What next for the Israel Philharmonic?main
The orchestra has taken the first step out of decline by appointing a brilliant young music director with top credentials and international connections.
But this is just the beginning.
Now they need to find a manager of the same generation who will reinvent the orchestra’s role both at home and abroad. Outside the Jewish diaspora, where the IPO performs promotional tours, the orchestra has no international brand. It needs to make waves in East Asia and to project a totally different image in Europe.
There are dozens of young Israelis working in music in Berlin, Paris and London. One of them needs to be picked.
Second, the orchestra must diversify. There have been a couple of foreign players in the orchestra but no Israeli Arab has been admitted either to the playing staff or (so far as I am aware) to the administration. That much change.
Third, the programming has to be completely reconfigured. For years, the IPO has played to the granny audience – the loyal subscribers who go to concerts just as they once did in Germany and Russia. The IPO has signally failed to embed its purpose in second and third-generation Israelis. That will be the biggest challenge for Lahav Shani.
I think he’s up to it.