Israel Chamber Orchestra

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The Israel Chamber Orchestra (ICO) was founded in 1965 by Gary Bertini . Along with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra ( Zubin Mehta ), it is the most renowned and important orchestra in Israel. The seat of the orchestra and the venue for annual series of concerts is Tel Aviv-Jaffa .

Artistic Director

Founder Gary Bertini was the orchestra's artistic director for ten years; He was followed by Luciano Berio , Rudolf Barshai , Uri Segal , Yoav Talmi, Shlomo Mintz , Philippe Entremont (chief conductor 1995–1998, later honorary conductor), Salvador Mas i Conde (1998–2001), Noam Sheriff (2002–2005), Gil Shohat (2005–2008), Roberto Paternostro (2008–2013) and again Yoav Talmi (2013–2014). In 2015 Ariel Zuckermann was appointed musical director.


The orchestra's repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary music. Elizabeth Wallfisch was appointed Program Director of the Baroque Focus in 2009 . Works of the Viennese Classic can also be found regularly in the programs of the ICO as well as premieres of works by Israeli composers.

The ICO organizes concert cycles for a young audience every year. “For the Entire Family” is well received by children, young people and critics alike.

International concert activity

Concert tours have taken the Israel Chamber Orchestra to several Central European countries, North and South America and the Far East. Guest appearances at festivals in Salzburg, Athens, Sofia, Helsinki, other European capitals, Istanbul, Pompeii and Hong Kong earned the chamber orchestra the reputation of being one of the best of its kind.

In 2010 concerts in Germany (Stuttgart, Cologne), Austria ( International Haydn Festival Eisenstadt , Brucknerfest Linz ) and CD recordings in Vienna took place under the direction of Roberto Paternostro . Soloists like Elena Bashkirova appear for the first time with the ICO in Europe.

On July 27, 2011, the Israel Chamber Orchestra was the first Israeli orchestra to play music composed by Richard Wagner in Bayreuth (Richard Wagner is considered an anti-Semite and Hitler's favorite composer ). The project, which was under the patronage of Katharina Wagner , was discussed controversially and intensively in Israel beforehand.

From 12 to 18 September 2013 the ICO played in the Upper Austrian capital Linz with a great success under the baton of Martin Sieghart opera Der Schatzgräber of Franz Schreker in the processing of Werner Steinmetz , a project of EntArteOpera in the former Linz Tobacco Factory in a production by Philipp Harnoncourt , equipment and organization by Susanne Thomasberger .

On October 17, 2013, the ensemble gave a guest performance at the Theater an der Wien and performed Viktor Ullmann's play Der Kaiser von Atlantis, composed in the concentration camp, for a concert performance. Roberto Paternostro conducted, Çiğdem Soyarslan , Ann-Beth Solvang , Nikolay Borchev , Lars Woldt and Johannes Chum sang .

From September 10 to 16, 2014, the Israel Chamber Orchestra made a guest appearance at the Bruckner Festival in Linz , where it performed the opera Ulenspiegel by Walter Braunfels, arranged by Werner Steinmetz, in the former tobacco factory under the conductor Martin Sieghart .

Conductors, soloists, choirs

The ICO has performed with numerous well-known soloists and conductors, including Mstislav Rostropovich , Vladimir Ashkenazy , Isaac Stern , Itzhak Perlman , Pinchas Zukerman , Shlomo Mintz , Yefim Bronfman , Luciano Berio , Krzysztof Penderecki , Christoph Eschenbach , Nicholas Kraemer, Yoel Levi , Jean-Pierre Rampal , Paul Tortelier , Heinrich Schiff , Heinz Holliger , Sergiu Comissiona , Claude Frank , Frieder Bernius , Michel Corboz , David Shallon , Tabea Zimmermann , Tamás Vásáry , Salvatore Accardo , Martin Sieghart and Armin Jordan .

International choirs that have performed with the Israel Chamber Orchestra so far have been the Vienna Boys' Choir , the Tölzer Knabenchor , the Prague Chamber Choir , The Brigham Young University Choir, the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne, the Chamber Choir Stuttgart , the Gulbenkian Choir, The Netherlands Chamber Choir and other.

CD recordings

CD recordings were made for the Chandos , Musicmasters, Koch , Teldec and Gramola labels .


"The sound of the orchestra was enriched, strong but not aggressive or irritating. [...] the driving playing of the orchestra led by the conductor Roberto Paternostro was remarkable. It seems that interaction between the Italian-Viennese conductor and the orchestra is very successful. [...] In general, it was one of the best concerts of the Israel Chamber Orchestra in recent years. "

- Hagai Hitron : An Ear Full of Music / Israel Chamber Orchestra, Roberto Paternostro, conductor. Tel Aviv, Museum of Arts. Ha'aretz , April 29, 2008

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