Cellist Hillel Zori
Cyril Hirsh reports on the 2019 Eilat Music Festival
I should like to begin at the end, with the last day of the Eilat Music Festival, Saturday January 7th. This was an extraordinary experience, as we listened to a panel of the musicians talking about their lives and views about music. The people in the audience were already on a high, as we had attended concerts of the highest standards.
At our introductory concert on the Thursday, Boris Giltburg’s rendering of Beethoven’s 1st Piano Concerto had been amazing. On the Friday, we heard Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto played by Sergei Krylov. The cadenza was outstanding and the sophisticated audience clapped and cheered after the first movement. This is where we realized the difference between live performance and DVD’s, radio and television performances. When sound comes directly from the musical instrument to the ear, we hear a difference; it is not distorted by electronics no matter how sophisticated the technology. When we see the pianist’s hands fly over the keys it is not the same as when we see it on television. When we see the violinist ponder over a note, maybe wait a milli-second before playing, this transforms the musical experience. Of course, there is also the atmosphere of the concert hall with other, like-minded people sharing the same encounter with delight and anticipation.
Let us return to the musician’s panel on Saturday.
The panel was hosted by Hillel Zori, a cellist, and we heard Omer Welber, the conductor and musical director, Boris Giltburg and other Israeli artists. They talked of their musical training and international careers. It was an exciting privilege to have an entry to their lives. Omer Welber has never forgotten the Rannana Symphonette Orchestra, in spite of being Daniel Barenboim’s assistant for three years as well as the principal guest conductor of the Semperoper Dresden. He conducts the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in America and is in demand in Italy, conducting many different operas. Of course, he also conducts at the Israeli Opera. This young man is a master, not only a master musician and lecturer, but also as a person, involving himself in the charity ‘Save a Child’s Heart’.
Boris Giltburg complained that, internationally, people think of him as a Russian and not as an Israeli.
The other panel members talked about their lives as international musicians and the fact that they are also ambassadors, explaining about Israel to people wherever they travel. Hillel Zori and Jacob Reuvan who plays the mandolin, played music while we, the audience, thought about this exciting opportunity to meet brilliant people.
This last day also saw a concert at 5pm with a Rossini Overture, a Concerto by Vivaldi, a Romance by Beethoven and a Suite for Cello based on Bizet’s Carmen. This last piece was written by the cellist Hillel Zori. The orchestra was conducted by Karen Kagarlitsky. This young lady was in command when she raised her arms to conduct.
During the three days of the Festival, we were able to choose from 15 performances ranging from Mediterranean Pieces, a Light Classical Repertoire, Magic of the Baltic, Sorcery in Black and White and the symphony concerts.
What more is there to say, “Roll on the next Festival”.