IPO Summer Fest to show Harry Potter, Ennio Morricone and more

The Tel Aviv Cultural Center to be hosting the IPO Summer Festival next week.

  (photo credit: WARNER BROS.)
(photo credit: WARNER BROS.)

The Tel Aviv Cultural Center will be bursting with entertainment next week when the IPO Summer Festival gets under way, from July 31 to August 3.

“This is the inauguration of IPO Summer Festival, and we look forward to making it a tradition,” says the orchestra’s director-general Avi Shoshani. “Each evening, the Bronfman Auditorium, the Zuker Hall and the Selah Moadon will be the venues for multiple performances, presenting the excitement of a music festival.”

The IPO will be the unifying factor, appearing in its entirety or in smaller ensembles throughout the festival to provide a new look at the orchestra and its talented members. “With the orchestra’s input, we have chosen ten creative and eclectic performances,” Shoshani says.


The festival opens on the 31st with two performances (at 11:00 and 20:00) of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, with the IPO and conductor Timothy Henty performing the iconic score penned by John Williams in a live setting.

“This brings the character of Harry Potter to life in an unparalleled way,” he said.

The following day, the movie premiere of Ennio, a tribute to the late Ennio Morricone, one of the greatest film composers of all time, will take place on the wide screen in the Lowy Hall. The winner of two Academy Awards and 84 international prizes, Morricone wrote the scores for hundreds of movies and television shows, such as The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Fistful of Dollars. 

The IPO brass Quintet will perform excerpts from his movie hits such as Cinema Paridosa, and Westerns of Sergio Leone. In addition, the evening will feature a Zoom chat on the big screen with director Giuseppe Tornatore, who worked closely with Morricone and directed the film about his life and music.

Also on the Festival roster is “A Lesson in Culture for the Common Man,” a satirical cabaret which will be staged on August 1 in Zucker Hall with noted Israeli composer Yonatan Keret and eight members of the IPO. On the same evening, one will find jazz pianist Tomer Bar in the Sela Lounge, performing his original program “Bach á la Tomer Bar,” playing his arrangements of well-known pieces by Bach set in far reaching styles ranging from jazz and modern to world music. It will be a fine evening of piano, jazz, singing and creativity.

A high point of the festival will be on August 2 when the audience will be treated to a special recital by internationally acclaimed and esteemed pianist Yefim Bronfman, performing Beethoven Sonata No. 7 in D major and Sonata no. 23 in F minor, the Bartok Suite for piano, op. 14, and Chopin Sonata no. 3 in B minor in the Lowy Concert Hall.

On the same evening, back in Zuker Hall, the popular duo of songwriter and IPO cellist Maya Belsitzman and her percussionist husband Matan Efrat will perform “Concerto for Strings and Percussion” with eleven of the orchestra’s musicians, along with exciting pieces written by Belsitzman. Rounding out the evening of instrumental music in a program entitled “Bach Loops” in the Sela Hall, Yonatan Keren takes listeners on a new journey into interpretations of and improvisations on music by J.S. Bach.

The festival

Shoshani promises festival-goers an unforgettable, melodious evening on August 3, when Alon Olearchik, Maor Cohen and Eli Gorenstein, some of Israel’s finest singers, team up with the Israel Jazz Orchestra and members of the IPO in a new show entitled “His Way: Tribute to Frank Sinatra” in the Charles Bronfman Auditorium. The three crooners will sing with big band backup some of Sinatra’s greatest hits, such as “Luck be a Lady Tonight,” “I’ve got you under my Skin,” “Witchcraft” and “My Way.”

For those wishing a bit of scathing, tongue in cheek commentary, attending the performance of “That’s not Music” starring Rivka Michaeli, Dror Keren and Dori Parnes in Zuker Hall is highly recommended, as they perform a historical (and hysterical) collection of scathing reviews which the greatest composers, from Beethoven on down, received following the premieres of their masterpiece works.

The festival closes with more of the magnificent creativity of J.S. Bach and the Goldberg Variations, performed by IPO musicians Hadar Cohen on violin, Jonathan Gertner on viola and Gal Nyska on cello.

“Each music festival generates its own special energy; in ours, the lineup is greatly varied and entertaining – we have something for everyone,” said Shoshani, an internationally respected director of music festivals across Europe. 

“Secondly, a music festival is a social gathering – there will be time to meet and make new friends,” he said. “We look forward to everybody gathering and connecting in our large front lobby between performances.”