Rubinstein on the Red Sea

Jie Chen, one of three 2005 Rubinstein Competition prizewinners playing next weekend in Eilat.

The Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Society puts together another of its annual Eilat piano festivals next weekend, April 26 - 28, Three prizewinners of the 2005 Rubinstein Piano contest - Jie Chen (China), Tatiana Kolesova (Russia) and Mingsoo Sohn (Korea) - as well as three 13-year-old prodigies from China and Korea, all winners of the Arizona Piano Competition, will perform in solo and chamber programs. They'll be backed by the Israeli Camerata, with conductors Avner Biron, and Rubinstein Society artistic director, Prof. Arie Vardi, conducting. Vardi, known to TV audiences for his clever and witty music appreciation series, will also give pre-concert lectures. "There are two reasons for organizing these piano weekends in Eilat," says Rubinstein Society pianist Idith Zvi. "By providing a stage to the prize winners we help promote them. Also, we want to remind local audiences that Society activities are not limited to the once-every-three-years competition. We hold special concerts all the time." Jie Chen and Tatiana Kolesova were both fourth prize winner in the competition and Minsoo Sohn came in fifth. Sohn was also rewarded with a Yamaha grand piano for winning the Jury's Special Prize, has received the Audience Favorite Prize as well. He recently won the prestigious Honens piano contest in Calgary, Canada. At the Eilat festival this intellectual and introverted musician will perform Schumann's Piano Concerto, as well as Beethoven's Sonata #30 and other chamber pieces. The explosive Jie Chen will play Mozart's concerto #23, among other pieces, while Tatiana Kolesova of Moscow, who looks like a shy heroine of 19th-century Russian classics, will play Beethoven's Second Concerto, as well as pieces by Scarlatti, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt and Poulenc. The programs by the 13-year-olds feature, among other compositions, beautifully touching pieces for four and six hands. In addition to the "serious" concerts, the organizers have prepared programs with fun written all over. Tenor singer, conductor and translator David Sebba will join pianist Irit Rub in a musical parody on the history of opera. Another will be dedicated to Victor Borge, one of the greatest of musical parodists himself, presented by Idith Zvi. Father and son team Danny and Jonathan Wolach will play, sing and tell stories about "South American Cults, Tales and Festivities." The concerts will take place at Isrotel's Royal Beach Convention Hall and at its Chaplin Lounge. For details on piano weekend packages, visit the Arthur Rubinstein International Music Society site - - or call Isrotel (1-800-800-808) or Arkia (*5758, 09-864-4444).