Since its opening in 1973, the Jerusalem Music Centre (JMC) has been providing the music and music education communities in Israel with a world-class national resource centre, dedicated to encouraging the country’s finest talents, bridging the distance between Israel and the rest of the music world, and initiating and implementing much needed programmes and projects that the education system and culture establishment cannot provide.
We believe that music is about inter-human communication and cooperation, social involvement and cultural relevance, at least as much as it is about an abstract sense of beauty or the expression of the self. In a competitive and ever-specialising world, where individual achievement is celebrated, we try to cultivate other important aspects of the young musician’s personality: broad horizons, sound knowledge, stylistic versatility, creativity, team work, sensitivity to the Other and commitment to the community. For us, all these are part and parcel of true musical excellence.
The JMC is an independent, dynamic and flexible organization, capable of developing projects and executing them in short periods of time, and of responding to changing needs and new challenges. It is not a school: it has neither a fixed curriculum, nor permanent faculty, nor enrolled students. Many of our programmes are, therefore, enrichment programmes, offered to talented young musicians (7-30 years old) from the entire country above and beyond their routine, formal music studies.
Our independence allows us to operate, to some extent, as a laboratory: free from the rule of rating and the burden of bureaucracy, we can afford to explore and experiment. At the same time, we cooperate regularly with practically all leading organisations of music and music education in Israel: the Buchman-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv University; the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance; the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; the New Israeli Opera; the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Science, Culture & Sports; pre-academic music schools all over the country; and so on.
Visiting Artists Program
In order to enable students, teachers and music lovers to be informed and inspired by prominent musicians from around the world, we often invite such musicians to come and stay with us for a week or two, and share some of their experience and expertise with their local counterparts. Such encounters may take the form of workshops, seminars, lectures or concert-talks, as well as concerts featuring guests together with young Israeli performers.
Thus, in the 2006/7 and 2007/8 seasons we plan to host violinists Maxim Vengerov, Miriam Fried and Shmuel Ashkenasi, pianist Murray Perahia, cellists Gary Hoffman and Aldo Parisot, clarinetist Antony Pay, bassoon player Sergio Azzolini, countertenor Andreas Scholl, baritone Christian Immler, the Flanders Recorder Quartet and many others.
By offering outstanding young musicians an opportunity to perform, we give them exposure and help them gain experience. These advantages are enhanced by the fact that many of our concerts are broadcast live on the Israeli classical music network, Kol Hamusica. Our concert series also feature a great deal of Israeli and other contemporary music.
A separate series, held at the neighboring YMCA auditorium, presents the best of Israel’s chamber groups, as well as a few visiting ensembles, with an emphasis on artists affiliated with the JMC, in particular the Jerusalem Quartet.
Very often young musicians need a good quality recording in order to apply for advanced studies or an international competition, or simply to introduce themselves to promoters. We provide them with such services at little or no charge. From time to time we also produce fully professional CDs, either for the promotion of an exceptional talent (or ensemble) or the documentation of special repertoire. This is sometimes done in cooperation with well-known international labels.
A great deal of what we do is nurturing young musicians during their school years. Read more about these programs under Young Musicians.