The Israel Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1965 by the famous conductor and composer Gary Bertini. Subsequent it was directed by: Luciano Berio, Rudolph Barshai, Uri Segal, Yoav Talmi, Shlomo Mintz, Philippe Entremont, Salvador Mas Conde, Noam Sheriff, Gil Shohat and Roberto Paternostro. Since 2015 Ariel Zuckermann serves as Artistic Director of the Orchestra.
The orchestra performs a varied repertoire ranging from baroque through current compositions in over 100 concerts per year to subscribers in both the central and the outskirts of Israel. It tours extensively in Europe, USA, Canada, South America and the Far East and takes part in prestigious international music festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, festivals in Istanbul, Helsinki, Athens, Pompeii, Sofia and Mitte Europa, Hong Kong and many more. The Orchestra has recorded for Chandos, Naxos, Music Masters, The Israel Music Institute (IMI), Koch and Teldec.
Many well-known artists have performed with the Israel Chamber Orchestra: Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Yefim Bronfman, Miriam Fried, Joseph Kalichstein, Kryzstof Penderecki, Christoph Eschenbach, Yoel Levi, Jean Pierre Rampal, Paul Tortelier, Heinrich Schiff, Heinz Holliger, Sergiu Commissiona, Claude Frank, David Shallon, Tabea Zimmerman, and others.
The Orchestra’s main values are musical quality, promoting Israeli works, and deepening the connection between public and community through exceptional projects. The orchestra turns to broad audiences by assimilating various musical cultures and styles and collaborating with other art forms – musical theatre (Les Miserables with Habima Theater), Israeli pop music (Shlomo Gronich, Micha Shitrit, and David D'or), tribute concerts to rock bands such as The Beatles, Queen, Abba, Pink Floyd, and performing folk and world music (even Russian folk), Jazz music and Argentinian tango.
Ariel Zuckermann is one of the most soughtafter conductors of the younger generation. He studied with the Jorma Panula at the Royal Music Academy of Stockholm and later with Bruno Weil at Munich’s Musikhochschule. In January 2007 he was appointed Music Director of the renowned Georgian Chamber Orchestra. Since 2015 he serves as Music Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra.
He’s conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian State Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, KBS Radio Orchestra Seoul, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and others. He also tours with his own ensemble, Kolsimcha.
Benjamin Schmid – is an Austrian violinist and music teacher. He studied at Mozarteum, Vienna Music Academy and Curtis Institute of Music. He was the last laureate of the Carl Flesch Violin Competition in London 1992, where he was awarded the Grand prize, two Special Prizes, and Audience Prize.
Since then he has performed on the world’s major stages with renowned orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra London, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam under conductors such as Christoph von Dohnanyi, David Zinman, Seiji Ozawa and Valery Gergiev. He lives in Salzburg, Austria and he is a professor at Mozarteum. He is a regular participant of the Salzburg Festival.
He has recorded about 50 CDs and they have received various awards such as the German Record Prize (several times for Classic and Jazz), the Echo Klassik Prize, the Gramophone Editor’s Choice and the Strad Selection. He performs in about 80 concerts a year worldwide. Benjamin Schmid is portrayed as one of the most important violinists in the book " Great Violinists of the 20th Century" by Jean-Michel Molkhou.
Benjamin Schmid was awarded the International Prize for Art and Culture of the City of Salzburg and performs on one of the most beautiful Stradivari violins, the “ex Viotti 1718” , which is placed at his disposal by the Austrian National Bank.