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Teatro Colon has been the scene of music history since its creation in 1857, the construction of the present building in 1908 and its $100 M. renovation in 2010.

This week, the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta are appearing in three concerts: “Also Sprach Zarathustra”- Tchaikovsky Sym. #4; Dvorak Sym. 8- Brahms Sym. #1; Mozart Sym. #40- Mahler Sym. #5.  Every evening the hall has been absolutely full and the reviews have been excellent.

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After opening a 5 day visit in Argentina at the Teatro Colon, the orchestra performed outdoors in one of Buenos Aires neighborhoods.

The Sunday morning’s weather was cold a clear; 6 C!!! The 1030 rehearsal began with coats, hats and scarves. By concert time, half of the stage was boiling in the sun, and the other half was still freezing in the shade.

Zubin was at his best pleasing both orchestra and audience with “Forza”, “Fledermaus”, Mozart 40, “Tritsch-Trasch”, “Voices of Spring” and the Finale from “Dafnis”.

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The audience also tangoed in the aisles to “Por una Cabeza” by Carlos Gardel.

“You were all heroes! No other orchestra would have stayed on stage under those conditions”, complimented Zubin Mehta after the outdoor concert in Campinas.

The next evening we performed Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms at the Theatro Municipal de Paulina. Campinas is a 2 hour bus ride from San Paolo. In the evening we rehearsed and performed Mozart and Mahler at the beautiful Sala Sao Paolo; an old train station completely re-fitted to be a concert hall. In the audience were Brazilian students from the Buchmann-Mehta Academy, University of Tel Aviv.

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Winter Tel Avivi in Campinas Brazil! The IPO and thousands of happy Brazilians braved cold, wind and even rain at an outdoor gala last night in Campinas. Musicians either wore their jackets under their dress shirts, or came on stage with winter coats and hoods.

In the middle of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, the entire first violin section picked up their chairs and music to crowd “left” into the orchestra and get out of the bursts of rain. The acoustic shell dripped on music and instruments…but the audience didn’t leave, and they didn’t lower their Israeli flags!

The best musical event of the day was a jam session of samba at the Rio airport with players Gadi Lederman, Jonathan Hadas and Daniel Ring, and dancers Iris Regev and Sivan Mayyani…look for it on Facebook.

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Last night the orchestra surprised the Rio audience with a last minute change: Pinchas Zukerman performed Mozart third violin concerto with the IPO.

Pinki is on a chamber music tour of South America with his wife Amanda.  It’s the kind of surprise that only Zubin and Pinki, two life-long friends, can pull off!  After intermission, the orchestra continued with the planned program: Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

Watch Video:  Maestro Zubin Mehta fala sobre capacidade de inclusão social da música

This morning, the orchestra flies to San Paolo for an outdoor evening concert in Campinas.  It was a rushed visit to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but it was nice waking up in Rio to the sound of waves on the beach!

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We flew from Lima to Rio (same distance as London to Tel Aviv!)  on Friday; 10:00 departure from the hotel,  arrival at airport, check-in, passport control then “demorado”: “delayed!!!”

It was already 16:00 when we took-off flying east over a vast desert and huge Lake Titicaca.  No roads, homes or settlements for hours of flying into the darkness.  We arrived in Rio exhausted, but woke to dawn over Copacabana.

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Lima hosted its first concert of the Israel Philharmonic on Thursday night.  Although the downtown is a crowded mix of colonial buildings and urban sprawl with dusty traffic jams and millions of people on the streets, the Gran Teatro Nacional is a beautiful modern concert hall.

Special visitor Charles Bronfman enjoyed Mozart and Mahler from the first row and later joined the orchestra, Zubin and friends from America for a reception.


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The Israel Philharmonic began its summer 2013 South American Tour with a historic first visit to Bogota, Colombia. The 14 concert tour will take the orchestra to Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chili.

The Bogota concert was dedicated to the memory of Lazar Gilinski, former Colombian Ambassador to Israel and close friend of Avi Shoshani and his family.

Special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Miguel Barg and The Fabrikant Family, American Friends of the IPO for their generous underwriting support of the evening’s concert.

The Orchestra and Zubin Mehta were honored with a reception by the Jewish Community at the Magen Uvadiah Synagogue. In attendance were leaders of the Jewish community, members of the American Friends of the IPO, the Fabrikants and Hisch’s, the Israeli Ambassador, the former Colombian Ambassador, the director of Teatro Mayor, and the Gilinski Family.

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