The Forbidden City Concert Hall has chosen Israeli composer, pianist and conductor Gil Shohat as the artistic director of a piano series dedicated to the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin, in honor of the 200th anniversary of his birth. The series will include 20 concerts in Beijing and three other cities during the 2010 membership season. Shohat will perform a series of piano recitals as well as bring prominent Israeli soloists to China. The performing artists will include: Professor Arieh Vardi, Victor Stanislavsky, Dorel Golan, and Alon Goldstein, in addition to cellist Professor Amit Peled (an Israeli living and working in the US) and violinist Nitai Tzuri, first violinist of the Ra’anana Symphony Orchestra.
This is the first time that an Israeli musician is the artistic director for an official concert series in China. Israeli Ambassador in China, Amos Nadai, commented, “Beyond the message of artistic excellence we convey to the Chinese, this is a meaningful step forward in the cultural relationship between Israel and China.”
This cultural exchange is already a presence in both countries. Gil Shohat performed in the Forbidden City this past summer and “Experience China in Israel” a two week event that began October 17 in Tel Aviv, has brought Israelis a closer glimpse of China with a variety of events and performances. The China Disabled People’s Art Troupe performed “My Dream” at the Israeli Opera, and the Beijing Modern Dance Company gave an illuminating talk at the Suzanne Dellal Centre, in addition to fascinating performances of contemporary work by choreographers Hu Lei and Gao Yanjinzi. Chinese Film Week at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque brought the work of seven Chinese filmmakers to Israeli audiences, and still ongoing (until October 30) is “A Close Look at China” an exhibit of photographs at the Museum of Antiquities in Jaffa.