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Zubin Mehta leads the Israel Philharmonic OrchestraThe Israel Philharmonic 70th Anniversary Gala Concert

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THE ISRAEL PHILHARMONIC 70TH ANNIVERSARY GALA CONCERT
Premiered on November 21, 2007 on PBS
(check local listings)

INTRODUCTION

Founded in 1936 by Polish violinist and Zionist Bronislaw Huberman, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra -- known at that time as the Palestine Orchestra -- was established to save Jewish musicians in Europe from the imminent Holocaust. Consistently ranked among the world's leading orchestras, the Israel Philharmonic boasts a long list of accomplished composers, conductors, and guest soloists who have contributed to its rich history and critical acclaim. In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the orchestra's founding, GREAT PERFORMANCES traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel, to take part in a gala concert paying tribute to the social significance and musical pedigree of this esteemed organization. Under the baton of Maestro Zubin Mehta -- given the title of music director for life in 1981 -- the IPO Gala program features Maurice Ravel's "La Valse," Max Bruch's "Violin Concerto No. 1" with guest soloist and longtime friend of the IPO Pinchas Zukerman, and Brahms' "Piano Concerto No. 1" performed with pianist Daniel Barenboim.

Arturo Toscanini was at the podium for the orchestra's inaugural concert in Tel Aviv on December 26, 1936, leading them in works by Rossini, Brahms, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Weber. The famed conductor was invited by Bronislaw Huberman to helm the ensemble during their debut season and gave eight concerts in total, four in Palestine and four in Egypt. Learn how the first concert came about more than 70 years ago and about the orchestra's special connection to Toscanini as well as another luminary, Leonard Bernstein, in the essay by contributor Tim Smith. Watch an excerpt from Bruch's first violin concerto and explore our interactive feature about the violin in Multimedia Presentations. Find additional details about the musical selections from the program in the song list.

Visit the Web companions of past programs that have featured Daniel Barenboim -- BARENBOIM ON BEETHOVEN and FROM THE ACROPOLIS: A SALUTE TO THE GAMES WITH THE BERLIN PHILHARMONIC -- and Zubin Mehta -- VIENNA STATE OPERA 50TH ANNIVERSARY REOPENING GALA and FROM VIENNA: THE NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATION 2007.


Special funding for THE ISRAEL PHILHARMONIC 70TH ANNIVERSARY GALA CONCERT was provided by Rolf W. Rosenthal.

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Top banner photo: Zubin Mehta leads the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra


Pinchas Zukerman (credit: Dan Porges)
photo: Pinchas Zukerman

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