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Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Lifts Ban on Wagner and Strauss

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra announced it will perform works of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner during the coming season, lifting a ban of nearly three decades on works of German composers favored during the Nazi regime.

An orchestra spokesman told a press conference that it was felt enough time had passed so that performances of the works of Strauss and Wagner would no longer offend the sensibilities of Israeli Jews. He said that it was felt that the place of Wagner in music was so great that his work could not be ignored indefinitely in Israel. The decision to lift the ban was taken at a meeting of the orchestra’s board on June 3.

The last time Wagner was played here was in 1938. The orchestra stopped playing his music after the Nazis carried out their “Crystal Night” attack in which hundreds of German synagogues were sacked. Neither Wagner nor Strauss has ever been broadcast by Israeli radio stations.