Israel has fallen off the itinerary of Europe tours by North American orchestra in recent years. The causes are not political. It’s all to do with cost – unusually high insurance premiums – and low expected revenues.
But Toronto has decided to take the plunge, and it’s a timely one. The year 2017 marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration that created the possibility of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East, as well as the 150th anniversary of Canadian statehood.
Here’s the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—November 14, 2016: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is pleased to announce a major tour of Israel and Europe under the leadership of its Music Director, Peter Oundjian, that will run from May 7 to 22, 2017.
The TSO will make its first-ever touring appearances in Israel, with performances in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, before travelling to Europe and appearing in Vienna, Prague—as part of the famous Prague Spring International Music Festival—Regensburg, and Essen. The TSO will perform seven concerts in four countries.
Peter Oundjian stated, “The TSO is pleased to be returning to Europe as well as visiting Israel for the first time. A dynamic and world-class city like Toronto should export its excellence. We are proud to represent Toronto and Canadian culture with our outstanding Orchestra.”