Spinning the globe for a spot where it can play for a knowledgeable crowd, conduct cultural diplomacy, and woo some important patrons, the Philadelphia Orchestra has put its finger on Israel. The ensemble will perform in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa the first week in June, after another leg of the tour takes them to Vienna, Paris, and smaller European cities.
The Philadelphians have been to Israel only once before, in 1992 as Riccardo Muti was ending his tenure as the orchestra’s fifth music director. Its eighth, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will lead this tour of 11 concerts starting May 24.
Why Israel? The orchestra has focused much of its export power on China recently, and it started with the premise that putting all its eggs in that one basket might not be wise.