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Israel’s Third Annual Music and Drama Festival Opened in Jerusalem

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With President Zalman Shazar and other Israeli, as well as foreign, notables in attendance, Israel’s third Music and Drama Festival –an annual event that has grown in attendance as well as in artistic stature since it was inaugurated in 1961 — opened in Convention Hall here last night.

The feature of the opening concert was the world premiere of “Midnight Prayers,” an oratorio by Mordecai Seter, one of Israel’s leading composers. Based on the “Tikun Hatzot,” written in the 16th century by Rabbi Isaac Luria, the work was performed by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and three choirs, with Jacob Barkin, a Pittsburgh cantor, as soloist. Another feature of the program was the Brahms Concerto No. 1 for piano and orchestra, with Geza Anda as soloist.

This year’s festival, to include a wide variety of drama, dance, symphonic and chamber music, choir singing, Jewish liturgy and opera, will conduct performances in this city, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheba, Ein Hod, Ein Hashofet, Rehovot and the Sachne National Park in the North, Featured artists will include Isaac Stern, William Steinberg, Sir William Walton, Rosalyn Tureck, Eugene Istomin, Leonard Rose, Jennie Tourel, Jan Peerce, Paul Ukena, Hilda Zadek, Agnes Moorehead, Maurice Ganchoff, Moshe Koussevitsky, the New York Pro Musica and the Indian Shanto Rao dancers.

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