Playing from the heart: The iPalpiti chamber orchestra to tour Israel

The orchestra does not perform on a steady basis but appears at prestigious festivals worldwide.

November 15, 2017 14:52
3 minute read.
The iPalpiti chamber orchestra

The iPalpiti chamber orchestra . (photo credit: DANA ROSSI)


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The US-based international chamber orchestra iPalpiti will tour Israel between November 24 and December 2. Under the baton of the orchestra’s founder and artistic director Eduard Schmieder, iPalpiti will perform varied programs that feature music by composers such as Shostakovitch, Tchaikovsky and Waxman.

The ensemble, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, was founded in order to give an initial push to talented young music graduates from around the world.

Speaking on the phone from his home on the eve of the Israeli tour, Schmieder says, “While a great composer who was not understood by his contemporaries may still become famous after his death, a performing artist needs appreciation in the here and now. For this, young musicians need a stage, and we provide it for them, as well as scholarships. Somebody has to rent a hall and cover the musicians’ travel expenses. We take it upon ourselves, but for this we must find funds. As somebody who came to the US as an unknown musician, I understand that very well.”

Born and educated in the USSR, Schmieder immigrated to the US in 1979. A violinist, conductor and teacher, he was highly appreciated by Yehudi Menuhin. The acclaimed violinist praised Schmieder’s initiative.

“Over the years, our alumni have become concert masters in important orchestras, the Israel Philharmonic among them, as well as professors,” says Schmieder.

The orchestra does not perform on a steady basis but appears at prestigious festivals worldwide.

“Members of the orchestra, which include winners of important music competitions, return to perform with us several times a year, taking leave from their jobs and losing money. Why? ‘For us, this is a kind of refreshing break,’ they say,” confides Schmieder proudly.

“I don’t want to brag,” he continues, “but here is an example that speaks volumes about our orchestra. Last summer we were invited to perform two programs of Viennese music in the beautiful Solitaire Hall in Salzburg. One thing has to be clear: According to the current attitude – at least in Austria – Russians don’t understand anything about Viennese classics; and to make matters worse, they think that Jews have spoiled it by adding a huge amount of schmaltz to Schubert. Our concert programs featured Schubert, Beethoven and Mozart. Needless to say I was nervous, but the concerts were a great success, and our rendition of Schubert was praised by audiences and critics alike. The public was thrilled and called for encores five times. People said they were impressed not only by the technical level of the performance but also – and maybe even more – by its emotional charge. I think that honesty of the performance is our motto.”

Israel holds a special place in the hearts of Schmieder and his wife, Laura, who plays an important role in the functioning of the orchestra.

“We love Israel, and we donate money to Magen David Adom and other organizations. That is why it is so important for us to bring our orchestra to Israel. Because music is about emotions, and through our music making we can share our love of Israel with the local audiences,” says Schmieder.

iPalpiti will perform on November 24 at 9 p.m. at the Keshet Eilon concert hall (for reservations, call (04) 985-8131/191); November 25 at 8:30 p.m. at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; November 26 at 8:30 p.m. in Petah Tikva; November 28 at 8:30 p.m. in Ashkelon; November 30 at 8 p.m. at the YMCA in Jerusalem; December 1 at 12:30 p.m. in Rishon Lezion; and December 2 at 1 p.m. in Haifa.

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