Perahia’s other stand-in is a Chinese-Israeli

Perahia’s other stand-in is a Chinese-Israeli


norman lebrecht

December 11, 2019

We reported earlier that the Israel Phil had inserted a conductor and pianist for the absent Murray Perahia.

That was just for the Jerusalem concert.

For the previous 3 concerts in Haifa and Tel Aviv the conductor will be Yi-An Xu.

Yi-An, 40, lives in Israel. He is married to the Israeli conductor Talia Ilan.


  • Anton Bruckner says:

    This year’s IPO programming is a complete disaster. Extreme mainstream works which with absolutely no insightful programs. The season can be summarized as an Enigma variations-type season. It is also incomprehensible why Israeli conductors (other than Lahav Shani) are not or hardly not invited to conduct the IPO. We would be much more interested to hear Volkov, Welber or even Gamzou as well as veterans like Inbal and Steinberg than what seems to be an eclectic choice of conductors – no complaints about both Petrenkos for instance but many others should not be prioritized over the Israeli conductors who succeed abroad even if they are less inclined to play the IPOs repertoire. Anyway, although he formally starts next year, this season does not seem like a good start for Lahav Shani.

    • Tamino says:

      You are asking for ethnic/nationalistic discrimination?

      • Anton Bruckner says:

        I am asking to stop discrimination against Israeli conductors on the false assumption by the IPO that they do not attract audiences or just because they are less incluned to play Slavonic dances which for some reason the IPO thinks its audience wants to hear essentially on a monthly basis.

        • Tamino says:

          It happens almost everywhere, that the management is afraid to get empty seats, if the local talent is used, and there is some evidence that they are right. The audiences want circuses apparently.

          The only discrimination that is happening is apparently the one that happens in any free market. Are you against free market and for protectionism?

          On the other hand it would be nice the IPO stops the discrimination against non-Israeli musicians in their ranks?

    • racist says:

      racist. apart from the fact that a musician should think first about quality.

  • sam says:

    I’ve heard of the Jews of Kaifeng, but I didn’t know Sino-Israelis existed, I mean with citizenship, not just residence. Are there any ethnic Han Chinese Jews living in Israel? And they are accepted (of course not by the orthodox Jews) as Jews?

    Genuinely curious.

    • Tamino says:

      “ethnic Han Chinese Jews”
      for real? Are you sure you are not confusing a few things here?

      • anon says:

        Depends on how you see Judaism, as a religion or as an ethnicity, but unless you’re a Jew, you don’t really have much of a say in the matter.

        • Tamino says:

          social constructs. this is the 21st century, not the middle ages.
          I’m a rationalist, and unless you are too, you don’t really have much of a say in the matter.

          • sam says:

            you’re contradicting yourself. if Judaism is a social construct, then “Han ethnic Chinese Jew” should come as no shock to your system. You way be a rationalist, but rationality itself doesn’t guarantee you’ve reasoned correctly. It’s better to keep quiet if your powers of reasoning are limited.

          • Tamino says:

            Try again. Ethnicity… religious belief… you can change the latter, but not the first. Conversions are a reality also in the history of Judaism. So…
            Or maybe I misread you, and you meant an ethnic Chinese who believes in Judaism?

    • ketzel says:

      You wrote: And they are accepted (of course not by the orthodox Jews) as Jews?

      Yes, Jews are accepted as Jews in Israel, even by “the orthodox.” What a disgusting comment.

    • esfir ross says:

      40 years ago immigrant from USSR of Chinese origin died and no cemetery wanted to burry him.

    • King David says:

      He is not Jewish… He married an Israeli and got an Israeli citizenship

      • Pizzicato says:

        Good luck and congratulations maestro Yi an Xu. You are a great musician and we are lucky to have you so close to us !!