Dear friends

This year, unbelievably, we are celebrating twenty years since the creation of our Festival. Twenty years in which we have journeyed together with our wonderful musicians and truly unique audiences, discovering, learning, experiencing and enjoying.

This is a festival of reminiscence and renewal. We have turned to past festivals, right back to the very first, reviewing works which have become our flagship pieces and smaller gems which we discovered along the way. Many reminders of past programmes are here, together with some of the works we commissioned over the years. And, in our time-honoured custom, we have specially commissioned two new works for the 2017 Festival by Israeli composer Omri Abram and German Sven-Ingo Koch.

As with the programmes, so with the musicians. We have gathered together musicians who appeared in the very early years as well as those who have become regular performers and, of course, exciting new faces. Some of our first performers were already established as the foremost musicians of our time, some who were then at the outset of their careers have now become major international musical figures, and we are proud to continue our tradition of each year bringing new young musicians to discover together the promise of the future.

For me, personally, the Festival occupies a magical place in my heart, performing these great works for audiences who are so appreciative, in the incomparable beauty and atmosphere of Jerusalem.

It is a great privilege for me to pay tribute to this exceptional Festival. I and all the musicians look forward to sharing with you yet again a matchless experience.

Elena Bashkirova
Artistic Director