Sibelius´s 150th anniversary is celebrated in Israel together with young music makers. Embassy of Finland in Tel Aviv cooperates with the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance during this academic year. The aim of this is to increase the familiarity with Sibelius and Finnish music in Israel.
"The pronunciation of the Swedish language was surprisingly difficult, because it´s so different to Hebrew", the winners of Israeli Ada Brodsky art-song contest Tom Ben-Ishai, Tamara Navoth and Yuval Oren laugh.
The young ladies were singing Sibelius songs at the Ambassador´s residence in early February.
The event concluded the first stage of a year-long cooperation between the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (JAMD) and the Finnish Embassy cooperation project for Sibelius´s 150th anniversary.
The aim is to increase the awareness of Sibelius and Finnish music in Israel. In Israel, Sibelius is mostly known for his symphonies, but because of this project Sibelius´s songs and chamber music have become more known in Israel.
As part of the cooperation famous Finnish pianist and teacher Prof. Collin Hansen from the Sibelius Academy came for masterclasses and private tutoring of the singers in a very fruitful professional exchange.
This is the third year that JAMD organized the Ada Brodsky art-song competition, which is named after a major Israeli radio journalist and cultural person. This year the competition included a required Sibelius song category and Finnish honorary consuls donated a prize for the best Sibelius song presentation.
"We did not know much about Sibelius before the competition. We were assigned to listen to his production and to choose the songs that we felt touched us. For me it was Sibelius´ "Var det en dröm?" says Ben-Ishai who took the third place in the contest.
The songs Norden, Svarta Rosor and Flickan kom ifrån sin älskings möte were also presented in the contest.
The musical cooperation between Finland and Israel will continue this spring. On May 7th there will be a Sibelius seminar for professionals with pianist Folke Gräsbeck as a keynote speaker, who, together with soprano Hedvig Paulig will perform the following day at the Felicja Blumenthal music festival in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
The year´s cooperation with the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance will conclude in a festive concert on June 3 within the Israel Festival with violinist Petteri Iivonen playing Sibelius Violin Concerto.