Final Concert on YouTube
Thursday, August 15th, 2013
Nestor Zadoff, Argentina
Choral Music from South America
Werner Pfaff, Germany
Joshua Jacobson, USA
Gabor Hollerung, Hungary
Timothy C. Brown, UK
The Great Choruses of J. S. Bach
The 23rd International Zimriya reached a magnificent musical climax, with the participation of hundreds of singers, Chamber Academy Basel Orchestra and music lovers!
700 singers and many guests from Israel and abroad enjoyed the many musical activities around the city of Akko (Acre).
After 60 years in Jerusalem, the Zimriya took place this year in Akko, which is becoming a center of culture and music. The well-organized festival enjoyed the support of the Ministry of Culture, the city of Akko, and old Akko Development Company.
For the first time, the events of the Zimriya spread in four major centers simultaneously: The Knights’ Halls, Akko’s Auditorium, Beit Yad L’banim and Akko’s Conservatorium. The full concert halls proved the linkage between the audience, both local and national, and professional music.
The choir assembly opened with a Gala Concert in Akko’s Auditorium, which was fully packed. We had the pleasure of hosting distinguished guests, amongst them the mayor of Akko, Mr. Shimon Lankri, and representatives of the Ministry of Culture in Israel.
The artistic repertoire included a world premiere of “Shalom Alechem” by the Israeli composer Oded Zehavi, which was commissioned by the Zimriya and sang by The Israeli Vocal Ensemble, conducted by Yuval Ben Ozer. “Eva” girls’ choir from St. Petersburg, Russia, presented a beautiful Jewish repertoire, and the Mthatha Anglican Diocesan Choir from South Africa astonished the audience with an amazing authentic performance. The enthusiastic conductor and singer, Sanna Valvanne from Finland, concluded the evening by stimulating the audience, encouraging everyone to get up, sing and dance all together.
On the following 3 nights there performed in the Crusaders’ Halls choirs and ensembles from Israel and abroad. The evening concerts were followed by spontaneous group singing in the Magic Garden surrounding the Halls, with guitars, wine, beers and snacks.
At the closing concert the participants performed the music on which they had worked during the week. The workshop conductors who came from Germany, Argentina, The UK, Hungary and USA expressed their appreciation of the musical achievements in this concert, both by the singers and the Basel Academy Orchestra.
We had the great pleasure of hosting the Manado State University Choir from Indonesia, led by Professor Andrei De Quadros, which sang in collaboration with El Baath Choir from Shfara’am, led by Rahib Hadad. This collaboration not only played in our ears but also touched our hearts and souls.
Enjoy our photos gallery:
Workshops & concerts:
Photographer: Boaz Brill
The 23rd Zimriya
International Festival of Choirs in Old Acre, Israel
11 – 16 August, 2013
The Zimriya was the realization of Aharon Zwi Propes’ dream. While working for the Ministry of Tourism, Mr. Propes conceived the Zimriya as an international gathering of Jewish choirs to sing in Israel, rather like the Maccabiah (the assembly of Jewish sportsmen). Even after separating from the Ministry of Tourism and becoming a non-profit association, the Zimriya remains a unique musical and touristic attraction. Since its inception by A.Z. Propes, the Zimriya has represented a unique educationally and culturally enriching project, but it is also a folkloristic experience.
The first Zimriya took place in 1952 with an audience of thousands. Since then, the Zimriya has brought to Israel choirs from all over the world: from South America to Hong Kong, from Iceland to South Africa, and of course, from the U.S.A. and Europe. Many of the participants would not have come to Israel were it not for their desire to take part in the Zimriya. Even during periods of difficult political and security conditions, in Israel, the Zimriya never failed to take place, though sometimes with fewer participants from abroad.
Following the great success of the Mediterranean Zimriya in Acre in April 2012, we are delighted with the opportunity to hold the 23rd Zimriya in this unique and ideal location for a vocal celebration, in the Knights’ Halls.
Choirs from all over the world, from different cultures and languages, together with Israeli singers, will spend a week together creating good music, and promoting friendships, understanding and great joy.
For the first time ever, an orchestra will take part in the workshops and concerts: the orchestra of The Basel Music Academy. Dozens of singing groups and ensembles belonging to the MILA organization will lead “community singing” at the Yad Lebanim Auditorium. In addition a Lecture/concert about Mozart and his operas by Maestro David Sebba and Soprano Yael Levita , and musical tours led by troubadour Hezi Levi and actors of the Acre Theater, will take place in the Knights’ Halls. At this venue, “choir to choir” concerts will take place nightly, continuing with “Happy hours” of singing and mingling until the small hours of the morning after the scheduled program.
More concerts will take place in various locations in the city with performances by well-known Israeli artists such as Keren Peles , The Ashkelon Andalusian Orchestra, Iris and Ofer Portugali , as well as choirs from Indonesia, South Africa, Russia and Israel.
The festive Gala concert to close the Zimriya will take place at the “Grand Munir” in the Knights’ Halls.
This is an excellent opportunity to thank the citizens of Acre and their Mayor, Mr. Shimon Lankri, for hosting, welcoming and supporting the Zimriya.
Summer 2013 will be an excellent chance to visit Acre and Israel, while taking part in this unique event – the 23rd Zimriya – Sounds between the Walls of ancient Acre!