THE BUCHMANN-MEHTA SCHOOL OF MUSIC
The Symphony Orchestra at the United Nations General Assembly Hall
Celebrating the "most noble of the arts," the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music offers an academic experience unparalleled in Israel.
From performance to conducting and composition, theory and musicology, the School offers talented young musicians wide-ranging education taught by leading artists and researchers. Affectionately known as "the farm team for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra," students gain sophisticated exposure at rarefied levels.
Learning from masters
Honorary President of TAU's Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Maestro Zubin Mehta
"Our School of Music is proud to combine a comprehensive academic program with a most rigorous professional musical training program, offering a wide range of degrees," says Prof. Hannah Naveh, Dean of the Yolanda and David Katz Faculty of the Arts.
In addition to the School's distinguished permanent faculty, principals from the Israel Philharmonic serve as instructors in the art of performance. Master classes, taught by musicians of international renown such as pianist Yefim Bronfman and violinist Julian Rachlin, give students a one-on-one opportunity to learn from an eminent virtuoso.
Additional workshops help student ensembles prepare for performances with the aid of specialists including Klaus Sallmann, a world-famous opera coach helping students to prepare for their roles in the School's annual opera production in 2012. Because it serves as a training platform for the Israel Philharmonic and other famed orchestras worldwide, the School facilitates these connections to help students prepare for their professional careers.
Prof. Zeev Dorman, head of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music and conductor of its orchestra
Beyond performance art, the School is home to cutting-edge research in musicology that explores the effects of music on the human psyche, individually and en masse. Prof. Zohar Eitan, one of the School's academic stars, was awarded the prestigious BIKURA grant for exploratory interdisciplinary research. Working in collaboration with cognitive scientists, he is exploring music cognition and perception. His research investigates how listeners associate musical features with aspects of vision, touch, and movement, and how these associations affect the way music — and sound generally — "feels" to us and moves us emotionally.
Prof. Dorit Tanay, a specialist in music from the 14th to the 17th centuries, investigates the relationship between music and the intellectual culture of early modern Europe. Her work focuses on music as both a practice and a concept.
Building an internationally-known orchestra
Prof. Zohar Eitan is breaking new ground
Established in 2004, the School's symphony orchestra, including 120 musicians, is a fertile training ground for the Israel Philharmonic — and it has already established an international reputation of its own. With performances at the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Konzerthaus in Berlin, and the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, and extended tours in Europe, the United States and South America, the orchestra has been called "extraordinary", "shining," and “brilliant" in glowing international reviews.
"We strive endlessly for excellence at home as well as abroad," says Prof. Zeev Dorman, Head of the School and conductor of its orchestra. "By enhancing students' instrumental expertise, the orchestral training program paves the way for budding musicians to achieve a professional career. Our remarkable collaboration with leading members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, together with the School's excellent faculty, is producing outstanding results."
In May of 2012, the orchestra will achieve a new landmark with a performance at New York City's fabled Carnegie Hall, featuring an elegant program of Mozart and Vivaldi.
The school's ensembles include two choirs, a Contemporary Music Ensemble, over 50 chamber groups, as well as a prestigious Opera Ensemble, which holds fully staged operatic productions, alongside educational studio productions.
Many of these ensembles hold a series of public performances at the School of Music's own concert halls every year. These give students and faculty members the opportunity to perform together before music lovers from all over the country.
World-wide talent finds a home at TAU
Because of its international stature, the School of Music often plays host to professional musicians and students from all over the globe, including Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Africa.
In 2008, the School introduced the Adler-Buchmann International Program for Outstanding Foreign Students, a premier program among the TAU International study-abroad opportunities. It offers outstanding foreign musicians full academic scholarships with living stipends, helping to create a more vibrant and diverse learning environment for Israeli students.
Celebrating music as an international language, the program has welcomed students from six continents, currently hosting 35 foreign students, thus promoting an international campus and helping to open the world's eyes to what TAU, and Israel, have to offer.
Breaking down barriers
Community outreach is an organic part of the School's mission, an effort to tear down the barriers to a musical education and prove that music can be a powerful creative force accessible to all.
The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music Symphony Orchestra
In addition to the scholarships that the School provides to talented and deserving students annually, it offers successful projects in the community. Sulamot, for example, creates youth wind orchestras for low socioeconomic populations throughout the country, a spur to bringing about social change.
This initiative, through the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's Key Note program in collaboration with TAU's Bob Shappell School of Social Work, uses music to help children acquire the tools they need to succeed — including responsibility, teamwork, respect, cooperation, tolerance, and ethics — while enhancing self-confidence and empowerment. It has already established six orchestras throughout the country comprising 300 young musicians.
The School also provides academic and performance opportunities for musicians in the Israel Defense Forces, allowing soldiers to nurture their talent and further their education while serving the country.
How you can help
Promising talent needs space to learn and develop. With an exceptionally generous gift of $3 million, you can provide the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music with a new wing to house a much-needed rehearsal hall, two large ensemble rooms, and multiple studios and practice rooms.
With visionary funding of $1.25 million, you can help the School of Music's Symphony Orchestra gain greater international exposure by supporting concert tours abroad and establishing an Instrument Fund. Your fund will enable the School to lend quality orchestral instruments to students, and ensure periodic renewal of the instrument inventory.
With a donation of $500,000, you can endow a new Chair for Theoretical Studies and Music Research to enhance the School's cutting-edge musicology research.
Your contribution of $100,000 can establish a scholarship fund to support seven outstanding Master's students for a full year of study.
Your generous support for the School of Music is a signal investment in Israel's cultural future.
More about the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at the School's Web page, http://www.tau.ac.il/arts/music/english/welcome.htm.
Buchmann–Mehta School of Music Alumni Say...
Percussionist, PercaDu percussion duo
Since he was a young boy, Tomer dreamed of playing music all over the world. Today, he lives that dream — and TAU's Buchmann-Mehta School of Music helped him reach his goal.
Tomer began working with mentor Alon Bor at 17, and enrolled at TAU to continue learning from the man he calls a teacher, consultant and friend. The encouragement he received from Bor and other faculty members, along with the varied professional experience he gained, has gone a long way in shaping his career.
"I belonged to a small department with few students, so I had the opportunity to play in a variety of productions the school put on in many different types of ensembles, including opera, the orchestra, and chamber music. It was a great challenge," Tomer remembers. The versatility he developed would ultimately prepare him for his professional career, which includes playing with distinguished orchestras and dance companies, performing at festivals, and scoring theatrical plays.
As part of the duo PercaDu — which began at TAU — Tomer and his partner Adi Morag have performed in renowned venues including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Munich Opera Orchestra. "The faculty really believed in our new ensemble, and gave us the freedom, facilities, and exposure we needed to drive us forward," he says.
Following his breakthrough performance with the Philharmonia at London's Royal Festival Hall in 2007, Boris has been invited to play with ensembles all over the world, including the DSO Berlin, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. In 2012, he will make his London Philharmonic Orchestra debut.
A pianist from the age of five, Boris says the biggest impact TAU's School of Music had on him was broadening his musical horizons. "I discovered musical history and theory, and was exposed to a wide variety of repertories and musical styles," he says.
In six years of study at the School, Boris drew inspiration from his mentor, Prof. Arie Vardi, from his interactions with fellow students, and from the School's resources, including the vast collections of classical music recordings in what he calls the "best classical music library in Israel." The opportunity to make music with the other students and to take an active role in a community of music lovers was crucial from both a social and educational point of view, recalls Boris.
His current success has deep roots in the School of Music, he says. The faculty helped him to obtain scholarships to fund his musical education, and instilled fundamental values. "During our studies, dedication, respect, and a deep love for music was built within us," he says. "These are crucial for achieving excellence."