An unexpected Shostakovich 9th

An unexpected Shostakovich 9th

Daily Comfort Zone

norman lebrecht

December 31, 2021

This is the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra playing out of their socks at Heichal Hatarbut, Tel Aviv.

The conductor, Yi-An Xu, is a Shanghai-born Israeli citizen who teaches at the Buchmann-Mehta School.

Some absolutely breathtaking woodwind solos.



  • Martinu says:

    Been to the concert in Tel Aviv. Was incredible. I t could be judged by the highest standards. And seeing the beaming players in the end.. there is future to classical music! What an experience it was.

  • Euro Couto says:

    A great interpretation of one of the most important symphonies of the 20th century… Shostakovich’s funny and tragic spirit has produced this ‘Pathetic Symphony’… a special gift for this special day. Bravo !

  • henry williams says:

    it seems an excellent orchestra.

  • Tony Bridge says:

    Fabulous playing, and a brilliant conductor!

  • John Borstlap says:

    Stunning playing by these kids….!

    A racist idea was bubbling-up, which I fortunately could suppress – namely, that Israeli / Jewish people are musically more gifted than average. But since musicality is often a matter of genes, it is not impossible.

    • Ed in Texas says:

      But you didn’t suppress your “racist idea”, you articulated it, here, on this world-wide platform. Maybe you could have suppressed it, but you didn’t. And do you mean Israelis, or Jews, or Israeli Jews? They’re not the same. There are Christian Israelis of numerous denominations. Why, there are even Arab Israelis. Imagine that.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    ? . . . To me, there’s a ‘disconnect’ between Shostakovich’s 9th symphony and “Comfort Zone”. Stalin wanted a huge victory symphony, a la Beethoven’s 9th. Shostakovich wouldn’t do it and gave him more carnival noises instead. Rightfully so.