Israel Phil’s new principal is a Frenchman from Sweden

Israel Phil’s new principal is a Frenchman from Sweden


norman lebrecht

July 17, 2017

The French oboist, Théophile Hartz, principal oboe of the Malmö opera, yesterday won the principal oboe audition of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Hartz, 30, studied with Jean Louis Capezzali, Jérome Guichard, Thomas Indermühle and Christian Schmitt. He will now be in need of a Hebrew teacher.


  • Stefan Solyom says:

    He has one.

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    The Israelis are wizards at teaching Hebrew. I’d like to know what their method consists of and whether it could be applied to teaching other languages.
    Bravo to the French school of woodwind playing! There are French clarinetists, bassoonists, flautists and oboists in many of the world’s greatest orchestras.

  • Simonelvladtepes says:

    Why would he need a Hebrew teacher? You think Mehta rehearses in Hebrew or even speak the language after half a century ?

    • Bruce says:

      Probably not; but M. Hartz will presumably have to live his day-to-day life in Israel outside of orchestra rehearsals. Knowledge of the local language might come in handy.

      • simonelvladtepes says:

        French, English and a hundred words in Hebrew will get him very far in Israel unless he chooses to reside in an ultra-orthodox neighborhood. The locals will be delighted to practice their foreign language skills on him. Many a foreign temporary resident from the sports, business world, finance or the arts managed for years in Israel without being able to complete two sentences in Hebrew. Some of them were gleefully interviewed on Israeli TV in their own native tongue and declined to profess any inclination to acquire any proficiency in the strange vernacular.

  • esfir ross says:

    Because Hebrew’s the easiest language to learn-it’s well structured.

    • simonelvladtepes says:

      Hebrew is easy to learn because the vocabulary of Modern Hebrew is limited-just look at an English-Hebrew/Hebrew-English dictionary or a French one – the Hebrew side is a third of the thickness of the other language. The grammar of Modern Hebrew is also very simple – you can manage with just the three basic tenses. There is no formal imperfect or subjunctive. As a native Hebrew speaker, who has been living in exile for three decades, am fluent in four languages and understand three more I don’t really “get” the imperfect and have to look it up and refresh my memory what it stands for, but I don’t need it.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    Just curious… is there any official body that coins new words for Hebrew as the need arrives?