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Israel Philharmonic Orchestra


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The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is the leading symphony orchestra in Israel. Originally known as the Palestine Orchestra, the IPO was founded by violinist Bronisław Huberman in 1936, at a time when many Jewish musicians were being fired from European orchestras. Its inaugural concert took place in Tel Aviv on December 26, 1936, and was conducted by Arturo Toscanini.

The IPO enjoys frequent international tours, including a tour to Germany in 1971, and has hosted some of the world’s greatest conductors. Particularly associated with the orchestra are conductors Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta. 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. Mehta has served as the IPO’s Music Advisor since 1968. The IPO did not have a formal music director, but instead “music advisors”, until 1977, when Mehta was appointed the IPO’s first Music Director. In 1981, his title was elevated to Music Director for Life.

With Mehta, the IPO has made a number of recordings for Decca. With Bernstein, the IPO also recorded music of Leonard Bernstein himself and Igor Stravinsky. The IPO has also done a collaboration with Japanese composer Yoko Kanno in the soundtrack of the anime Macross Plus.

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