Cultural Exchange

Toronto and Tel Aviv Host Each Other’s Orchestra in 2017

On October 28, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall, ending a 25-year absence from Canada’s largest city and completing an intercontinental cultural exchange that begins this weekend. On May 7, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra heads to Israel for two concerts and a week of touring historic Israeli sites.

It’s a dateline-hopping reunion of sorts, between two orchestras that in 1989 appeared side by side in Thomson Hall for “A Fusion of Harmonies.” Maestro Zubin Mehta conducted what, in his program notes, he called “a momentous joint performance” and “a dream come true for any conductor.”

This month’s TSO tour to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem was in fact part of the impetus for the IPO’s overdue return to Toronto. As we noted in our recent newsletter story on their Fall U.S. tour, the IPO musicians will only have a day or two for sightseeing in Canada. The Toronto Symphony tour, however, is specifically designed for those musicians and some of their patrons to gain a deeper appreciation of Israel.

TSO patrons will arrive a day later, in time to attend the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem concerts, both of which include Jordan Pal‘s Iris for Orchestra, BrahmsViolin Concerto (“Vengerov”), and Dvorak‘s Symphony No. 7. All will take part in a walking tour of Old City Jerusalem, a dinner at Blaustein Hall overlooking the Old City, and visits to Masada, Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum), the Dead Sea, the Tower of David, Israel Museum, and the Sea of Galilee.

You can follow their adventures as we share all the orchestra members’ blog posts, photos and videos on our AFIPO Facebook page and YouTube channel linked above.


May 2017