Festival Series to feature Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra

The College of Musical Arts will present the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra as part of the 2008-09 Festival Series on Nov. 15. The orchestra will perform on the Lois M. Nitschke Memorial Concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

Led by music director and principal conductor Leon Botstein, the orchestra has been dedicated to performing masterpieces from the baroque to the contemporary, often presenting the Israeli premieres of these works.  

Founded in the 1940s as the national radio orchestra and originally known as the “Kol Israel Orchestra,” the group became the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Broadcasting Authority, during the 1970s. During a European tour in 1996, the orchestra gained considerable international acclaim and recognition, and was invited to participate in three additional tours of South America, Europe and the United States.

The Nov. 15 performance will include “Big Ben Variations” by Ernst Toch; “Violin Concerto, Op. 24” by Miklos Rozsa, featuring violinist Robert McDuffie, and “Symphony No. 3” by Aaron Copland.

McDuffie has appeared as a soloist with most of the world’s major orchestras. He is a Grammy-nominated artist whose acclaimed Telarc recordings include the violin concertos of Mendelssohn, Bruch, Adams, Glass, Barber and Rozsa. He has been profiled on NBC's "Today," "CBS Sunday Morning," PBS's "Charlie Rose" and A's "Breakfast with the Arts," and in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He is a Distinguished University Professor of Music at Mercer University in his hometown of Macon, Ga. The McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer officially opened at the beginning of the 2007-08 academic year.

Botstein has been president of Bard College since 1975 and is the editor of Musical Quarterly. He has received the award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Harvard University’s prestigious Centennial Award for his contributions to music. He has performed with many orchestras, including the BBC Symphony, London Symphony, NDR-Hamburg, NDR-Hannover and Teatro Real in Madrid. Botstein’s recordings with the London Symphony earned him a Grammy nomination earlier this year.

Tickets for the Nov. 15 concert are $30, $25 and $18 in advance and $33, $28 and $21 the day of the performance. For more information, call the Moore Center box office between noon and 6 p.m. weekdays at 2-8171.

November 3, 2008