“It is impossible to imagine Israel without its Philharmonic Orchestra.”
– Shimon Peres: Israeli President, Prime Minister & Nobel Prize Laureate
American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
For nearly 80 years there has been a strong bond between North America and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In fact, the IPO would not have come into existence without this vital relationship. In 1936, legendary scientist Albert Einstein hosted one of the first major fundraisers at the Waldorf Astoria, securing the financial support needed to officially form the Orchestra.
American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO) was created in 1980 to formalize and broaden this relationship and tradition of giving. From the beginning, the fate of the IPO has rested largely in the hands of its North American supporters. In addition to generating an endowment and increasing the reach of the Orchestra through financial support of national and international tours, AFIPO was also instrumental in developing KeyNote, the educational arm of the IPO. KeyNote programs bring the joy of classical music to over 30,000 children in Israel each year, while promoting tolerance and mutual respect.
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) is the leading orchestra in Israel and globally recognized as a world-class symphonic ensemble. The Orchestra performs regularly in its home, the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv as well as throughout Israel, including Jerusalem and Haifa. Additionally, it frequently tours internationally, travelling around the world from Asia to America. Since its inception, the IPO has enjoyed long-lasting relationships with renowned soloists and conductors which have kept it at the forefront of the classical music world. The longest and closest such relationship has been with the current Music Director, Maestro Zubin Mehta, who has been at the helm of the Orchestra for over 45 years.
The IPO is unique in its cultural diversity. Members of the Orchestra represent over 15 different nationalities. These world-class musicians were born, raised and educated in 17 different countries across three continents. Furthermore, the IPO tours more regularly and in more countries than any other symphonic ensemble. On average, the Orchestra plays 30-40 concerts a year abroad. In short, the IPO is comprised of people from all over the world that come together to inspire people from all over the world.