Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

(IPO)
   Founded in December 1936 as the Palestinian Symphony Orchestra, it was initially conceived by the violinist Bronislaw Huberman, who in 1934 set out to establish a center of artistic and educational excellence in Palestine. The project soon also developed into a means through which to provide immigration (see ALIYA) certificates both for Jewish musicians in Nazi Germany and for many other refugees from Europe. The orchestra's first season opened under Maestro Arturo Toscanini. Leonard Bernstein maintained close ties with the orchestra from 1947, and in 1988, the IPO bestowed on him the title of laureate conductor, which he retained until his death in 1990. The Indian-born conductor Zubin Mehta has been associated with the IPO since 1969; he was appointed music director for life in 1981. Kurt Masur is the IPO's honorary guest conductor, a title granted to him in 1992. Yoel Levi serves as principal guest conductor. The secretary general of the orchestra is Avi Shoshani. The IPO has a reported subscriber base of 26,000 (2006). In addition to attracting tremendous musical talent to Israel, the IPO has toured widely and served as the country's musical ambassador. It prides itself on having continued to perform even during periods of hostility and warfare.
   See also Theater.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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