Accompanied or a cappella

The Abu Ghosh Vocal Music Festival offers inspiring music in pastoral surroundings

voces8 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
voces8 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
‘This will be my 30th festival, and believe me there is still a lot of wonderful music to perform,” says Hanna Tzur, the artistic director of the 38th Abu Ghosh Vocal Music Festival, which takes place in the pastoral Arab village on the outskirts of Jerusalem during Succot, between September 29 and October 2.
“During these years,” adds Tzur, “things have changed in Israel. So many new talented soloists, pianists, conductors, instrumental ensembles and fine choirs have emerged lately, that we could make an entire festival without inviting international artists to Abu Ghosh. But of course we keep hosting excellent musicians from abroad, such as the brilliant Voces8 vocal ensemble from England or a chamber orchestra from Essen, Germany.”
The festival program features 16 concerts to be performed in the crypt of the Crusaders’ Church and at the Kiryat Ye’arim Church, which boasts arguably the best acoustics in the country.
There will be plenty of outdoor activities, such as opera singing with Israeli Opera pianist Eitan Shmeisser, to concerts by accordion virtuoso Emil Aibinder, as well as wine tours.
The festival opens with the dramatic German Requiem by Brahms, conducted by Tzur and dedicated to the memory of journalist and music critic Dani Bloch, who passed away a year ago.
Other major programs include requiems by Mozart and Faure, masses by Schubert, Vivaldi and Pergolesi, accompanied by Barrocada, one of Israel’s best Baroque ensemble, as well as concerts by the Voces8 a cappella octet from London. In its Israeli premiere, Voces8 will present a selection of vocal pieces ranging from Bach and Mendelssohn to George Gershwin and Kurt Weil.
For the detailed program, visit Web site
For reservations, call (03) 604-5000 (Tel Aviv, Haifa); (02) 623-7000 (Jerusalem)