We were offered a chance to enjoy The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra at the bargain price of $20 a ticket tonight. The 29-year-old conductor, Noam Zur, is the son of a cousin of one of our fellow tour members.
Other than seeing a brilliant young conductor and an even younger violin soloist, the real treat was hearing the premiere of a piece by Israeli composer Yehezkel Braun, born in 1922 in Breslau, Germany. His family emigrated to Israel when he was 2 years old. My first thought was he would probably be dead if he had stayed in Germany. Instead he has had a long career as a composer and professor at Tel-Aviv University.
I very much liked his Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Orchestra, published when he was 88. I knew he must have been in the audience since this was the world premiere. Sure enough, at the conclusion of the piece, a frail elderly man sitting at the end of the row behind me made his way to the stage with the help of his grandson. I stood up and the rest of the audience soon followed as we gave him a standing ovation. I felt so grateful this life had been allowed to flourish in the land of Israel.
The composer seemed delighted to let me take his picture at the intermission.
It was a musical evening I will always remember -- the best of Israel's youth and the best of its elderly on the same stage.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad