber musicians who share similar musical interests “and we easily reach understandings on musical issues, such as on style, historical aspects of the performance and more”.
Initially the orchestra was founded for performing early music, Baroque music and chamber pieces, but now it also plays music written for it by living composers. “We have founded the orchestra – or our creative lab if you will – in 2011. But we did not aim to achieve quick success. For about three or four years, we worked on developing a style of our own, playing for ourselves or for small local audiences.”
Yet nowadays, the orchestra appears at the best international venues.
Speaking passionately about the two programs, Sinkovsky explained that he wanted to give the ensemble’s members the chance to showcase their abilities. The programs include both well and less known Baroque gems – concerti, motets and cantatas by Vivaldi, Geminiani, Telemann, Richter, Händel, Jean-Marie Leclair and more.
“Among other pieces, we will perform Vivaldi’s Concerto for viola d’amore and lute in D Major – the former is a rare instrument with a limited repertoire and a most unusual sound.”For more details and reservations please visit the festival site http://www.eilat-festival.co.il/en/
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