Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's 2017 North American Tour Benefit Galas Announced

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's 2017 North American Tour Benefit Galas Announced

The full schedule of special Benefit Galas for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's 2017 North American Tour was officially announced today by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with the tour's kickoff concert, at Carnegie Hall in New York on Oct. 25, featuring the first gala.

Like the concerts themselves, the galas will also celebrate and honor the legacy and extraordinary achievements of Maestro Zubin Mehta, who plans to retire as Music Director of the IPO in 2019 after 50 years in the position. Galas will be held in five of the seven concert tour cities, and each is expected to be one of the most significant social events of the year.

The Oct. 25 Benefit Gala features the concert at Carnegie Hall, followed by a festive seated dinner at 583 Park Avenue. The gala chairs are Lily Safra, Adrienne Arsht, Rita and Charles R. Bronfman, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Merryl and James S. Tisch, Lauren and John Veronis, and Elaine and James D. Wolfensohn. Benefit tables are available from $15,000 and individual tickets begin at $1,500.

"We're going to make it all dedicated to Zubin and everything he loves," said New York gala chair Lauren Veronis. "It will very much revolve around his home country of India. I don't think there's anything we can do that will ever express how much we admire him and respect him, and how much we want to thank him, but we're going to try."

Additionally, the Young Patrons Circle (YPC) of the IPO will hold a separate Benefit Gala at Carnegie Hall that includes the concert and a post-concert party in the Hall's Weill Music Room, where guests will meet and mingle with members of the orchestra, other YPC members and fellow IPO supporting young professionals. The benefit chair is Afrodet Zuri. VIP tables are $5,000 and general admission and premium admission are $250 and $450, respectively.

On the West Coast, Benefit Galas will be held in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where, in addition to celebrating Maestro Mehta's extraordinary leadership, they will support the IPO's KeyNote education programs that nurture future generations of musicians and audiences.

"Our gala chairs each have longtime connections with the IPO and personal friendships with Zubin and (wife) Nancy," said AFIPO West Coast Director Danielle Ames Spivak. "We always say our events are family affairs, and this year it's especially true. Zubin embodies unparalleled excellence and has led the IPO to extraordinary heights and our gala chairs are ecstatic to honor him and his legacy."

In Los Angeles, where Mehta served as the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Music Director from 1962 to 1978, the Benefit Gala will be held on Oct. 30 at Walt Disney Concert Hall and includes a pre-concert supper party in the Rooftop Garden, concert and post-concert dessert with Mehta. The gala chairs are Camille and Arnon Adar, Edythe and Eli Broad, Tita Cahn, Helgard and Irwin Field, Sherry Lansing and William Friedkin, Ellen Bronfman Hauptman and Andrew Hauptman, Annette and Peter O'Malley, Eva and Marc Stern, Marilyn Ziering, and May and Richard Ziman. Benefit packages are available from$15,000 and individual tickets begin at $1,500. Additionally, Kfir Gavrieli serves as the Young Patrons Circle Gala Chair and Young Patrons tickets are available for $350 for individuals under 40.

"It will be Zubin's night," said Los Angeles gala chair Peter O'Malley. "He deserves this tribute. Our goal is to make sure he and Nancy are just thrilled with everything."

In San Francisco, the Benefit Gala will be held on Oct. 31 at Davies Symphony Hall and includes a pre-concert supper party in the Wattis Room, concert and post-concert champagne and dessert reception. The gala chairs are Susan Libitzky, Lisa Pritzker, Varda Rabin, Lydia Shorenstein, Eta Somekh and Diane Zack. Benefit packages are available from $1,800. Additionally, Brad Wolfe serves as the Young Patrons Circle Gala Chair and Young Patrons tickets are available for $250 for individuals under 40.

"We feel that because the orchestra won't travel to the United States next year, and Maestro Mehta is retiring in 2019, this event is especially important," said San Francisco gala chair Eta Somekh.

In Miami, the Benefit Gala will be held on Nov. 5 and includes a special brunch well before the evening concert at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the concert and a post-concert dessert and champagne reception. The benefit chair is Chaim Katzman and the co-chairs are Raquel Gilinski, Kathy Haime and Gay Peisach. Benefit packages are available from $7,500 and individual tickets are $750.

In Toronto, where the IPO will return for the first time in 25 years for a performance on Oct. 28 at Roy Thomson Hall, the Canadian Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will hold a Benefit Gala in honor of Mehta, who served as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra's Music Director from 1962 to 1978. The benefit will include a pre-concert reception in the Hall's South Lobby, concert and post-concert reception with the artists. Benefit packages are available from $10,000 and individual tickets are $1,000.

"Our Tribute Committee is composed of outstanding individuals who not only know the Jewish community, but the entire Toronto and Montreal communities," said CFIPO President and Tribute Committee co-chair Stanley Hartt.

For more information and tickets for each of the Benefit Galas, call 212-697-2949 and email

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) was founded in 1936 by famed Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, and its inaugural concert that year was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. Two years earlier, in an effort to help fellow Jewish musicians escape Nazi persecution, Huberman set out to create an all Jewish orchestra in Palestine. Overcoming huge obstacles, Huberman recruited and arranged for 70 leading musicians, and their families, to immigrate to Palestine to form the Palestine Symphony Orchestra. Huberman's extraordinary efforts ultimately saved hundreds of Jewish lives. In 1948, when the State of Israel was born, the Orchestra changed its name to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, playing "Hatikvah" at the official ceremony of the Declaration of Independence.

Today, the IPO is the leading orchestra in Israel and globally recognized as a world-class symphonic ensemble. The Orchestra performs regularly in its home, the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv as well as throughout Israel, including Jerusalem and Haifa. Additionally, it frequently tours internationally, traveling around the world from Asia to America. Since its inception, the IPO has enjoyed long-lasting relationships with renowned soloists and conductors which have kept it at the forefront of the classical music world. The longest and closest such relationship has been with the current Music Director, Maestro Zubin Mehta, who has been at the helm of the Orchestra for nearly 50 years.

For more than 80 years there has been a strong bond between North America and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In fact, in 1936, legendary scientist Albert Einstein hosted one of the first major fundraisers at the Waldorf Astoria, securing the financial support needed to officially form the Orchestra.

American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO) was created in 1980 to formalize and broaden this relationship and tradition of giving. AFIPO provides operating support for the orchestra's annual concert schedule of more than 100 concerts in their home hall, the Charles F. Bronfman Auditoriumin Tel Aviv, as well as series in Jerusalem and Haifa. Financial support extends to orchestra tours that reach all corners of the globe, including regular tours to the United States, as well as to ticket subsidies for underserved individuals in Israel. AFIPO was instrumental in developing KeyNote, the education arm of the IPO, in 2000. KeyNote programs bring the joy of classical music to 21,000 young people and their teachers in Israel each year, while promoting tolerance and mutual respect. AFIPO is a bi-coastal organization with a national board of directors and offices in New York and Los Angeles.

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