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Pianos in Jerusalem Festival no. 8, 2020
Marking the 250th Birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven


This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we shall hold the Pianos in Jerusalem Festival online. We are happy and proud to present to you the concerts and performances of the festival, marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven, probably the greatest classical music composer of all time. Orchestras, choirs, ensembles, and soloists will perform on the Jerusalem Theater stage, and, naturally, an inspiring group of Israeli pianists, veteran and young.

A radio studio will operate during all three days of the festival, where we shall interview participants and add background data, notes and insights.

Festival program

11.11

Wednesday

17:00
Henry Crown Hall

Matinee Concert The Israel Camerata Jerusalem

Conductor: Doron Salomon

  • Ludwig van Beethoven (1827-1770) Piano
  • Concerto No. 1 in C Major, op. 15
    Soloist: Tom Borrow

 

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, op. 19
  • Soloist: Malachi Rosenbaum

 

  • Pause

 

  • Ludwig van Beethoven 
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, op. 37
  • Soloist: Michal Tal

The opening night will feature Beethoven’s first three piano concertos. Concerto No. 2 was the earliest, and he completed Concerto no. 1 after it. Listening to the three pieces in a sequence is time travel. We will be able to notice the gradual transition from the classical to the romantic style and enjoy the abundance of contrasts between movements: deep sadness alternating with ecstasy, the lyricism of middle chapters contrasting with drama, especially in the 1st movement of Concerto no. 3. Three Israeli leading pianists will perform, alongside with the excellent ICJ orchestra, under the baton of Doron Salomon.

Concert registration

11.11

Wednesday

20:00
Henry Crown Hall

Evening Concert – The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra

  • Conductor: Ilan Volkov

 

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • “Fidelio” Overture in E Major, op. 72b

 

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Piano Concerto No. 4 in
  • G Major, op. 58
  • Soloist: Bishara Harouni

 

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Symphony no. 3 (“Eroica”) in E-flat Major, op. 55

 


We shall start with the overture of the opera Fidelio, known to have preoccupied the composer for years (he created three versions before the one we are about to play). The ethos of freedom, human rights, and solidarity (Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité) is refined into unforgettable minutes of music.

The three piano concertos we opened with, are joined by Piano Concerto no. 4. Each movement contains stylistic alterations and a brilliant mosaic of deep emotions. Everything is surprising: from the outset, where the soloist plays an introduction to an extensive multi-contrast 1st movement, through the 2nd movement – a melancholy piano-orchestra dialogue – to the 3rd, an outburst of hope and optimism.

The Third Symphony, a truly revolutionary work, has left a deep imprint on generations of listeners and well represents Beethoven’s genius. The spirit of revolution, the hope it brought with it, the disappointment from it, and the prayer for the victory of humanism are especially relevant at this time and age. It inspires in us hope for a better world, where freedom, love, and peace will unite us all.

Pianist Bishara Harouni, one of the festival’s regular guests, will play the 4th piano concerto alongside with the exquisite Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra conducted by the renowned Israeli maestro Ilan Volkov.

Concert registration

11.11

Wednesday

22:00
Henry Crown Hall

Night Concert – PIANO COVER STORY

Pianist Andy Feldbau Arrangements for Solo Piano


Virtuoso pianist Andy Feldbau, one of the festival’s prominent partners, pays homage to great songs of light music from the 1970s to the present day. Andy will play his virtuoso solo piano arrangements for hits by QUEEN, Whitney Houston, and Lady Gaga, songs from CATS, the Eurovision contest, movies, and more.

Concert registration

12.11

Thursday

17:00
Henry Crown Hall

Matinee Concert – The Guy Mintus Trio plays Beethoven

The Guy Mintus trio plays Beethoven


The second day will open with the Guy Mintus trio, whose previous performances with the festival were a great hit. The Chopin Project of Festival No. 7 will find its sequel in the Beethoven Project: the music of the great master will gain surprising interpretations in a musical event tailored especially for the festival. Classical idioms will meet genres such as: jazz, groove, flamenco, and oriental music, all penned by pianist, composer, and singer Guy Mintus, joined by Jonathan Rosen on drums and Alon Nir on double bass.

Concert registration

12.11

Thursday

20:00
Henry Crown Hall

Evening Concert – Jerusalem Orchestra East & West plays Beethoven

Conductor: Tom Cohen

Guest artists: Dudu Tassa and Omri Mor

  • A program in honor of Beethoven’s birthday

In the past by the Jerusalemite Orchestra’s artistic director and founder Tom Cohen. Beethoven’s famous Fifth Symphony will be performed alongside works from the Arab world. Reinforced by virtuoso pianist Omri Mor and the beloved singer and composer Dudu Tassa, the orchestra will perform works by Arab composers who, like Beethoven, broke away from traditional musical structures to create new paths: Algerian Dahmane El Harrachi, Egyptian Mohammed el-Qasabgi, and Iraqi brothers Saleh and Daud Al-Kuwaiti, the last of whom is Dudu Tassa’s grandfather.

Concert registration

12.11

Thursday

22:00
Henry Crown Hall

Moonlight sonatas with the Jerusalem Street Orchestra

Conductor: Ido Shpitalnik
Soloist and presenter: Nizar El-Khater

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Sonata for strings in F Major, acc. to Sonata No. 9 in E major, op. 14 No. 1, arr. by the composer

 

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Sonata No. 14, in C-sharp minor (“Quasi una fantasia”), op. 27 No. 2, “Moonlight Sonata” in its original version

 

  • Beethoven / El-Khater
  • Sonata No. 8, in C minor, op. 13, (“Pathétique”) arr. by N. El-Khater for piano and strings

Pianist Nizar El-Khater, who has been with us since the festival’s inception, collaborates with the Jerusalem Street Orchestra, one of the capital’s unique ensembles, and with its conductor and founder, Ido Shpitalnik. They will show three different ways of performing Beethoven’s sonatas. Firstly, an arrangement for strings, made by the composer, then an exciting rendition of the original – the beloved Moonlight Sonata – played by Nizar El-Khater, and in the end, an arrangement for piano and strings, composed by Nizar especially for the festival.

Concert registration

13.11

Friday

10:30
Henry Crown Hall

Morning Concert – Beethoven and the Archduke

Pianist Orit Wolf discusses and performs the works Beethoven composed for Count Rudolf. Violinist Hagai Shaham, cellist Hillel Zori, and pianist Shir Semmel join Dr. Wolf.

The presentation contains works Beethoven composed for and dedicated to Duke Rudolf of Austria. Beethoven, having arrived in Vienna, was surrounded by dukes, princes, and patrons, who came and went, helped, or declined. Not everyone got along with Beethoven, a man with a coarse and abrasive personality. The only patron who remained loyal to him from the beginning to the end and even became his close friend was Duke Rudolph. Beethoven dedicated to him fourteen works, among the most famous in his oeuvre. In this exciting encounter, we will relate, perform, and celebrate this unique connection between twin souls.

The lecture-concert will feature episodes from Beethoven‘s Trio for piano, violin, and cello in B-flat Major (“The Archduke”) op. 97; Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-flat Major (“Les Adieux”), op. 81a; Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major (“Hammerklavier”), op. 106, and more

Concert registration

13.11

Friday

13:00
Henry Crown Hall

Shabbat Songs from Beethoven to Shemer

Pianist and arranger David Sebba and sopranos Goni Cnaani and Hadar Atari

In our Kabbalat Shabbat, an established festival tradition, Israeli songs will dialogue with Beethoven’s Lieder. Two outstanding Israeli opera singers join pianist, singer, and composer David Sebba, one of the most creative artists on the Israeli musical scene. They will perform a string of beloved Hebrew songs, which you will want to hum with us. Among them Beethoven‘s poignant Lieder

Concert registration

14.11

Saturday Night

18:30
Henry Crown Hall

Evening Concert – Beethoven: Beethoven: Source and Arrangement

Pianist Ishay Shaer with violinist Dumitru Pocitari and cellist Emanuele Silvestri perform two new adaptations of Beethoven’s sonatas.

  • Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2, “The Tempest”
  • Piano Sonata No. 26 in E-flat Major, Op. 81a, ” Les Adieux”
  • Piano Trio No. 3, in C minor, Op. No. 3

Pianist Yishai Shaer arranged Beethoven’s two sonatas for piano trio, and he will perform them with Violinist Dumitru Pocitari and cellist Emanuele Silvestri, members of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. The sonatas stem from two dramatic moments in Beethoven’s life. The “Storm Sonata” was composed during the time where the composer became aware of his increasing deafness, and the “Farewell Sonata” during the siege imposed on Vienna by Napoleon’s troops when he had to part with a good friend about to flee. The program also features Piano Trio in C minor, one of Beethoven’s most dramatic masterpieces.

Concert registration

14.11

Saturday Night

20:30
Henry Crown Hall

Closing Concert

Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Capellatte-Oratorio Jerusalem Choir,

The Jerusalem Oratorio Chamber Choir 

and the Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir

Conductor: Ziv Cojocaru

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • “Egmont” Overture in F minor, op. 84

 

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Piano Concerto No. 5, in E-flat Major, op. 73, “The Emperor

 

  • Soloist: Tomer Lev
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Fantasy for piano, choir, soloists, and orchestra, in C Major, op. 80
  • Soloist: Dorel Golan

In the closing concert, the Jerusalem Symphonic Orchestra returns to the stage under the baton of conductor and composer Ziv Cojocaru. At its core will be Beethoven’s famous Fifth Piano Concerto (“Emperor Concerto”) played by Tomer Lev, one of the most prominent Israeli pianists and pedagogues. The program will also feature the overture of Goethe’s play “Egmont”, which like the Fidelio overture, hails the ideals of freedom and solidarity. Pianist Dorel Golan, a favorite of the festival audience, returns to its stage, this time with a rarely performed work: The Choral Fantasy for piano, soloists, choir, and orchestra – a hymn to music, an exciting prayer, actually an early version of the Ninth Symphony’s “Ode to Joy.”

Concert registration

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Live Studio

Conversations and interviews with artists and guests.

During the three days of the festival, we will interview the artists, comment on the program before its inception, and summarize it after its completion.

Unique Recordings

Beethoven Quartets Performed by the Klenke Quartet.
Between concerts, we will present recordings of Beethoven’s quartets op. 18 no. 6, and op. 135, performed by the German Klenke Quartet, in collaboration with the Goethe Institute in Israel.

Ours are stormy and challenging days. You are all, cordially invited, to be a part of the festival, go to the site, and watch live broadcasts of the shows. All those who attend the online festival will be joining the festival family, a growing community of music lovers. See you at the festival!

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