Kfar Blum offers

No, it’s not quite Hanukkah or Christmas, but a brand new season of musical weekends is about to kick off in the verdant surroundings of the Pastoral Hotel at Kibbutz Kfar Blum in the Upper Galilee.

Kfar Blum offers (photo credit: Courtesy)
Kfar Blum offers
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Yes folks, it’s that time of the year again. No, it’s not quite Hanukkah or Christmas, but a brand new season of musical weekends is about to kick off in the verdant surroundings of the Pastoral Hotel at Kibbutz Kfar Blum in the Upper Galilee.
Actually, the “Pastoral Sounds” program offers more than just weekend entertainment, and not just music. The full agenda also takes in the “Pastoral Words” lineup of lectures and riveting stories, with a bunch of midweek cultural slots also thrown in for good measure.
The 18th season (and counting) starts with a bang, with the Piano Celebrations program, on December 5-7. The first weekender is a collaboration with the Arthur Rubinstein International Music Society, under the practiced guiding hand of artistic director Idith Zvi.
The curtain-raiser gets proceedings off to a flying start with some stellar personnel on offer, in the shape of pianists Nicolas Namoradze, from Georgia, and 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition winner Ching-yun Hu from Taiwan. Each will play adventurous repertoires, with Namoradze performing Scriabin études and sonatas, and a Brahms quartet, as well as some of his own études. Meanwhile, Ching-yun Hu will play Le Festin d’Ésope Étude No. 12, by Romantic French-Jewish composer Charles-Valentin Alkan, and Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, before joining forces with violinist Saida Bar-Lev, violist Gil Sharon, cellist Hillel Zori and double bass player Gabriel Volé, in a rendition of Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A major, aka “The Trout.”
Both pianists will be on call for the closing slot of the weekend (December 7, 11 a.m.) for them Celebrating  Beethoven’s 250th Birthday concert, which also features Sharon, Zori and the Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra conducted by Shmuel Elbaz. And, in case you want a little more food for thought, pianist, conductor and brain researcher Eitan Globerson will deliver a talk titled “Brain Storm – Music, Emotion and the Brain.”
Further down the 2019-20 Pastoral line, there’s a guitar tour de force on January 2-4, when Avi Singolda and David Broza join up for a flamenco fiesta, before the feted Ketzat Aheret threesome of Shlomo Ydov, Shem Tov Levi and Shlomo Gronich give their Kfar Blum audience a blast from their forward-looking mid-70s musical past.
The January 30-February 1 slot brings a Latin spirit to the series, with the music of Argentinean diva Mercedes Sosa, and the sounds of Cuba and Bolivia in the mix. And there is generally a little operatic something up at Kfar Blum, and the new season is no different, with the Unbounded Opera weekend taking place February 27-29. Conductor David Sebba will take his audience for an operatic odyssey through France, Italy, Israeli and Ecuador.
And, if you make your way up north in March, you will be able to catch the intriguing Spring Festival – Creative Women spread of concerts and other slots. In fact, it is a more a couple/sibling-based agenda, with the focus of attention on Robert and Clara Schumann, and Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn. The latter-themed concert features the Easter Sonata which, until relatively recently, was attributed to the far more famous Felix, after having gone missing for 150 years. The work was finally recognized as being penned by his sister Fanny and received its first public airing, under her name, in 2012. This will be the first performance of the Easter Sonata as a Fanny Mendelssohn composition in Israel.
The cerebrally oriented weekend item will be provided by conductor, opera singer and lecturer Yael Cherney, who will expound her thoughts on the subject of “Music and Gender – Where Are Our Relationships Heading?” And to round off a pretty wide-ranging program, pianist Anat Fort and saxophone player Abate Berihun will lay on some jazzy vibes for the guests.
East and West fuse on the titular April 23-25 weekend. There will be multicultural fare on offer from the get-go, with the “Et She’ahava Nafshi” show featuring singers Galit Giat, Anna Spitz, Idan Haim David and Gil Goldin in a magical mystery tour from the alleyways of Jerusalem to some of the world’s great romantic classics. Things turn toward Baghdad when poet Ronnie Somek and oud player-violinist Yair Dalal join forces for the “I Am Solo Iraq” event, with more crossover entertainment lined up with the “When Bialik Met Fairuz” musical item, and the “Raisins and Almonds” musical-theatrical production.
And that’s even without mentioning the regular weekend excursions around the region, and the “Pastoral Words” and midweek programs.
For tickets and more information: (04) 683-6611 and www.kfarblum-hotel.co.il