The Arty Semite

Israel’s Keshet Eilon: a Musical Center for Greats and Beginners Alike

By Benjamin Ivry

  • Print
  • Share Share

The Keshet Eilon Music Center, founded in the Western Galilee at Kibbutz Eilon in 1990, is known internationally for its three-week Summer International Violin Master Course, a benefit concert for which will be held at New York’s Zankel Hall on April 24.

Recent students at Keshet Eilon have confronted a terrifyingly vigorous teacher, octogenarian violin legend Ida Haendel, who disperses advice and digital derring-do with dauntless aplomb.

This summer, teachers will also include the dazzling Tel Aviv-born violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi, leader of the now-defunct Vermeer Quartet, who has a majestic grasp of chamber music in all its varieties.

Another teacher with a firm mastery of the chamber music idiom is Hungarian violinist Eszter Perényi. The Israeli solo virtuoso, Vadim Gluzman, who has made a series of superlative recordings for BIS Records, will also be teaching at Keshet Eilon.

The Music Center’s “Patron,” Shlomo Mintz, is of course a household name as a star soloist, yet he also possesses a relaxed, unpretentious sense of humor which helps set the tone at Keshet Eilon, as proved by this YouTube video, in which Mintz forms an informal musical trio with his two amused sons. Laughs are an essential part of the learning experience, since Keshet Eilon also places an emphasis on musical education for the young at year-round events. As all the mini-Heifetzes sweat out their performance efforts, proud parents videotape the results.

Charming as such family-oriented events are, it is always sobering when a talent emerges like 14-year old Israeli Edi Kotlyar, whose performances at Keshet Eilon and elsewhere suggest he might just be a professional violinists of the next generation. The directors of Keshet Eilon clearly take their activities with appropriate seriousness, stating on their website that music can “serve as a bridge between religions, peoples and nations – a concept that takes on even greater significance in these stressful times.”

Watch a short documentary about The Keshet Eilon International Violin Mastercourse below.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Shmuel Ahskenasi, Keshet Eilon, Ida Haendel

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.