The Chamber Orchestra of the Academy Conservatory, conducted by Michael Klinghoffer, travelled to Oslo to meet with the youth orchestra of the prestigious Barratt Due Music School. Three concerts took place in the course of the week: one at the Oslo Jewish Museum, one for students of the Marienlyst School of the Arts and a festive final concert. The concerts were attended by representatives of the Israeli Embassy in Oslo, members of the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and other notable people. The program included Haydn’s Symphony no.101 (Clock), Joseph Achron’s Hebrew Melody for Violin and Orchestra and a work composed specifically for the event by Vladimir Shkolnik – “Orchestral Games”. The latter work was performed jointly by both orchestras and conducted by Michael Klinghoffer. In addition, both orchestras joined to play Grieg’s Symphonic Dance no.4 and “Finlandia” by Sibelius under the baton of the Norwegian conductor Alf Ardal. Soloists in the “Hebrew Melody” were Inbal Sela (16) a pupil of Sophie Pikovsky of the Academy Conservatory, Alfred Wang (15) from Oslo and violin teacher and conductor Sigyn Fossness of the hosting orchestra.
Another collaborative activity was that of three master classes for double bass players, run by Michael Klinghoffer at Barratt Due and the Norwegian Academy. Ms. Gabi Bokovsky, of the Academy Conservatory teaching staff, gave a master class for oboists. Besides the musical encounter, there was much value to the cultural and social aspects of the visit: our Conservatory players were hosted in the homes of the Norwegian players and there was also aday trip with the young people and their families.
We received much support from the Ministry of the Exterior and the Israeli Embassy in Oslo; the ambassador, Professor Naim Araidi, held a reception for senior delegation staff, among other guests being prominent personages of Oslo’s cultural life, also the American Ambassador to Norway. Senior Conservatory staff members and violinist Sigyn Fossness performed for the guests.
Deputy Israeli Ambassador Mr. George Deek (who also attended a rehearsal prior to the journey) wrote: “It was our pleasure to assist you for your trip to Oslo. The Ambassador gave the project top priority as we believe, as you claimed, that these youngsters are our best ambassadors. What you did was unprecedented, initiating collaboration with the very excellent Norwegian Academy, this being of the greatest value. The deep appreciation you have received from your Norwegian colleagues, from the most esteemed of them who conversed with you and who listened to your music, as well as the wish expressed by the Barratt Due people to come to Israel are, in themselves, proof of the project’s success.”