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In April 2016, The Perlman Music Program (PMP) brought together exceptionally gifted PMP students and young Israeli string musicians for two-and-a-half weeks of focused study and music making at the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv. Led by PMP founder Toby Perlman, with faculty members Itzhak Perlman, Rachel Calin, Catherine Cho, Paul Katz, Sean Lee, Merry Peckham, Carol Rodland, Patrick Romano and collaborative pianists Yi-Fang Huang, Pei-Shan Lee, and John Root, the PMP mission to support the future of classical music thrived in Tel Aviv during the outstanding 17-day residency.

Most days were workdays at the Conservatory, where the 35 young musicians attended private lessons, chamber music rehearsals and coachings, and played and sang with the PMP orchestra and chorus, conducted by Maestros Itzhak Perlman and Patrick Romano. 

Four Works in Progress concerts took place during the residency, offering students a chance to perform their solo pieces for a supportive audience. Faculty members Carol Rodland, viola, and Paul Katz, cello, led inspiring master classes for the public.

In the evenings, many students stayed late at the conservatory reading chamber music with their mentors.

Students resided steps from the Conservatory on Bnei Dan Street, where we also had all our meals. Across the street sits the Yarkon River and Hayarkon Park, where students could hang out on their off-hours.

Trips off campus enabled students and faculty to explore the country and engage with Israeli music lovers beyond our home away from home in Tel Aviv.

In our first trip to Lod, we visited a Christian church, a Jewish synagogue, and a Muslim temple that all share a wall, then trekked up to the Chicago Community Center to sing with an Arabic girls choir and an ensemble comprised of Jewish cantors and their sons. 

That evening, Itzhak Perlman led an open rehearsal with the PMP Orchestra and over 100 young Israeli musicians in an arrangement of “Ode to Joy”.

The following day, PMP visited the Neot Kedumim Biblical Landscape Reserve, where we hiked through the countryside and learned about ancient methods of water extraction, milling, and shepherding.

Later that day we relaxed at the Dead Sea, where everyone slathered on healing mud and floated for hours in the hyper-saline waters.

The day after the Dead Sea trip was Passover Eve. Israeli students hosted PMPers from all over the world in their homes for the Seder, where everyone enjoyed delicious food and learned about Jewish traditions and the Passover story. 

On our nighttime trip to Jaffa, PMP dined at a traditional Arabic restaurant. We toured the Old City and Port, the oldest in recorded world history, amidst Jaffa’s lively, multiethnic community on the Mediterranean. 

Our gala concert at the Israel Conservatory of Music was sold out! Itzhak Perlman conducted the PMP Orchestra in music of Grieg, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Patrick Romano led the Chorus in works by Brahms, Thompson and Bach. 

On the last day of the residency, PMP traveled to the city of Caesarea, where PMP students performed a chamber music concert at the Ralli Museum, an exhibit of Latin American and Spanish art. Our last afternoon in Israel was spent at the Port, where we capped off the residency with a delicious lunch, explored the ancient ruins, and gazed out at the crystal clear waters of Caesarea. 

Our students and faculty had an unforgettable experience in Tel Aviv working hard and making many lifelong friendships. PMP is proud to add our Israeli students to our flourishing community around the world. We look forward to returning to Israel and reuniting all our new friends for many years to come!

PHOTO CREDITS:

Anat Isaac
Valerie Kim
Sean Lee
Sophia Mockler
Frida Oliver
Yuval Nuri-Shem Tov
PMP Staff

Learn more about PMP in Israel on our website here.

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Greetings from PMP! May 12, 2016