On 8–16 September, the European Foundation for Support of Culture and Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music held the Wandering Music Stars project consisting of the Israel Music Festival and International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv.
Participants in the International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv underwent a rigorous four-round selection process. The expert jury included famous music figures, professors at the world’s top conservatories. The three finalists had a unique opportunity to perform at the Festival Closing Gala at the Tel Aviv Opera House, together with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (JSO), the resident orchestra of the Wandering Music Stars project. The competition’s total prize fund was €85,000.
The JSO was founded in the late 1930s and it celebrated its 80th anniversary last season. Currently, the Orchestra frequently tours Europe and the US, performing at the most prestigious venues, including Musikverein in Vienna, Cologne Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall in New York. In February 2015, UNESCO invited the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra to Paris to perform Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 Babi Yar at a special concert dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
The Israel Music Festival was held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on 11–16 September at the best concert venues, such as the Henry Crown Symphony Hall in the Jerusalem Theatre, Tel Aviv Opera House and Zucker Hall. The festival featured performances by famous Austrian pianist Ingolf Wunder, Deutsche Grammophon performer; Alexander Gindin, Honored Artist of Russia, Winner of the Cleveland International Piano Competition (US); Paul Meyer, famous French clarinetist and conductor, Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters; violin and viola player Shlomo Mintz (Israel), Honorary Doctor of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba. The performers and the JSO were conducted by maestro Sergey Smbatyan, Honored Artist of the Republic of Armenia, artistic director of the Armenia Symphony Orchestra, and by Dmitry Yablonsky (US/Israel), principal guest conductor of the Novaya Rossiya State Symphony Orchestra and of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
The Festivals’ programme featured works by famous Maltese and other European composers.