When the Tel Hai International Piano Master Course found itself displaced from the Galilee to the Negev last summer as a result of the Lebanon war, it found the South so congenial that it's come back to Ben Gurion College at Sde Boker for this summer's event, which starts Sunday and continues through August 24. "We were accepted so warmly and the local audience demonstrated such an interest in what we do, that we decided to stay there," says Emanuel Krasovsky, who together with his colleague Viktor Derevianko serves as an artistic director of the course. The course hosts some 80 students from all over the world, half of whom are Israelis. The faculty consists of international and Israeli teachers and features both familiar and new names. The master-classes, student and faculty concerts, music contests, lectures and discussions all culminate in a gala evening at the Tel Aviv Museum of Arts on August 23. New workshops - for piano duo, chamber music and art song (lieder) - have been introduced this year. Krasovsky explains the significance of an art song workshop for piano students: "Pianists can learn a lot from the singer's handling of a musical line, his breathing and articulation." Three young Israeli vocalists will be doing the singing. The winners of the concerto competition will appear in the full-fledged concert of Rishon LeZion Symphony orchestra as soloists later this year. A special program is dedicated to the memory of prominent Israeli pianist Pnina Saltsman, who was a faculty member from the course inauguration in 1992. As in previous years, the course is commissioning a new work from an Israeli composer - this year, one by Matan Porat. All activities are open free to the public with the exception of the Tel Aviv closing gala. For the complete program visit the site www.masterclasses.org.il; for updates and reservations call (09) 958-8468.