Dear friends

We are delighted to welcome you to the Eighteenth Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. As always, it is a privilege for us to put together a challenging and exciting programme which we hope will intrigue and exhilarate you.

Two themes distinguish this year’s festival. The first is a survey of the work of composers who chose to move from Europe to America. From Dvořák on, many of Europe’s finest composers emigrated to the USA or spent long periods of their creative life there. Some came from a desire to be part of the formation of the newly emergent classical musical culture of the ‘New World’, and many, including Bartók, Rachmaninov, Mahler, Prokofiev, Martinů, Schoenberg and Stravinsky, to escape from regimes where they no longer felt safe. All these renowned composers and many more, were welcomed and honoured in their new home.

We are also joyously setting out on a two-year examination of Beethoven’s groundbreaking string quartets and piano trios, music which would have such an enormous impact on all subsequent chamber music; we will hear many of his remarkable early op. 18 quartets, the revolutionary op. 59 quartets, and the great piano trios.

Two special concerts will be held outside the framework of the Festival: renowned pianist András Schiff will be returning with a recital of sonatas by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert; and some of our finest artists will perform in a concert to honour the memory of our indefatigable and beloved Board member, Meir Barlach, whose recent untimely passing has deeply saddened us all.

The world premiere of Stabat Mater by Jordanian/German composer Saed Haddad and the Israel premiere of a tribute to Bartók by Israeli composer and percussionist Tomer Yariv continues our tradition of premieres in each festival. And, of course, we are immensely proud of our roster of wonderful musicians which includes new and great talents combined with many of our oldest friends who return each year to give us so much pleasure.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Elena Bashkirova
Artistic Director