MAESTRO Dawid Runtz. (photo credit: Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra)
MAESTRO Dawid Runtz. (photo credit: Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra)
Celebrate Israel-Croatia ties with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra

Celebrating good relations between Israel and Croatia, the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra (ZPO) is coming to Israel and will give one performance in the Henry Crown Theatre in Jerusalem on November 7.

The Croatian government has underwritten the show, a program featuring a selection of music by Croatian composers, as well as music by Israeli composer Marc Lavry, and the Symphony in D minor by French, Romantic composer, Cesar Franck.

The ZPO has performed for more than 150 years in its home country and has a full 2022-23 season of concerts scheduled in Croatia and throughout Europe. The orchestra has toured in the United States, Russia, Japan, China and South America, and records on the prestigious Deutsche Gramaphone label.

The principal music director: Maestro Dawid Runtz

On the podium during the ZPO’s visit to Israel is principal music director Maestro Dawid Runtz. This is his second season with the orchestra. In his early thirties, Runtz is also the principal conductor of the Royal Polish Opera House. He is a musician who has garnered top prizes and accolades at important music festivals and competitions in the US, Europe and the Far East for his sensitivity to the score and his elegant conducting technique.

 MAESTRO Dawid Runtz. (credit: Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra) MAESTRO Dawid Runtz. (credit: Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra)

“This will be the first time I am in Israel and I am excited,” Runtz told the Post. “I have been all over the world but have never had the opportunity to visit. The orchestra performed in Israel in 2017 in cooperation with the Jerusalem Symphony and the members are very much looking forward to the return to Jerusalem.”

“I have been all over the world but have never had the opportunity to visit. The orchestra performed in Israel in 2017 in cooperation with the Jerusalem Symphony and the members are very much looking forward to the return to Jerusalem.”

Maestro Dawid Runtz

“Our 60 members are an international mix from Croatia, Ukraine, Italy, Hungary and abroad. I believe we want to go as human beings who experience the drive to go to this special country. It is not only a religious drive but also the desire to feel the creativity, spirit and vitality of the land and the people.”

“We have been through difficult years of the worldwide Corona pandemic when concerts were few or canceled, concert halls were closed and we were confined. It is good to start the new season with a visit to Israel. We opened our season in Europe with the Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss, and it was like freedom and fresh air. We would like it to continue.”

Maestro Runtz is delighted, after the anthems, to open the program with “The Hora”, from the Symphonic Poem “Emek” op.45 by Marc Lavry. “I believe Lavry represents one of the finest Israeli composers,” says Runtz.

THE EVENING will continue with music from Croatia and Croatian composers who are relatively unknown in the West. “The Croatian traditional song, “Love is Not For Sale”, orchestrated and arranged by Alexander Pashkov, who is an internationally lauded young pianist, composer and teacher, will be exciting to hear,” says Runtz.

“It is our honor to bring the soprano, Maria Vidovic,” says Maestro Runtz. “She is young, elegant and charming with a beautiful, mellow and sweet voice. She will sing “Jelene Aria”, from the opera Nikola Subic Zrinjski by Ivan Zajc and two important songs by the noted female Croatian composer, Dora Pejacevic, whose 100 anniversary we will be marking next year.”

Pejacevic was a composer who mostly wrote in the Romantic style and influenced many composers in Croatia. She composed over 150 compositions and was a poet, lyricist and woman of noble birth who decided to go against the mainstream and pursue a career in music.

“She was highly honored in her time and today, one finds her music and her Symphony in F sharp minor, one of the first Croatian symphonies, played more and more,” points out Runtz.

During the evening, the orchestra takes center stage with the music of Croatian composer Ivo Josipovic and will play “Samba da camera”, a contemporary and innovative version of the Latin dance samba with its underlying syncopated rhythm. Josipovic, born in 1957, is an interesting figure, points out Runtz. Not only is he a fine and well-known composer, he is also a Croatian jurist, as well as a politician who served as President of Croatia from 2010–2015.

The second half of the program will be ZPO performance of Symphony in D minor by the French composer, Cesar Frank. “We are celebrating the 200th anniversary of this great composer,” explains Runtz, “and have played this work with much delight and success throughout Europe. It is a pleasure to bring the celebration of his music to Israel.”

Maestro Runtz is Polish and lives in Warsaw. Nevertheless, his position with the ZPO brings him to Croatia on a regular basis. “I so much enjoy the atmosphere and people of Croatia,” explains Runtz. “They are open, friendly and the musicians of the orchestra are professional, happy and have a good approach to life, which influences our music. I look forward to sharing it with the people of Israel.”

Box office phone: 02–560-5755
Email: [email protected]

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