The 2017 Eilat Chamber Music Festival will take place from February 1st to 4th at the Dan Eilat Hotel. To all intents and purposes, the hotel’s Tarshish Hall and the Big Blue Hall will serve as concert halls for the duration of the festival. At the press conference held at the Dan Hotel
Tel Aviv on January 12th, those attending were offered a glimpse into the captivating program awaiting festival-goers. Speaking at the meeting, Eilat mayor Mr. Meir Yitzhak Halevi, CEO of the Dan Hotel chain Mr. Raffi Sadeh and festival founder and musical director Mr. Leonid Rozenberg made mention of developments regarding the festival, in the city of Eilat and of the contribution the Dan Hotels make to the success of the Eilat Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Hayuta Dvir, known to many as a presenter on Israeli radio, especially of the Monday afternoon Etnachta concert series at the Jerusalem Theatre, spoke of the warm cooperation between all who make the festival a reality and of the value of its educational programs: from January 29th to February 4th, serious young string players, pianists and trumpeters will be studying with some of the festival artists, a stepping-stone to furthering their musicianship and technical skills. In another educational program – the Vienna Tel Aviv Vocal Connection – sopranos Sylvia Greenberg (Vienna Conservatory, Munich Hochschule) and Rosemarie Danziger (Cornell University, Mannheim Faculty) and pianist David Aronson (assistant conductor Vienna State Opera, Vienna Conservatory) will coach young singers who are aiming for a professional career.
An extra dimension to this year’s Eilat Chamber Music Festival will be an exhibition of artwork by Nevo Afek, an almost-blind, high-functioning autistic young man. Merav Afek, Nevo’s mother spoke of the artistic talent Nevo has displayed and of the young artist’s aim - to inspire people with his artworks.
With the rich choice of splendid concerts, festival-goers are going to have a hard time choosing which to attend…or perhaps which not! Pianist and conductor David Greilsammer will be back with his orchestra – the Geneva Camerata – this year to be joined by the great Russian-born violinist Viktoria Mullova. Greilsammer and the Geneva Camerata will present the Israeli premiere of Swiss composer Martin Jaggi’s “Uruk”. From France, the young, prize-winning Van Kuijk Quartet will perform French music and Schubert and will introduce the audience to Japanese composer Akira Nishimura’s string quartet “Pulses of Light”, then to be joined by Israeli pianist Amir Katz to perform César Franck’s Piano Quintet in F-minor. A treat in store for Baroque aficionados will be the Gabrieli Consort & Players, with their musical director and conductor Paul McCreesh; British soprano Gillian Webster will solo with them in Händel’s magnificent Italian cantata “Donna, che in ciel di tanta luce splendi”, written to celebrate the deliverance of Rome from the earthquake of 1703. And with the festival moving “outside the box” for Concert No.19, the Geneva Camerata will be joined by French jazz pianist Jacky Terrasson in a concert combining classical works, jazz and Israeli composer Jonathan Keren’s Variations on Gershwin’s “I Got Plenty of Nuttin”.
No new face to the Eilat Chamber Music Festival, pianist Amir Katz, in a daring and challenging program, will take the listener with him into the beauty and intricacies of Liszt’s music. 28-year-old Italian pianist Federico Colli will perform works of Domenico Scarlatti and Beethoven and, on his first Israeli visit, 15-year-old Alexander Malofeev from Russia will give a recital of mainstream works, with some piano repertoire discoveries.
Chamber music concerts will feature such world-renowned artists as violinists Marianna Vasileva (Israel/Russia) and Grigory Kalinovsky (USA), violist Mikhail Bereznitsky (Russia/Montenegro), ‘cellists Hillel Zori (Israel) and Martti Rousi (Finland) pianists Rena Shereshevskaya (Russia) and David Aronson (USA).
Festival audiences will welcome back Canadian jazz trumpeter Jens Lindemann; in two exhilarating concerts, he will be performing with Israeli- and overseas jazz artists: keyboard player Kristian Alexandrov (Bulgaria/Canada), bassist Jeremy Coates (Canada), Israeli percussionist Gilad Dobrecki and pianist Guy Mintus, an Israeli boundary-crossing pianist, composer and educator living in New York.
And to an upbeat, uniquely Israeli and entertaining event: in a concert of new arrangements of several of his songs, Israeli songwriter Alon Olearchik (voice, piano, guitar) will be joined by violinist Yulia Klein, violist Daniel Tanchelson and Yoed Nir (‘cello). Olearchik’s natural and communicative manner and humour make it a pleasure (and a must) to follow every word of his lyrics, to smile and to remember with nostalgia what was…or what might have been.
And for the children and us adults who treasure the memory of childhood, clown and actor Fyodor Makarov will present much fun and information in “SchMozart” (Concert No.9). Singers of the Vienna-Tel Aviv Vocal Connection, sopranos Avigail Gurtler Har-Tuv and Roxana Mihai, baritone Robson Bueno Tavared and instrumentalists will provide plenty of fine music by W.A.Mozart.
1- Fyodor Makarov (photo courtesy the Eilat Chamber Music Festival)
2- by Andy Gabrieli Staples
3- by Sivan Farag