The Perlman Program

Ariel Quartet

Yesterday (Thursday, May 20th) was the first day of the Perlman Music Program at the Jerusalem Music Center, Mishkenot Sha’ananim. The brainchild of Toby Perlman, the program aims to foster musical excellence through master classes as well as one-on-one work with some of the most promising young musicians from Israel and abroad. “I believe that students do best in an atmosphere in which they are not afraid to express themselves” says Toby. The participants are limited to 42 young musicians, in order to allow each participant to get plenty of attention and realize Toby’s dream to “nurture young people who develop confidence and become interesting, both as players and as people”.

 The instructors and teachers are masters of their fields, and are headed by maestro Itzhak Perlman, who will be conducting the ensembles as well as imparting some of his wisdom on the violin.

This is the first time this prestigious program is taking place in Jerusalem, and the organizers hope to turn this into a yearly event. Local young talent would bless the existence of such a program, although as with all programs of this sort, competition is fierce.

“I feel proud to have been accepted, because it’s (validation from) an outside source” says Ariella Zeitlin, one of the talented few to be accepted to the program. Of all the things she expects to learn she says her main goal is to learn “how to work as a unit.” That is indeed one of the goals of the program as well, as is evident by a unique policy: participants of the program change their seating around between movements, thereby allowing each musician to experience playing from a different position.

There are many concerts being offered to the public during the duration of the program.

The first event that will be open to the public is the opening concert on Saturday night, May 22 (21:00 at the Jerusalem Music Center) by the Ariel Quartet:  Gershon Gerchikov, violin, Alexandra Kazovsky, violin, Sergey Tarashchansky, viola, and Amit Even-Tov, cello. The Ariel Quartet is the official quartet of the New England Conservatory in Massachusetts.

Two free concerts will take place on Sunday May 30 at 20:00 at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, and on Wednesday June 2 at 20:00 at the Buchmann-Mehta school of Music in Tel-Aviv.

The culmination of the program will be a gala concert at Henry Crown auditorium in Jerusalem on June 3, as part of the Israel Festival. The 42 participants of the program will perform under the baton of Maestro Perlman, together with a choir and an Arabic music ensemble. (02-6237000 for ticket information)