Sotto l'Alto Patronato del Presidente della repubblica italiana

con il patrocinio della presidenza del consiglio dei ministri

Concert for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day

lo racconta Umberto Orsini

27 gennaio 2016

Ore 20.30

Auditorium Parco della Musica

Sala Santa Cecilia - Roma

Tonight’s program follows exactly the one chosen and conducted by Toscanini on the historical concert of

December 26, 1936

Logo originale della Palestine Orchestra con la classica Menorah che forma un diapason

Il programma originale e la copertina firmata da Toscanini e da Huberman

Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini

The Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, which is based in Parma, at the Auditorium Paganini designed by Renzo

Piano, is the point of excellence for the musical activity of the Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, performing excellence

matured in the over thirty years of experience of the Orchestra Regionale dell’Emilia Romagna and

in the musical tradition of the past whose roots can be found in the Orchestra Ducale re-established in Parma

by Niccolò Paganini in 1835-36 and which remained at the top of Italian orchestras for the forty years

that followed.

Today one of Italy’s leading symphony orchestras, the Filarmonica has performed under the direction of numerous

renowned conductors, including Kazushi Ono, who on January 1, 2012 became its Principal Guest

Conductor, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Michel Plasson, Georges Prêtre, Mstislav Rostropovich,

Pinchas Steinberg, Jeffrey Tate and Yuri Temirkanov. It has received enthusiastic public and critical acclaim in

its debuts and return performances in major concert halls throughout the world, among which Washington

D.C., New York, , Paris, Madrid, Moscow, Lucerne, Warsaw, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai.

In Italy on January 16, 2008 the orchestra made its triumphant debut at La Scala, closing the national celebrations

for the 50th anniversary of the death of Arturo Toscanini. The concert will long remain in the

memories of all.

Among the many soloists who have performed with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini are Maxim Vengerov,

Uto Ughi, Salvatore Accardo, Shlomo Mintz, Mariella Devia, Placido Domingo.

A process of on-going innovation in its musical program, together with a rigorous artistic approach, has

recently led to a broadening of its repertory that ranges from the classics of the 19th century and musical

frontiers of the 20th century, up to current-day avant-garde works. Accordingly, the Orchestra has extended

invitations to a new group of conductors, all part of the younger generation, already acclaimed on an international


In 2012, following the success of its year-end tour in China, it has performed in April and May at the

Lugano Festival in Switzerland and at the BASF Ludwigshafen Festival in Germany, in 2013 at the Bad Kissingen

Sommer Festival. Since 2007 the Filarmonica Toscanini has been resident orchestra of the Arturo Toscanini

International Conducting Competition and since 2012 artistic partner of the Festival Verdi of Parma.

Umberto Orsini

Umberto Orsini has long been one of the most respected actors in Italian theater.

Trained by the legendary Compagnia dei Giovani under the direction of Giorgio De Lullo, Orsini debuted at very young age in the Diary of Anne Frank as the young Peter. The show was repeated for three seasons and made him one of the most sought-after young actors on the market.

He immediately began to alternate between the theater, cinema and television, where he achieved resounding success playing the role of Ivan in The Brothers Karamazov.

Since then, he has made countless appearances in theater and film and it can be said that. Especially in theater, his name is linked to the most important events of the last fifty years such as L’Arialda di Testori directed by Luchino Visconti; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf directed by Franco Zeffirelli; Metti una sera a cena by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi; and The Oresteia and L’Uomo difficile e Affabulazione both directed by Luca Ronconi. More recently, he has not failed to adapt to the new realities of the Italian theatre scene, working with directors such as Pippo del Bono or Pietro Babina.

It’s almost impossible to list the many films in which he participated, both in Italy and in France, but it’s enough to remember La caduta degli Dei o Ludwig directed by Visconti or Notti e nebbie directed by Marco Tullio Giordana, to indicate the quality of his choices.

For eighteen years Orsini assumed the role of artistic director of Teatro Eliseo in Rome and was one of the lead actors of that theater, from Masnadieri by Shiller to the L’Arte della commedia by Eduardo and the late Luca de Filippo. Recently Orsini decided to start his own theater company, and in few years it has reached a level of quality comparable only to that of some national theaters.

In these days he is on tour in the major Italian and foreign theaters with The Price by Arthur Miller and directed by Massimo Popolizio. It debuted in October 2015 at the Teatro Argentina in Rome with overwhelming public success and critical acclaim.

Yoel Levi is an Israeli musician and conductor. Recently named

 Music Director and Principal Conductor of the KBS Symphony Orchestra

in Seoul, Yoel Levi is known throughout the world from his work at the

head of many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, his repertoire

 of symphonic, operatic and lyric works and his extensive discography.

Having won first prize at the International Conductors Competition in

Besançon in 1978, he spent six years as the assistant of Lorin Maazel

and resident conductor at the Cleveland Orchestra and went on to be

Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1988 to 2000.

It was during his tenure with the orchestra that the British magazine Gramophone applauded his impact on the artistic standard of the orchestra: ‘Yoel Levi has built a reputation for himself and for his orchestra that is increasingly the envy of the big five American counterparts in New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Boston and Chicago.’ This sentiment was seconded with the nomination of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as “Best orchestra of the Year” for 1991/92 at the First Annual International Classical Music Awards.

Similarly, Yoel Levi has held positions with several European orchestras, where he has consistently raised performances to new and critically acclaimed levels. Having been Principal Conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic (2001 to 2007) Yoel Levi was appointed Principal Conductor of the Orchestre National d’Ile de France in 2005, a post he held until 2012, giving regular concerts in Paris, the Ile de France area and increasingly taking the orchestra on tour outside France to Spain, Eastern Europe and London, where the media praised the orchestra as being one of the most inspiring and frequently engaged orchestras in Europe.

He was appointed music director of the KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) Symphony Orchestra and

also takes up the position of principal conductor. His two-year term began in January 2014.

Yoel Levi’s engagements as guest conductor take him all over the world to conduct orchestras in London, Paris, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Rome, Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Israel, Korea and Japan.

In North America, he has conducted the New York Philharmonic and the orchestras of Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Washington, Minnesota, Toronto and Montreal amongst others.

He is also the first Israeli to serve as Principal Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with which he has given tours of the United States and Mexico as well as a special concert celebrating the 60th Anniversary of State of Israel. Other recent tours include an extensive tour of New Zealand with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and highly acclaimed concerts in Spain with the Orchestre de Paris. Yoel Levi is frequently invited to conduct at special events such as the Nobel Prize Ceremony at the head of the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ever since his 1997 debut in the orchestra pit at the Teatro Communale in Florence conducting La Fanciulla del West, Yoel Levi has devoted a large part of his activities to the Opera repertoire conducting Carmen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Makropulos Case by Janacek in Prague, Puccini’s Edgar with the Orchestre National de France. At the ASO, he conducted Mozart’s The Magic Flute, The abduction of the Seraglio, and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle. With the Brussels Philharmonic, Yoel Levi performed Puccini’s Tosca, La Traviata and Madame Butterfly and recent performances have included Tosca during the Puccini festival in Torre de Lago, Italy. In France he has conducted Poulenc’s Dialogues des carmélites, Nabucco at the Stade de France for 60,000 people, with live television broadcast in Europe. Others performances have included Aida, Elixir of Love, Hansel and Gretel and La Boheme, amongst others.

In 1997 Yoel Levi was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree by Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and also gave the commencement address. In June 2001 he was named “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Government.

Yoel Levi

Gabriel Volé

For 76 years, since the day Toscanini raised the baton on the orchestra for the first time, there was always at least one member of my family playing on stage – my grandfather, father, mother, uncle or myself – sometimes even 2 or 3 together. My maternal grandfather, the violinist Jacob Surowicz, was one of the founders of the IPO in 1936. My father, Dr. Leo Volé, performed in the double bass section. For me, it’s very important to pass on to the young generation the great musical heritage that I’ve received from the founders of the orchestra who played under Arturo Toscanini. This is why I have been teaching in the Music Academy of the Tel Aviv University since 1975. I feel lucky to be part of this story – I don’t know of other families who had 3 consecutively generations in the same orchestra and that makes me feel responsible to continue exposing young audiences to the best music and help hmaintain the highest artistic standard. I was born in Tel-Aviv, studied with Roger Scott, the principal double bass player of the Philadelphia Orchestra and graduated under him at the Curtis Institute of Music in that city. I was always proud to be one of the first players to be engaged for IPO by Zubin Mehta, who later became our music director. I also performed as a soloist and in chamber music ensembles in Philadelphia, Boston and New York, played at Tanglewood Summer Festival in 1969, and served as personnel manager and a member of the IPO management for many years. As one born into a musical family, my life was full of music since the very beginning. I went to concerts and rehearsals as a little boy. In some of the rehearsals, I was sitting on stage on my father’s high bass stool while he was playing standing. I enjoyed music since I remember myself. I was fascinated by the various

instruments playing different melodies at the same time and creating rich harmonies.

As a matter of fact I loved the double bass especially because of its harmonic importance in the orchestra. Even today after many decades of music making I still listen carefully and enjoy interesting harmonic progressions. Playing in the orchestra is not like a regular job for me – it is my work and hobby at the same time. Music for me is like oxygen. I love it, I need it and I can’t live without it. Making music in the orchestra keeps me young and fresh, becoming part of a new creation.

Linor Katz

Yigal Tuneh

My name is Linor Katz, I’m 28 years old, born and raised in Israel. I feel very lucky to be a part of the music world, as through it I constantly have the great privilege of meeting new people and observing new landscapes, cultures and traditions in every place I perform. After spending 5 years of studying at the New England Conservatory in Boston (With Laurence Lesser), and one year in New York City, I decided to come back to Tel Aviv, and reunite with my country, and of course, my family. I was lucky enough to become a member of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and tour with them all over The world.

Other than my work in the IPO, I’ve also been a member of the West Eastern Divan Orchestra since 2005, conducted by Daniel Barenboim. This orchestra combines musicians from all parts of the middle east; Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Jordan, Egypt among others. It is a very important project for me, and I do hope that one can see a possible future through taking a glance at the project. Music definitely takes a lot of my time and fills it with special experiences, but I believe that the real secret in maintaining happiness is combining lots of passions together and always keep on developing curiosity. Reading books, watching movies, exploring other music styles, and learning the Italian language are just part of those things that keeps me satisfied.

I became a violinist thanks to my late father. My father studied violin playing as a teen age boy but had to stop because of the 2nd World War. He decided that if he will survive the holocaust and will have a son he will teach him how to play the violin. His dream became true. After immigrating to Israel and when I was 7 years old he took me to my first violin teacher. However music and violin playing where never my only interest in life. I was drawn to biologhy, philosophy and medicine. The first two I even studied in Tel Aviv university together with the Music Academy but had to stop because the music demanded a lot. My love to medicine brought me to serve as a paramedic in the army. I became a musician simply because I felt I can not live without it. My father lived to see me becomming a professional musician including my final job as concertmaster of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the first vioin of the Israel String Quartet.


Arturo Toscanini demonstrated his opposition to Fascism and Nazism without compromise. In a time when many representatives of art and culture fell in line with totalitarian regimes, Toscanini was heedless of the risk and didn’t hesitate to frequently criticize the Italian dictator and his affiliation with Nazi Germany in public.

Weary of the anti-Semitic mood that was becoming increasingly more threatening and dangerous in Europe, the Maestro travelled to Tel Aviv in 1936 to conduct what would become the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, bringing together Jewish refugees who fled persecution in Europe. It was a symbolic gesture, but also a very concrete one, which reaffirmed his dissent against the ideologies that would soon bring Europe to war and destruction.

Now, eighty years after that historical evening, on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Toscanini’s original concert will be reprised at the Auditorium Parco della Musica di Roma. The Toscanini Orchestra, named after the great conductor, will be conducted by the Israeli Maestro Yoel Levi.

This is a momentous initiative, strongly supported by UCEI, the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities. We believe that creating and supporting culture, in the most inclusive sense of the word, is the most effective tool to recount the tragedy of the Holocaust; to spread a culture of respect for plurality; and to explain, particularly to young people, how moral values and human rights were trampled upon during that dark period.

Retracing the extraordinary story of Arturo Toscanini helps us to speak about integrity and courage in the face of barbarism and oppression. It spreads a message of life and hope against indifference – a lesson that is more important and pressing today than ever.



Il 22 Gennaio 2016 nel giardino del Parco della Musica verrà piantato un albero di melograno e apposto un cippo commemorativo per ricordare l'impegno di Toscanini contro fascismo e nazismo e a favore dei musicisti ebrei.

L'albero sarà piantato dal Presidente delle Comunità Ebraiche Renzo Gattegna e dal Presidente dell'associazione Gariwo Gabriele Nissim, giornalista e scrittore impegnato nella ricerca e nelle commemorazione di tutti coloro che hanno contribuito a salvare la vita alle persone minacciate dai totalitarismi, dalle dittature e dai pregiudizi raziali e religiosi in tutto il mondo.


Nella foto il Maestro Arturo Toscanini pianta un albero nel giardino che gli fu donato durante il suo viaggio in Israele.

in tutto il medio oriete il melograno è considerato l'albero della vita

“Be democrats in life and aristocrats in art.” This sentence from Arturo Toscanini, halfway between a piece of advice and an aphorism, captures the essence of a musician who was fussy and even dictatorial in his work, yet just as open and forward-looking in his personal life.

So open and farsighted, that exactly 60 years ago, on December 26, 1936, he served as godfather to the Palestine Orchestra (which would become the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra – when the State of Israel was founded in 1948) he conducted its first concert in Tel Aviv.The same program of that historical evening will be played tonight. Far from being purely musical, the birth of the orchestra was a symbolic event with global resonance – Germany had already begun the persecution of the Jews and the Spanish Civil War was already raging, where Nazis and Fascists were warming up before laying waste to Europe and the whole world. Perhaps because he had initially supported fascism, but rapidly turned away from it horrified, Toscanini immediately understood the value of the initiative to create a Jewish orchestra and enthusiastically accepted the offer to conduct the opening concert, refusing any compensation or even travel expenses. Toscanini’s support, at the height of his fame, gave the endeavor international importance and, from an economic point of view, his power over the media represented the winning ticket, together with luminaries like Albert Einstein, in gathering funds for the newborn orchestra. If the presence of the Maestro had a strong political and human impact, it is more difficult to venture a political reading of the whole musical program of that opening night, which was long in duration and consisted of pieces that were very diverse in nature. Toscanini, who was a staunch defender of the autonomy of art, nevertheless wanted to include a piece by Felix Mendelssohn who was a German-Jewish composer and therefore banned from music theaters in Germany. This choice made Hitler furious, and he soon after ordered all statues of Mendelssohn destroyed in many German cities, including the famous monument dedicated to him in Leipzig, which was rebuilt only after the war ended.



We thank Mr Carlo De Benedetti for his generous contribution that made this concert possible.




Toscanini e Huberman sulla spiaggia di Tel Aviv




© 2016 BrainCircle Italia