Coming Home, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's 75th Anniversary

The History of the Orchestra

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Program notes

János Darvas' documentary marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The film details the history of the ensemble (and of Israel itself) through the decades, featuring archival photography and interviews of members of the orchestra.

Founded in 1936, the originally-named “Orchestra of Palestine” included primarily Jewish musicians escaping persecution in Europe. Its inaugural concert was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. Upon the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, the ensemble restyled itself as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and from that point on was featured in every important national events. Two of its conductors in particular would prove to leave a significant mark on history: the charismatic leaders Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta, the latter of whom is the orchestra’s current musical director.

These 75 years of history are recounted through some of the orchestra's most memorable concerts featuring Arturo Toscanini, Arthur Rubinstein, Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim and Itzhak Perlman. János Darvas' work also gives us a glimpse into the heart of the orchestra's daily life, including footage of rehearsals, recent concerts, and tours.

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