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Israeli Philharmonic Makes Plans for First Concert Tour in USSR

The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra will travel to the Soviet Union at the end of April for its first concert tour there, which will include performances in Moscow, Leningrad and Riga.

Conductor Zubin Mehta plans to audition potential IPO players among Jews awaiting exit visas to Israel.

One-quarter of the philharmonic members are Soviet emigres who are returning to the Soviet Union for the first time since their emigration to Israel. Auditions of potential immigrants have already been scheduled.

“We are looking forward to going,” Mehta said Monday. “Itzhak Perlman — who will perform the Tchaikovsky violin concerto as soloist — the orchestra and I are doing it all without honorarium to show the (the Soviet audiences) the good will of the IPO and Israel.”

The orchestra had planned to visit the Soviet Union in 1966, when Israel still had diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, but their tour was cancelled for unknown reasons.