English versionFrench version

CULTURE & HERITAGE - Culture & History

SOUNDS GERMAN AND ISRAELI
Jerusalem Post, 09/25/2013 By MAXIM REIDER

The Weimar-Jerusalem Project, a combined orchestra of young musicians, kicks off with three concerts around the country.

VIOLONISTE J.CULTURE 159
The Weimar-Jerusalem Project Photo: Courtesy

Next week, local classical music fans will be able to enjoy the fruits of a unique Israeli-German musical synergy when the Weimar- Jerusalem Project kicks off. The venture comprises a confluence between young musicians from Germany and Israel with, as the project information puts it, "a story in sound, dedicated to the history of Jewish composers in Central Europe from the end of the 18th century up to the Holocaust – the event that would sever the continuity of their involvement and contribution."

The on-stage proceedings, presided over by German conductor Michael Sanderling, will feature works by Mendelssohn, Mahler, Shostakovitch and 20th-century German Jewish composer Berthold Goldschmidt, who lived most of his life in Britain.

Two young symphony orchestras – one from the High School of Music in Weimar, named after Franz Liszt, the other from the Rubin Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance – will join forces to perform an homage to the long Jewish cultural presence in Germany, which was brought to an abrupt end with the rise of the Nazis and the following the Holocaust. These concerts are part of the Weimar- Jerusalem international project. The program features Passacaglia by Goldschmidt; Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto; Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn songs; and Shostakovitch's Symphony No. 6.

Violinist Yuval Herz and baritone Guy Peltz are the soloists. Michael Sanderling conducts.

The united orchestra has already appeared in Germany, where the young Israeli musicians spent about a month rehearsing and then performing at important venues, such as the Bayreuth Festival.

"This project is both an homage to Jewish musicians of the past and the mutual history that Jews and Germans once shared, as well as a rare opportunity to collaborate with young German musicians," says Israeli composer Michael Wolpe, who heads the project. "The program features music by Jewish composers, but not only. Music by Shostakovitch was very popular in East Germany, mostly due to activity by Kurt Sanderling, an outstanding conductor who was forced to escape Germany and worked for 35 years in Russia before returning to Dresden in 1960. His son Michael is one of the most promising conductors of his generation."

The concerts took place October 1 in Tel Aviv ; October 2 in Haifa ; and October 3 at the Jerusalem Theater (with a live broadcast on radio's Voice of Music).