Britain made the
the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra possible…
In 1936, Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman stepped back from his successful career as one of the world’s finest soloists in order to create a symphony orchestra in the desert outpost of Palestine, with an inaugural concert conducted by Arturo Toscanini, on 26 December 1936.
With the help of the British Government who granted Huberman certificates of entry into the British Mandate of Palestine, this musical genius with a rare vision took to assembling 75 of the finest Jewish musicians from across Europe – ultimately saving almost 1,000 Jews from the Nazi Holocaust and marking the birth of what we know today as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO).
The orchestra’s first visit to the UK came in 1955, performing at the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall, with conductors Paul Klecki and Paul Paray, alongside violin soloist, Isaac Stern.
This led to the genesis of the British Friends of the IPO and many more welcome visits of the orchestra to the UK, performing with the musical giants of the time, including Zubin Mehta; Arthur Rubinstein; Jacqueline du Pré; Daniel Barenboim; Itzhak Perlman; Leonard Bernstein; Shlomo Mintz; Antonio Pappano; Murray Perahia; Kurt Masur; Nikolaij Znaider and Gil Shaham.
The last major visit of the IPO to the UK was in 2011 for the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta with soloist Gil Shaham.