Israel Phil is hit by last-minute ban

Israel Phil is hit by last-minute ban


norman lebrecht

March 12, 2020

Audience restrictions limited the turnout at last night’s Israel Philharmonic concert to around 300 in a 2,850-seat hall.

As the concert was about to begin, the orchestra’s manager Avi Shoshani went on stage to announce that Bibi Netanyahu and his health minister had just issued an instruction to the effects that no events with more than 100 people were allowed.  He went on to say: ‘We are more than 100 people and are in an age group of higher risk I would say. So we are very sorry but we will not be able to continue with the event this evening. Your health is important to us and the health of the orchestra’s members. We just can’t take this risk.’

The concert went ahead in an empty hall, broadcast on the orchestra’s Facebook page.

The conductor, Osmo Vänskä, performed Mozart’s clarinet concerto, itself a late substitute. The second half was a stunning Sibelius 5th symphony.




  • Uzi Shalev says:

    It was very strange to play a concert in front of an empty hall, with more than thousand viewers on the internet. Thank you, Maestro Osmo Vanska for both your playing and conducting!!! You are a true friend of our IPO!!!

  • michael says:

    Sorry, I missed that online. I wish the concert were still available to watch.

  • Martinu says:

    Indeed it was very strange. I got to the audition, bought a ticket at 2000 and by 2005 it was announced that we should get out. Got home on time for the internet transmission. Maestro Vanska played Mozart with utter musicality, though had some glitches. Sibelius 5 was indeed stunning. The concert is available on the IPO site.

  • Anon says:

    And Salzburg has cancelled the Osterfestspiele this afternoon … extraordinary times