DMITRY YABLONSKY in concert in Malta.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

A new and very special music event will take place next month in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv called the Wandering Music Stars project. It will include concerts with stellar names such as Dmitry Yablonsky and Shlomo Mintz, as well as the Israeli portion of an international piano competition that takes place all over the world and ends in Malta.

The event is organized by the European Foundation for Support of Culture, which is based in Malta, in cooperation with Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music.

The festival program features five concerts – two in Jerusalem and three in Tel Aviv, starring several international stars. The Jerusalem Symphony is the festival’s orchestra in residence, and the artistic director of the festival, cellist/conductor Dmitry Yablonsky, will lead most of the concerts.

The roster of soloists features famous Austrian pianist Ingolf Wunder, the winner of the Cleveland International Piano Competition Alexander Gindin, prominent French clarinetist and conductor Paul Meyer, and world-renowned Israeli violin and viola player Shlomo Mintz. The concert program features popular European classics and pieces by Maltese composers.

Yablonsky, who in addition to his globe-trotting career, is teaching at the Buchmann-Mehta school, says the non-profit European Foundation for Support of Culture promotes cultural and educational projects in Europe, and organizes numerous festivals, competitions, exhibitions, conferences, master-classes, workshops, concerts and other events every year.

“They don’t just throw money away, but rather invest in top-quality programs that support and promote culture, inspire interest in various types of modern art and also support young, talented musicians and gifted children. They organize 14 piano competitions, and I suggested moving one of them to Israel, in cooperation with Tel Aviv University.”

The piano competition hosts young musicians from all over the world, and the jury headed by Prof. Tomer Lev will consist of prominent Israeli and international pianists.

“Two of them are new immigrant and I of course cheer for them,” smiles Yablonsky, who made aliyah recently. The final stage of the Israeli portian of the competition will take place at the Tel Aviv Opera House, with the Jerusalem Symphony orchestra under the baton of Yablonsky accompanying the top three contestants. After the conclusion of contests around the world, the winners will participate in a major piano competition which will be held in Malta in 2021.

The concert program includes scores written by US based composer Alexey Shor. The 49-year-old Shor was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and following the Chernobyl disaster moved to Moscow with his parents. In 1991, the family immigrated to Israel.

“Those were the tense days of the First Gulf War,” Shor recalled in a phone interview from his New York home. “We settled in Haifa, and everyone around us was ‘Russian,’ all of them unemployed.” The family later moved to the US.

A mathematician by training and self-taught composer, Shor’s story is very unusual. He composed music for the pleasure of it, for his friends to enjoy, until purely by chance a violist friend came across his scores and said he would like to perform them. 

Shor, who describes himself as a “concert junkie,” attends close to 100 concerts every season. He confides that the style in which he writes “is sort of neoclassical. It is very tonal and does not sound like most of the music written these days, because my heart belongs to 18th and 19th century. I am not writing in the way people would have written back then, but everything I write is inspired by my love of this kind of music.”

Concerts are September 11 and 12 at the Jerusalem Theater, and September 14, 15 and 16 at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv. On September 13 Ingolf Wunder will give a piano recital at Zucker Hall, Heichal Hatarbut in Tel Aviv. For reservations, call *6266 or go to or

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