It was, in the end, left to the long-time music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta, to put his finger on what was being celebrated.
On a cool, clear night in Tel Aviv last month, Maestro Mehta, himself celebrating 50 years with the IPO, led hundreds of international patrons and well-wishers in a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday, dear Philharmonic", as the orchestra mark
Her grave, at the suburban end of a Paris bus line, is never long unattended. A wooden box on the marble base is stuffed with notes from visiting fans. A student drops by in her lunch hour to play Mozart. "Barbara loved Mozart," she explains.
It is very rare to find musician Tamsin Waley-Cohen on her own. She has a constant companion at concerts, at cafes and even on holidays. It is a long-term relationship which, although it has had its ups and downs, has enabled her to move forward with her career.
The lyrics from his 1978 musical They're Playing Our Song - "Oh ho, they're playing my song, oh yeah, they're playing my song" - seem to be an apt way to describe Marvin Hamlisch. The legendary, multi-award-winning composer/conductor is the creator of some of the best-known American show tunes.
For members of one of the world's largest orchestras, they are rehearsing in a remarkably low-key room, stuck away in a Tel Aviv suburb, devoid of any acoustic support and framed by a big sheet of black fabric to keep the sun out.
Alma Zohar is Israel's accidental superstar. The singer-songwriter accidentally picked up a guitar, accidentally recorded an album, accidentally topped the charts and swept the Israeli music awards, winning two BRIT award equivalents, and accidentally put the issue of refugees in Israel back on the political agenda. Or at least, that is how she tells it.
It is possible to trace the start of one of the most enduring and productive relationships in the music industry back to one night, 50 years ago, at a gig in New York's Greenwich Village. In the audience were Alan and Marilyn Bergman, two people who had ahead of them not only stunning careers as lyric writers but one of the most successful marriages in showbusiness.