“Thanks to its committed strings and alert woodwinds, the Israel Phil has managed to retain quite a bit of its old distinctive character, unlike so many of today’s globalized orchestras. Mozart and Schubert were recognizable, of course, but just different enough from the American variety to fall freshly on the ear.”

The Chicago Times

“Mehta conducted without a score, leading a powerful, often outstanding performance of Bruckner’s vast work. The opening movement had tremendous drive with climaxes pointed with implacable force, Mehta relaxing into the lyrical second subject with notably rich and expansive string playing. The pile-driving Scherzo went with strong impact, the rustic charm of the lightly scored trio neatly contrasted…Despite the extended cheers and ovations, Mehta offered no encore, wisely letting Bruckner’s music and the Israel Philharmonic’s powerful and eloquent performance speak for itself.”

Chicago Classical Review

“While most visiting orchestras consistently program symphonic warhorses for their South Florida appearances, the Israel Philharmonic opted for less frequently performed symphonies by Schubert and Bruckner at its performance Wednesday night at the Arsht Center… The Symphony No. 7 in E minor may be Anton Bruckner’s most popular work, but any Bruckner performance in Miami is an event. After decades of playing Bruckner symphonies under Mehta, the Israel Philharmonic is a true Bruckner orchestra with the corporate weight and sonorous luster to alight these large scale symphonic cathedrals.”

South Florida Classical Review

“On Monday the conductor and the orchestra were on their game. Mehta…is more economical with his gestures, but his beat remains as crisp as ever and his left-hand cues graceful and welcoming…The result was a superb, at times mighty Schubert Ninth, the power of a big orchestra juxtaposed with the intimacy of communing winds.”

Los Angeles Times

“And the Israelis, led by lifetime Music Director Zubin Mehta, played with enormous subtlety and tact, giving the most nuanced and elegant performance I can remember hearing from this orchestra in many years…The Israelis…treated Mahler’s music with a wide swath of knowing irony – even in the first movement, a funeral march that would seem ill-suited to such an approach. The opening trumpet call, so often delivered as a peremptory call to attention, emerged here with a sardonic casualness – as if to say, ‘This is serious stuff, but perhaps not as serious as some might have you believe.’ That attitude ran through the rest of the performance, with a wit that never undercut the music’s genuine eloquence. In the Scherzo, the orchestra caught both the lilting beauty of Mahler’s writing and the faint air of parody that suffuses the movement.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“Zubin Mehta, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his association with the 75-year old orchestra, led a performance of high drama, propelled by lithe rhythms, wide dynamic extremes, lustrously sumptuous tone (especially from the strings), and some fine flute solos.”

The Seattle Times

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1936 by Bronislaw Huberman and its inaugural concert, on 26 December 1936, was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. The IPO plays in subscription series in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa, in special concerts and in various concert series throughout Israel. The IPO regularly tours the world’s cultural centers and prestigious festivals. Israel’s creative artists are promoted by many IPO premieres of works by Israeli composers. The IPO has contributed to the absorption of new immigrants and includes in its ranks new immigrant musicians. The orchestra has hosted the world’s greatest conductors and soloists, as well as young talents from Israel and abroad. As part of KeyNote, the IPO’s music education and outreach program, IPO musicians perform in numerous schools and concerts for school pupils at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv. In 1969 Maestro Zubin Mehta was appointed Music Advisor to the IPO and in 1977 he became its Music Director. Maestro Mehta retired in October 2019 and Lahav Shani, Music Director Designate, becomes Music Director at the beginning of the 2020-21 season. Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was named IPO Laureate Conductor in 1988, in 1992 Kurt Masur (1927-2015) was appointed Honorary Guest Conductor and since 2011 Gianandrea Noseda has held the position of Principal Guest Conductor.