Raising Shekels for the Philharmonic

The deficitridden Israel Philharmonic Orchestra tried a new way to raise money Saturday night and apparently succeeded with its experiment.

The 100-plus members split into more than 20 chamber groups — trios to quintets — which performed at fund-raisers all over the country.

Under the rubric “The IPO Holds Open House,” they performed in towns, villages and kibbutzim, and in the homes of individuals lined up by the orchestra’s management.

One host was Housing Minister Ariel Sharon and his wife, Lilly. After listening to a Brahms quartet at the Sharons’ Negev ranch, the 250 invited guests and 150 gate-crashers donated over $100,000 to the IPO.

Although Sharon saw to it that his dogs were tied up and his horses corralled for the concert, he couldn’t control the Negev wind, which caused the musicians endless problems with their music sheets.

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