The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra performed for the first time in Dubai last month at the 2021 InClassica International Music Festival.
The four shows were organized by the European Foundation for Support of Culture and SAMIT Event Group.
Collaborating with various renowned soloists and conductors, the orchestra received praise and raucous applause for every one of its concerts, winning over audiences and critics alike with a series of elegant and polished performances alongside some of the biggest names in the classical music world.
The JSO’s CEO Ofer Amsalem, hailed the importance of the occasion, stating that, “it’s a great honor to be the first Israeli orchestra in Dubai. Huge thanks to the EUFSC and Konstantin Ishkhanov for inviting us to this fantastic festival. One year ago there came a great opportunity in the form of the Abraham Accords. Right now we are creating a sort of revolution in classical music in Israel and it is an honor to be here as part of that.”
Dmitry Yablonsky, one of the orchestra’s conductors, led a concert featuring works by Gioachino Rossini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johannes Brahms, alongside the famed Turkish pianist Fazil Say.
“It’s always wonderful to perform with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra”, he said. “They played beautifully and the audience really loved it as we could hear so that’s always great.”
The JSO also performed under the baton of UK conductor Marius Stravinsky for one of their concerts, interpreting Composer-in-Residence Alexey Shor’s orchestral piece “Well Tempered Chanson,” Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and Bedrich Smetana’s symphonic poem Šárka, in collaboration with Belgian violinist Leonard Schreiber, and South Korea’s Yeol Eum Son (piano). The orchestra was also joined by Armenian conductor Sergey Smbatyan and the celebrated UK cellist Steven Isserlis, with the musicians presenting a diverse program of vibrant music including works by Alexey Shor, Joseph Haydn, and Ludwig van Beethoven.
The JSO’s final appearance at InClassica featured Italian bandoneon specialist Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi. The orchestra delivered a riveting performance which began with an homage to film music from composers Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota, before moving to a program in honor of renowned Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla as part of the celebrations for the 100-year anniversary of his birth.
Pietrodarchi was left impressed with the collaboration, commenting that “the musicians are fantastic and I’ve known the conductor for a long time, so he knows my style and my sound, and we pushed for the best, especially as we had only one rehearsal due to me only arriving yesterday, but it was amazing. I really loved working with them, they were brilliant.”
EUFSC President Konstantin Ishkhanov also joined in the chorus of voices singing the JSO’s praises, stating that “we only wanted to invite the very best orchestras for this special edition of InClassica, which is why we reached out to the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in the first place and they certainly haven’t let us down! Every one of their concerts has been wonderful, and a true testament to their professionality and talent. The fact that they are the first Israeli orchestra to perform here is also worthy of note. Music, above all else, is that one field that can unite us all, transcending all else, and I thank the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra for coming here to help us celebrate the beauty of classical music.”