Still touring at 85, Burt Bacharach completes a run of British concerts at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Sunday, having played in Israel on Tuesday to adoring fans at the Shuni Ampitheatre in Binyamina.
Could it be that Leonard Cohen is planning to mark the high holy days in the traditional manner this year?
To the delight of his Jewish fans, and in a decision that would no doubt have pleased his talmudic scholar grandfather, the Canadian star has changed the date of his upcoming London concert so that it no longer clashes with Yom Kippur.
Twenty-four-year-old Israeli, Lahav Shani, has won the prestigious Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in Bamberg, Germany, which launched the career of Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel, the victor in 2004.
“In memory,” read the dedication, “of the German jazz band, The Weintraub Syncopators, Berlin 1924-Sydney 1942: Stefan Weintraub, Heinz Barger, Addy Fisher, Emanuel Fisher, Horst Graff, John Kaiser, Cyril Schulvater, Leo Weiss”.
Since the dedication was in a concert programme for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, there was a natural curiosity: who were the Weintraub Syncopators?
There aren’t many composers, American or British, who could support a six-CD box set of their work, but Burt Bacharach — who has just turned 85 and is due to perform in Israel for the first time in July — is one such giant of post-war song. The last major collection of his music was The Look Of Love, a mere three-CD affair from 1998.
It’s a summer evening and the congregation is getting ready for the Kabbalat Shabbat service, the welcoming of the Sabbath, on Friday. Someone taps out a beat on a tabla drum, a guitarist tunes his strings, another person takes a flute from a case.