Proms return for Israel Philharmonic

By Jessica Elgot, April 21, 2011
Zubin Mehta

Zubin Mehta

Israel's most celebrated orchestra is to mark its 75th anniversary with a concert at this year's BBC Proms.

The Royal Albert Hall concert will be led by the IPO's long-standing conductor Zubin Mehta, who is celebrating 50 years with the orchestra this year. The concert will take place on Thursday September 1.

The programme will consist of Bruch's First Violin Concerto, with the Israeli Gil Shaham as soloist, extracts from Albeniz's Iberia Suite, the Passacaglia by Webern and Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio espagnol.

The IPO first appeared at the Proms in 1979 and last played there in 2003. It has not appeared in London since a private concert at the Cadogan Hall in 2006.

Israeli musicians have a longstanding affiliation with the Proms. Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings together Israeli and Arab musicians, has performed in recent years, and Israeli Ilan Volkov conducted Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in 2009.

Last year, Israeli composer Betty Olivero's Neharot Neharot was played at an afternoon Prom. The piece, written during the 2006 Lebanon war, was performed by the Britten Sinfonia.

The IPO have been the target of boycotts in the past. In the US, pro-Palestinian activists urged audience members to boycott a tour in Februray and March of eight American cities, including Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Despite these efforts, the tour had been sold out for five months in advance of the performances and
was widely regarded as a triumphant success.

Last updated: 12:01pm, April 21 2011