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Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
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Tel Aviv - 2 days left

For the moment there's no program published for the concert on October 24th. They're the first ones in a long chain of concerts that don't say absolutely anything. Just "famous arias". Brilliant. Nobody would have imagined that, right?
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So, having no program to talk about, I was interested in the history of this orchestra I admire so much, the conductor and the hall.
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The 2009 - 2010 season (the 74th in the history of IPO) is dedicated to Zubin Mehta's 40th aniversary as music director of Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He first conducted the IPO in 1961, was music adviser from 1969 and music director from 1977. In 1981 he was named music director for life. The season brochure shows him through the years. You can browse it here. A lot of artists come every year to Tel Aviv to perform with this great orchestra.
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Mann Auditorium is the hall that hosts all the concerts, home of IPO. It was opened in 1957 and Leonard Bernstein conducted the inaugural concert, with the pianist Arthur Rubinstein as soloist.
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The stage is designed to comfortably hold an orchestra of 120 members, and a chorus of up to 180 singers. Under the stage is an orchestra pit that can accommodate up to 60 players. The front of the stage can be opened to reveal the pit, enabling the orchestra to be heard throughout the hall. A built-in hydraulic lift can be used to raise and lower a piano, stage sets, or other equipment that can be held under the stage until needed.
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The hall contains 2,760 seats in a modified amphitheater arrangement, with its orchestra section framed by sloping wings leading to the balcony. Every seat offers a full and clear view of the stage.The floor of the hall is covered with Esche parquet, which adds to the acoustic qualities of the hall as well as to its beauty and to the walking comfort of the audience. The unique ceiling, built of pyramids stretching outward from the stage, is designed for optimal acoustical qualities.
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The Orchestra
On December 26th The Palestine Orchestra was born. The great Polish born Jewish violonist and musician, Bronislaw Huberman, who foresaw the Holocaust, persuaded 75 Jewish musicians from major European orchestras to immigrate to Palestine, creating on the sand dunes of Tel Aviv what he called "materialization of the Zionist culture in the fatherland".
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Huberman invited the greatest conductor of the time, Arturo Toscanini, to conduc the opening concert, performed at the Levant Fair Hall in Tel Aviv on December 26th 1936. Even if it was very difficult to keep playing, in 2006 the Orchestra celebrated its 70th birthday.
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Major soloists and conductors have always performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. For its inaugural concert its members traveled in armored cars to play in a besieged Jerusalem during the War of Independence and, among Israelis, the memory of IPO Laureate Conductor Leonard Bernstein conducting the Orchestra before 5,000 soldiers on the Negev dunes after the battle for Beersheba, is an historic moment. Through it all, the Orchestra has enjoyed associations with such renowned artists as Emanuel Ax, Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Principal Guest Conductor Yoel Levi, Yo-Yo Ma, Lorin Maazel, Honorary Guest Conductor Kurt Masur, Itzhak Perlman, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Arthur Rubinstein, Gil Shaham, Isaac Stern and Pinchas Zukerman. Their time and talent have enriched the cultural life of Israel and have helped the Orchestra to maintain its high artistic standards.
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So, you see... this will be a great concert! If you still don't believe, listen to them.
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Beethoven - Piano Concerto No.4 in G major Op.58 -I. Allegro moderato Pt.1/2
MITSUKO UCHIDA (pf) ZUBIN MEHTA (con) Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv 26 March 2002

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If somebody goes, please tell everybody how it was.
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