The Arty Semite

Monday Music: Chamber Project in the Hall

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share

We all know the answer to the old question, “how do you get to Carnegie Hall?” is to “practice, practice, practice.” But the Israel Chamber Project has also gotten there by cultivating an appreciative New York audience in the four years since the ensemble’s inception.

Courtesy of ICP

“It’s the right time for a Carnegie Hall debut,” the group’s executive director, pianist Assaff Weisman, told The Arty Semite about the performance scheduled for February 1. “It feels in some way like an arrival… there is nothing quite like a Carnegie Hall debut to solidify your reputation.”

ICP, an ensemble of eight accomplished Israeli musicians in their 20s and 30s, has gained the interest of chamber music fans in Israel, Europe and the U.S. The group comes together several times annually for intensive tours and concerts at prestigious venues like Symphony Space and The Colburn School’s Zipper Hall in Los Angeles. Recently they also recorded their first CD, which is forthcoming.

The ensemble’s musical execution and expression are impressive, as is their predilection for mixing things up. Their repertoire ranges from high classical to lush romanticism to modernism, and they constantly change instrumental combinations, with anywhere from two to six players performing at a time.

On February 1, five ICP members — Weisman, clarinetist Tibi Cziger, cellist Michal Korman, harpist Sivan Magen, and violinist Itamar Zorman — along with guest viola player Sergey Tarashansky, will be playing a diversified program. “We like to combine the old with the new,” Cziger, ICP’s artistic director explained. “For instance, the program includes Canadian composer Sebastian Currier’s ‘Night Time’ for harp and violin — a contemporary piece often played in ‘underground’ settings — alongside ‘Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano in A minor, Op. 114,’ one of Brahms’s most important pieces.”

The program also includes Bohuslav Martinů’s “Chamber Music No. 1,” with its rare instrumentation for piano and harp, which will have all six members of the ensemble playing together. Rounding things out are Shostakovich’s rarely performed “Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello in C minor, Op. 8,” and Paul Ben Haim’s “Three Songs Without Words,” arranged for clarinet and harp. The latter is a departure for ICP, since Ben Haim, considered the father of Israeli classical music, wrote “Three Songs” in 1937. Customarily, ICP plays contemporary Israeli music — usually commissioning one to two pieces per year from young composers like Matan Porat and Amit Gilutz.

ICP, which won the 2011 Israeli Ministry of Culture Award for Outstanding Chamber Music Ensemble, does far more than perform. Education and outreach are also core to the ensemble’s mission. While they are now starting to include such programming on their U.S. tours, they have been working with Israeli youth since 2008. Dedicated to “giving back to the place where it all started for us,” as Weisman put it, ICP holds concerts, gives lessons and teaches master classes in underprivileged towns and kibbutzim, primarily in Israel’s north and south, including at the Beit Al-Musica conservatory in the Arab city of Shfar’am.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Renee Ghert-Zand, Music, Israel Chamber Project, Classical Music, Assaff Weisman

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!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • 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.