The concerts of classical music by the Richter String Quartet of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) enthralled a large gathering of music-lovers at the Russian Centres and Science and Culture in New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai on December 7 to 9, 2012.
The concert tour of the renowned musicians was organized within a unique cultural project "Israel-Russia-India", dedicated to the 65th anniversary of Russian-Indian diplomatic relations and the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Israel and India.
The Richter String Quartet is formed by Ilya Konovalov (first violin), Schmuel Glaser (second violin), Dmitry Ratush (viola) and Felix Nemirovsky (cello). The musicians were all born on the territory of the erstwhile Soviet Union, and have inherited the best traditions of the Russian performing school.
The program of the evening comprised "Love Salute" by Edward Elgar, Haydn String Quartet D-dur Op 64 no 5 "The Lark", Dvorak String Quartet F-dur Op 96 "American".
Ilya Konovalov and Schmuel Glaser gave the Indian public a unique opportunity to listen to the rarest of instruments – Stradivarius violin and Johannes Gagliano violin.
The cultural program brought together true connoisseurs of classical music, representatives of art elite, diplomats, students and journalists.
The dignitaries, who participated in the gala event in New Delhi, consisted of H.E. Ambassador of the Russian Federation to India Mr. Alexander Kadakin, Israel's Ambassador to India H.E. Mr. Alon Ushpiz, US Ambassador to India H.E. Mrs. Nancy Powell, Kyrgyz Ambassador to India H.E. Mrs. Irina Orolbaeva and Director-General of Indian Council for Cultural Relations Mr. Suresh Goel.
In Mumbai, the concert was attended by Consulate General of Russia in Mumbai Mr. Alexey Novikov, Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai Mrs. Orna Sagiv, as well as by the members of the Russian Parliament Mr. Pavel Dorokhin, Mr. Alexander Tarnayev, Mr. Alexander Sidyakin, Mr. Vasily Maksimov, Mr. Anton Ishchenko, who were in India on an official visit. Consulate General of Russia in Kolkata Mrs. Irina Bashkirova and the President of the Calcutta School of Music Ms. Dickoo Nowroji welcomed the musicians in Kolkata.
Prior to the concert in New Delhi, Israel's Ambassador to India H.E. Mr. Alon Ushpiz emphasized the success of the unprecedented cultural initiative, carried out by the Embassies of Israel and Russia jointly with the federal agency “Rossotrudnichestvo” in India. "This cultural project is a perfect example of the use of "soft power" in promoting trust and understanding between our countries", said the Ambassador.
According to Mr. Alexander Kadakin, the international project "Israel-Russia-India" has proved that cooperation in the field of culture and art withholds vast opportunities for intellectual and spiritual exchange between nations. He expressed the hope that the concert tour of Israeli musicians across India was just the first step to a new tradition of joint performances, which should get more popular with time due to the participation of foreign artists, including musicians and artists from countries where Russian compatriots live.
Mr. Suresh Goel supported the idea of the project initiators to expand the geography and variety of the international cultural cooperation. "We can be proud of the fact that Russia and Israel organized such a great event to mark the anniversaries of the relations with India," he said.
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1936 by Bronislaw Huberman and its inaugural concert, on December 26, 1936, was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. In the recent years, the IPO plays in special series of concerts for the youth, concerts as part of the "Arts for the People" project throughout Israel, and participates in various prestigious international festivals. Israel's creative artists are promoted by many IPO premieres of works by Israeli composers.
There are many internationally acclaimed conductors and musicians in the IPO team. Since 1977, the IPO is led by the world famous conductor Zubin Mehta.