Israel Philharmonic Orchestra gears up for new season

Lahav Shani will conduct nine different programs with the orchestra which is approximately one third of the programs of the 2022-23 concert season.

 THE ISRAEL Philharmonic Orchestra.  (photo credit: ODED ANTMAN)
THE ISRAEL Philharmonic Orchestra.
(photo credit: ODED ANTMAN)

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will open its 86th season on October 10 with a gala concert led by Music Director Lahav Shani. 

Perusing the new concert schedule, one finds exciting evidence this will be the start of a terrific year filled with diverse programming, outstanding soloists and notable guest conductors. 

As Maestro Shani begins his second season with the IPO, his influence on the orchestra and views to the future are evident. He will conduct nine different programs with the orchestra – approximately one third of the programs of the 2022-23 concert season – providing the audience ample opportunity to see Shani, not only as an exceptional conductor of symphonic literature, but also as director of large choral works and grand opera, as well as works that are more intimate in nature. 

The audience will see how he presents music to young people and hear his skill as an arranger when the IPO performs Felix Mendelssohn’s “Three Songs Without Words” arranged by Shani for chamber orchestra.

It will be an exciting year of carefully balanced programming firmly beloved works with a selection of carefully chosen, debut pieces not previously performed by the IPO. Returning are the constant friends, world-renown artists who have graced the IPO stage on many occasions. In addition, there are many notables who will make their IPO debuts as guest conductors and soloists. 

Israel Philharmonic with Lahav Shani, music director. (credit: ODED ANTMAN)Israel Philharmonic with Lahav Shani, music director. (credit: ODED ANTMAN)

What is on the program for the opening gala?

The October 10 gala opens with the IPO debut of “The Swansong,” by Arvo Pärt, who is celebrated as the most performed, living composer of our time. The soloist of the evening is noted violinist Lisa Batiashvili, who will play the Sibelius Violin Concerto. The majesty of the gala concert continues with Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 , in which the chorus sings the words written by German poet Friedrich Schiller, transmitting the magnificent message of brotherhood and unity. The IPO will be joined by the Munich Bach Choir, the Gary Bertini Israel Choir and soloists Chen Reiss, soprano; Bernarda Fink, mezzo soprano; Matthew Newlin, tenor; and Markus Werba, baritone.

Three more choral works for orchestra, soloists and chorus will be featured during the season. In October, The Magnificat by J.S. Bach conducted by Shani; in May, the IPO’s first performance of L’heure espagnole (The Spanish Hour), by Maurice Ravel, a short, beautifully orchestrated opera in concert form to be conducted by Karl-Heinz Steffens; and closing the season will be the concert performance of La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini, conducted by Shani.

As always, the IPO pays special attention to the next generation of concert-goers, and will present five quality children’s concerts: Flood of Sounds, with Shani as conductor and pianist; Eli Gorenstein, actor; and Yali Zaken, pianist; Genesis, with conductor Guy Feder and actor Michael Hanegbi; in January 2023, the program Exodus to be conducted by Rotem Nir with works by Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Hans Zimmer; Trumpet Call, with Eran Remy, conductor; Yaniv Swissa, actor; noted solo trumpetist Reinhold Friedrich and the Israel Philharmonic Trumpeters; and in June, David and Goliath with Guy Feder, conductor; Ido Mosseri, actor; with works by Rossini, Khachaturian and the Kaveret rock band.

The roster of guest conductors is as impressive as always. Sir András Schiff will appear twice this season, assuming the roles of both pianist and conductor. Acclaimed pianist Yefim Bronfman will perform Beethoven Piano Concerto no.4 and share the stage with Shani and Hila Baggio, soprano. In December 2022, conductor Kirill Petrenko will make his much awaited IPO visit.

First IPO appearances are slated for conductors Lukasz Borowicz, principal guest conductor of the Krakow Philharmonic; Susanna Mälkki, first female, principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, who also is the first female chief conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; and Andrea Battistoni, the youngest appointed chief conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic. In addition, the IPO will host many other world-class conductors from all over the world.

The IPO schedule is always full of appearances by the finest soloists. Early on in the season, pianist Martha Argerich will perform Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 with Shani on the podium. Later in the season, pianist Leonora Armellini will make her IPO debut with conductor Battistoni, and in March, the winner of the 2021 Rubinstein Piano Competition, Juan Perez Floristan, will appear with Shani, performing the Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini for piano and Orchestra, by Rachmaninoff.

Gil Shaham, Israeli violinist par excellence, will perform the lyrical Violin Concerto by Samuel Barber with conductor Andres Orozco-Estrada. In June, critically acclaimed cellist Mischa Maisky will perform Ernest Bloch Schelomo Rhapsodie for Cello and Orchestra with conductor Mälkki on the podium. 

Violinist Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider from Denmark will play the Brahms and the Bruch Violin Concerto No.1 in seven back-to-back performances with Shani. Violinist Vilde Frang, named EMI Young Artist of the Year 2010, will present two different programs with conductor Osmo Vänskä.

For a change of pace and a bit of swing, conductor and pianist Yaron Gottfried will lead the Israel Jazz Orchestra in an Evening of Tribute to Duke Ellington in April.

The 86th season of the IPO begins with Shani conducting the orchestra, soloists and chorus in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and closes with Shani conducting Pucinni’s opera La Boheme. These two colossal, bookend concerts mark 10 months of glorious music. 

For Further Information: ipo.co.il *3766.