Orchestra and conductor — Classic Strings

Orchestra and conductor

The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra

The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA, which celebrated  its 80th anniversary last season, was founded as the Palestine Broadcasting Service Orchestra in the late 1930s. In 1948 it became the national radio orchestra and was known as the “Kol Israel Orchestra”. In the 1970s, the orchestra was expanded into the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Broadcasting Authority. As a radio symphony orchestra, the majority of the concerts which the orchestra holds at its resident hall – the Henry Crown Auditorium – are being recorded and broadcasted over IBA’s Kol Ha’musika station.

The current Music Director of the JSO is Maestro Frédéric Chaslin. The orchestra has had seven musical directors hitherto: Mendi Rodan, Lukas Foss, Gary Bertini, Lawrence Foster and David Shallon.

The orchestra maintains a varied repertoire which ranges from the Baroque and the Classical periods through the Romantic period, extending to contemporary composers, many of whom have received their Israeli premières with the JSO. The orchestra was the first Israeli Orchestra to perform the works of renowned composers such as Sofia Gubaidolina, Henry Dutilleux, Alfred Schnittke and others. Since its inception the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra has consistently encouraged Israeli composers by commissioning and performing their works.

Over the decades, some of the music world’s legendary musicians have performed with the JSO, with memorable performances by Igor Stravinsky, Otto Klemperer, Arthur Rubinstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Pablo Casals, Igor Markevitch, Henryk Szeryng, Yo Yo Ma, Pierre Boulez, Neville Mariner, Christa Ludwig, Tabea Zimmermann, Martha Argerich, Radu Lupu, Jose Carreras, Jean Pierre Rampal, Maxim Vengerov and Yefim Bronfman.
Among the most notable premières performed by the orchestra: the opera David by Milhaud (1954); the cantata Abraham and Isaac bay Stravinsky, conducted by Robert Craft (1964); and The Seven Gates of Jerusalem by Krzysztof Penderecki conducted by Maestro Lorin Maazel, which was commissioned as the conclusion for the Jerusalem 3000 celebrations (1999).

In the past, the orchestra took particular pride in the Liturgical Festival, founded by Maestro Gary Bertini, which presented music of worship from the three major religions. The festival has now been incorporated into the concert season as a series of vocal and liturgical concerts.

The orchestra performs regularly at the Israel Festival. In 2008 the JSO presented the Israeli première of Das Klagende Lied (Mahler) with conductor Uri Segal and the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir.

The JSO often conducts tours in Europe and in the United States, and has played in some of the most prestigious venues, including the Musikvereine in Vienna, the Philharmonie in Cologne and Carnegie Hall in New-York. In February 2015 the JSO was invited by UNESCO to Paris to perform Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, Babi Yar in a special concert which commemorated the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Even more recently, in August 2015 the orchestra toured in Brazil with Maestro Chaslin and Israeli soloist Itamar Zurman and in 2016 toured the US and Japan. In June 2009 the orchestra performed the oratorio Elijah (Mendelssohn) at the closing event of the annual Bachfest in Leipzig.

The orchestra is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Sport and the Jerusalem City municipality.


Dmitry Yablonsky

Grammy-nominated conductor, cellist, and conductor Dmitry Yablonsky was born in Moscow into a musical family. He began playing the cello when he was 5 years old and was accepted to the Central Music School for gifted children. At the age of 9, he gave his orchestral debut playing Haydn’s cello concerto.

Since then, his career had taken him to the most important stages in the world, such as the Carnegie Hall, La Scala, Moscow Great Hall, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Taiwan National Hall, Teatre Mogador, Cite de la Musique, Louvre, among others.

He regularly plays with important artists as Boris Berezovsky, Vadim Repin, Shlomo Mintz, Itamar Golan, Yuri Bashmet, and has collaborated with artists as Monserrat Caballé, Roberto Alagna, Olga Borodina, ... He played Mº Penderecki’s Cello Concerto with the composer at the podium.

He has also an important career as Conductor that begun in Camerino (Italy), where he had his first opportunity to conduct an orchestra. He was 26 years old and since then, has collaborated with many important orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra (principal guest conductor 2000-2004), Novaya Rossiya (Principal Guest Conductor 2012-), Israel Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, Antwerpen Orchestra, North Netherlands Orchestra, Maastricht Orchestra, Russian State Orchestra, Orchestre National d'Ile de France, Taiwan National Orchestra, Catania Opera Orchestra, Holland Symphonia, Bologna Chamber Orchestra, Ofunam (México), etc..

His mother is the famed pianist Oxana Yablonskaya, with whom he immigrated in 1977 to New York where he studied with Lorne Munroe (solo cellist of New York Philharmonic Orchestra), David Soyer, cellist of Guarneri quartet, and with Aldo Parisot.

In the summer of 1979, at the age 16, Dmitry was accepted to participate in Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont and was the youngest participant. There, he had the opportunity to meet many great musicians as M. Horszowski, M. Tree, M. Schneider, M. Foley... and after playing for David Soyer, cellist of Guarneri quartet, he offered him to come to Curtis Institute of Music to study with him.

In 2010 Dmitry Yablonsky received the Diploma of the Honorary Academician at the Independent Academy of Liberal Arts at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has transcribed and edited works for cello, which was released by International Music Company and Dover Publications. Naxos records released his recording of all 40 Popper etudes for solo cello in the fall of 2008, which received great critical acclaim.

But maybe, his most important recording is the Piano trio recording for Erato/ Warner with Vadim Repin and Boris Berezovsky that has won numerous awards.

Dmitry Yablonsky has an enthusiastic and charismatic character that takes him to initiate many projects. He has organized many festivals all over the world and is the artistic director of Gabala Festival in Azerbaijan.

Dmitry Yablonsky is Music Director of Kiev Virtuosi and Conductor Laureate of Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Since fall 2016, he teaches at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University and has been recently named Head of International Relations of the same University.

Dmitry plays two cellos: a Joseph Filius Andrea Guarneri and a Matteo Gofriller.

Orchestra and conductor — Classic Strings