That’s the claim.
Mahler’s monster has not been heard in Israel since 1996 or thereabout – with the exception of a Mariinsky performance by Gergiev at his Eilat festival which doesn’t count as it was (a) unrehearsed and ((b) mostly for Russian sun-seekers.
The one I have come to hear is the fulfilment of a life’s dream for Noam Sherriff, doyen of Israeli composers and founder of the Israel Symphony Orchestra, who is about to turn 80. It is getting three sold-out performances at the opera house in Tel Aviv. Schools up and down the land have been raided for the choirs and an adult chorus is being flown in from Croatia.
Should be fun. And packed. Details here (if you read Hebrew).