On February 8th, 1986, a new era began in the Jerusalem cultural sphere: the capital city of Israel finally received its own symphony hall. 50 years after the foundation of the British Mandate’s Palestine Broadcast Service, and the beginning of musical broadcast, the city of Jerusalem could finally boast a proper symphonic hall of its own, which included a state of the art technological infrastructure for television and radio broadcast. The new hall, conceived and built as the home for Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA, was named the Henry Crown Symphony Hall.
At the grand consecration, Isaac Stern performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Gary Bertini at the podium. The concert was attended by President Chaim Herzog and Mayor Teddy Kollek, who awarded Stern the prestigious Jerusalem Trustee Decoration a few days earlier. After the concert Stern associated with President Herzog and the two men exchanged memories from their meeting during the War of Independence.
Stern has actually performed with the orchestra once before, on a memorable special concert for Israel’s 30th anniversary, in which he performed Shostakovich’s Seven Romances together with the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife, soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. We will tell the story of this earlier concert in March, as part of our tribute to Rostropovich.