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On Sunday, Oct. 25, the IPO flew to Spain for a quick visit to Madrid and Barcelona.  The orchestra, with music director Zubin Mehta, opened the season in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Kyriat Mozkin and Acco with three weeks of concerts, and now it was time to pay tribute to a dear friend of the orchestra in Spain:  Alfonso Eichon.  For thirty years, the IPO has been “Eichon’s” guest for concert tours.  Beginning seven years before the establishment of diplomatic ties with Israel, the IPO and Zubin Mehta have been regular guests visiting the Auditorio National in Madrid, the Palau de Musica in Barcelona, the Festivals of San Sebastien and Santander; Bilbao, Santiago di Compostella, Valencia, a Coruna and Zaragoza.

 The orchestra opened its concerts in Madrid with a visit by Sofia, Queen of Spain.  The Queen was received with warm respect; the audience and orchestra rising to their feet and applauding. At intermission, Queen Sofia honored the orchestra and the Maestro with a visit backstage, an event which was widely covered in the local press.  The performance of the First and Second Symphonies of Brahms was met with cheers from the capacity crowd at the Auditorio National de Musica.  The next night, the Third and Fourth Symphonies were performed.

IPO & Queen Sofia

Also accompanying the orchestra was an enthusiastic group from the American Friends of the IPO.  On Saturday evening, they had attended the annual Gala concert of the IPO Foundation in Tel Aviv, and then flown to hear the Madrid concerts.

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