Netanyahu kills off a radio orchestra

Netanyahu kills off a radio orchestra


norman lebrecht

May 11, 2017

The Israeli government this week abolished the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA).

Among the collateral casualties of this authoritarian, totally political decision is the IBA’s orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, which has been a radio ensemble since its foundation in 1936. As of today, it is no longer a part of the broadcast spectrum.

The orchestra is struggling to find ways to stay alive and keep its musicians in work.

Bolshoi photo (2016): Sputnik/Kremlin/Mikhail Klimentyev


  • ketzel says:

    A more nuanced article at the Jerusalem Post, and what does Putin have to do with this?

  • Marc says:

    Yair Stern’s statement says ‘fewer broadcast concerts’. I derive lots of pleasure and much useful information from SD but, gosh, there is a good deal of nonsense too. Such is life, I guess.

  • Sanda Schuldmann says:

    I grew up with that orchestra. Went to YMCA to concerts rehearsals. I cannot believe this terrible person BIBI, who self indulges without restraint will destroys this institution. Jerusalem and its orchestra were part of the history of that city. If Sarah Netanyahu would donate her champagne expense account, they might be able to survive. A DISGRACEFUL AND CORRUPT soulless man. Deeply sad for the musicians and the people of Jerusalem SHAME!

  • Careen Bernstein says:

    Hard to believe a country like Israel steeped in music is doing this.They just hosted the Rubinstein Piano Competition.Disappointing to say the least

  • James says:

    I could be wrong or facts might have changed, but last I heard the government had agreed a continuation grant to guarantee funding for the orchestra over the three years during which the state broadcaster will change to the new broadcast set-up.

  • Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA says:

    While we, musicians the members of the The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA, feel the pain of our colleagues at the IBA – saying that the orchestra was/is being ‘killed’ is wide off the mark.

    The JSO will celebrate its 80th season next year, as planned, and will continue to carry the name The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA with pride, and to perform our concerts, even if fewer will be broadcast on the new Israeli Broadcast Corporation.

    Read the full announcement from our CEO, Mr. Yair Stern, here:

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Whatever the orchestra is in future, it will not be the broadcasting orchestra for which it was created. In that sense, precisely, it has been killed off – along with the rest of the IBA, for which I once worked. I used to have breakfast at Alaska cafe with the orchestra musicians.