Shira Haas hosts IPO 85th anniversary

January 5, 2022 by Features Desk
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Marking the 85th anniversary of the founding of Israel’s most revered and respected cultural institutions, the Israel Philharmonic (IPO) has released a unique Film chronicling the IPO’s history and its lasting impact on music both within Israel and across the globe.

Hosted by award-winning actress and performer Shira Haas (“Shtisel”, “Unorthodox”, “The Zookeeper’s Wife”), the Film includes never-before-seen footage conveying the story of several musical visionaries’ success in transforming the Jewish State into a powerhouse of orchestral achievement, often amidst intense regional conflict and social challenge.

Released on December 26th online to mark the occasion of 85 years to the day when the then-Palestine Symphony Orchestra first performed in Tel Aviv, the Film will be available for free viewing until the end of January 2022.

YouTube player

The film was jointly produced by the Israel Philharmonic Foundation and the American Friends of the IPO, highlighting the Orchestra’s history as well as its ongoing musical achievements over the course of the pandemic.

“These past two years have been deeply challenging for all cultural institutions. And yet the Israel Philharmonic has never stopped and will continue to write musical history while embracing its remarkable past,” explains Tali Gottlieb, Executive Director of the Israel Philharmonic Foundation.  “Through this film, which has already been seen and lauded by supporters from over 70 countries, we demonstrate how we continued to cherish the IPO’s remarkable history by moving forward in our musical development while seeking out new creative tools to tell our story.”

From the pre-State period and all throughout the development of the modern State of Israel, the IPO has thrived as a source of national pride and musical excellence while serving as the country’s cultural ambassador throughout the globe. As chronicled in the Film, the IPO played central roles in inspiring the country at some of the most pivotal moments in its history. Viewers are invited to witness selections from performances by Leonard Bernstein in the early months after the founding of the State and later on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus shortly after the Six-Day War. Other moments highlighted are a concert held at the site of “The Good Fence” on the Lebanese border as well as Isaac Stern performing to a Jerusalem concert hall filled with audience members donning gas masks during a Gulf War air raid siren.

The Film also features recent performances conducted by Lahav Shani, the IPO’s Music Director, the successor of Zubin Mehta since 2020, just prior to the onset of Corona. Included is a duet between Shani on the piano and Shira Haas performing a soul-inspiring rendition of Cabaret’s Maybe This Time.

“The history of the State of Israel is etched in the biography of the Philharmonic, in difficult and in joyous moments,” said Shira Haas. “Alongside classical concerts with the world’s leading conductors and soloists, the Orchestra has always engaged in creative projects and artistic adventures.  Eighty-five years on, the Israel Philharmonic continues to enrich Israeli culture and  I have no doubt that a promising and exciting future awaits the IPO.”

“We are so grateful for the support that has already come in from viewers around the globe and we hope others will continue to do so at a time when the support of our Friends is so needed,” concluded Gottlieb.

To make a birthday gift to the IPO, please donate online at


One Response to “Shira Haas hosts IPO 85th anniversary”
  1. Peter Lorschy says:

    I was privileged to have had the opportunity to hear the story and listen to the music performed by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. I have also had the opportunity to heat the orchestra perform in Sydney Australia.

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