BONN (Apr. 2)
The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra will be leaving for Israel shortly on its first concert tour of the Jewish state.
The world-famous ensemble will be in Israel from April 8 to April 19 and will perform together with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv on April 18.
The joint patrons of the concert are President Richard von Weizsacker of West Germany and President Chaim Herzog of Israel.
“This trip should have taken place long ago,” said Ulrich Eckhardt, the municipal official responsible for the Berlin Philharmonic.
The reason it didn’t was the Berlin orchestra’s strong identification with its late conductor, Herbert von Karajan, a dedicated member of the Nazi party in the era of the Third Reich.
Karajan died nine months ago.
The Berlin Philharmonic will play in Israel under the baton of Daniel Barenboim. Zubin Mehta will conduct the Israel Philharmonic.
Eckhardt told the West German news agency DPA that the tour will call attention to the wide range of cultural relations that have been developing for years between West Berlin and Israel.