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The Israel Philarmonic Orchestra

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Debuts in Abu Dhabi, First Time in Arab Country Since 1945

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra made its debut in Abu Dhabi during the last week of 2022, marking the first time that it performed in an Arab country since 1945.

The orchestra was invited to participate in the prestigious Abu Dhabi Classics Festival by the Ministry of Culture of the United Arab Emirates, and played at the Emirates Palace.

Conductor Lahav Shani led the orchestra in an epic work befitting the grand occasion, Gustav Mahler's powerful "Titan" Symphony No. 1. The Tel Aviv-based ensemble also performed Wolfang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23.

Israel and the UAE normalized their relations with the Abraham Accords in 2020. Since then, the cooperation between the two countries has grown stronger both in the political and economical fields, and in the cultural one.

The performance of Israel’s national anthem Hatikva at the beginning of the concert embodied the new era of friendship between the nations.

Founded in 1936 by Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, the orchestra included dozens of Jewish musicians fleeing anti-Semitism and persecution in Europe. In the following years, world-acclaimed conductor Arturo Toscani led the ensemble twice.

In 1945, the orchestra went on tour in Egypt and performed at the Cairo Opera House. Seventy-seven years later, it played again in an Arab country. "Our performance in an Arab country is perhaps a small step on the way to what we all wish for - peace,” Shani said according to Israeli media. (JPost / VFI News)