By MAX STERNAriel Chamber Orchestra
Mifal Hapayis Auditorium
Ariel, November 21
The Ariel Chamber Orchestra opened its second season beyond the green line in the settlement of Ariel this week. This fully professional ensemble consists of 14 strings supplemented by keyboard and various soloists and draws its ranks from among local Ariel musicians (from the former USSR) as well as Israel's top orchestral and freelance players. The orchestra's quality is in the same league as more familiar regional organizations in Ashdod, Rishon Lezion, and Ra'anana.
Conductor Barak Yavin, a gifted young Israeli who has studied at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance as well as Indiana University, led the all-Bach program was with incisiveness, verve, and considerable nuance.
The evening opened with a Concerto in D minor played with technique and taste by pianist Aviya Doron, one of the IDF's choice young musicians. This was followed by an equally assured Suite No. 2 for flute and strings with Ruth Ron as soloist.
Iliya Konovalov, the Israel Philharmonic's concertmaster, made a guest appearance, showing flair, phrasing and presence in the Violin Concerto in E major. He was then joined by the orchestra's concertmaster Eddy Reznik for the engaging closing number, Bach's well known Double Concerto.
The ensemble is sponsored entirely by the municipality of Ariel, and the town's mayor, Ron Nachman, was on hand to comment on US President Barack Obama's call for a settlement freeze. "We will build in spirit," he declared. "This is the first and only classical orchestra created to perform in Judea and Samaria. Its audience draws not only from the town and its significant university community, but also from the surrounding settlements in the region."
The chief spokesman for the evening, however, was J. S. Bach.
Future concerts in the series are scheduled for January 9, February 13, March 20 and May 1.
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