The string of the violin recently caught up Itzhak Rashkovskymusical director of Keshet Eilon.
You have been broadcasting your Gala from New York on Violin Channel since February 26, 2022. Tell us a bit about the context?
Unfortunately, I was prevented from physically attending this concert, due to Covid-19 limitations. But, I can testify that it was a concert whose central theme celebrated the return to live music, after the long period in which we were forced to play in a virtual format. We were also looking forward to the reunion of our familiar and warm audience with whom, over the years, we have kept in touch, and for the most part, we have had to part ways in the past two years. The concert featured excellent young musicians in the beautiful cooperation of extraordinary pianists.
Tell us about Keshet Eilon and how it has evolved since its founding in the early 1990s?
The Keshet Eilon Music Center and String Mastercourse, founded in 1990 at Kibbutz Eilon on the northern border of Israel, is dedicated to the training and promotion of young string instrumentalists from Israel and around the world who wish to achieve the highest high musical level. Keshet Eilon, now in his 32nd year, has gained international recognition in the music world.
Keshet Eilon’s first steps were very humble – a handful of musicians gathered at Kibbutz Eilon, Israel, to make music. The kibbutz already had a rich cultural tradition, and its founders made music a central value in their lives. They had passed on their passion to the second generation of the Kibbutz.
Our beginnings were very happy. During the 1990s, a massive wave of new immigrants from the former Soviet Union arrived in Israel. Among them were many musicians. They breathed a new kind of energy into the social and cultural life of Israel and also continued to play a vital role in the development and success of Keshet Eilon.
Many young newcomers, gifted musicians, were looking for a suitable place to advance their musical studies or develop their playing on the stringed instrument. They found him in Keshet Eilon, and the latter was happy to embrace them and develop their skills.
The first Mastercourses laid the foundation for Keshet Eilon. During his 32 years in business, Keshet Eilon has gradually been exposed to the world of music, gaining momentum and gaining a professional reputation. The echoes of the informal atmosphere, the pedagogical approach that characterizes the project, and above all its high professional level have encouraged many string musicians to knock on our doors. The pursuit of excellence, shared by students and teachers, has brought many world-renowned artists and established teachers to join our faculty and participate in the Mastercourses.
It is important to note that the melody of Keshet Eilon has never stopped even in times of war and when the frontier of our region has warmed.
What are the main objectives and principles that guide you?
Keshet Eilon’s credo is that music, one of the eternal symbols of humanity, can serve as a bridge between religions, peoples and nations. In Hebrew, the word “Keshet” means a bow or arch, and we use it to symbolize a bridge or a connection. Indeed, Keshet Eilon believes in the power of music to bridge the gap between people of different cultures, leading them to make music together.
Keshet Eilon makes every effort to induct every talented student to participate in its training programs regardless of financial money. Furthermore, in his attempt to develop the study of stringed instruments for excellence, Keshet Eilon supports young musicians in various ways. It lends them instruments (for those who cannot afford to buy them), grants several of them scholarships to cover part of the tuition fees for courses and seminars and opens up the project’s unique musical library to them. .
Keshet Eilon focuses on everyone’s game. After a long and intensive academic year, our students arrive at our campus filled with numerous orchestral and chamber music projects. Here we give them optimal conditions to focus exclusively on their game.
A student leaves Keshet Eilon with new musical ideas, innovative input and positive experiences. He or she creates new friendships and connections that can enrich their life long after the Mastercourse and express themselves in their future musical life. Additionally, the opportunity to learn about Israel as a place of culture and creativity and not just a country associated with violence and terrorism can turn a student into a goodwill ambassador for Keshet Eilon and Israel.
What different programs do you offer to young musicians throughout the year?
The Keshet Eilon campus and other facilities are used to hold special seminars for young Israeli string players and teachers throughout the year. The seminars, aimed at stimulating and encouraging string playing in Israel, are held twice a year, led by professional faculty Keshet Eilon.
About 60 to 80 young musicians from all over the country attend these seminars and benefit from the experience of the Keshet Eilon faculty. Here, Jewish, Christian and Muslim students can play together, and this interaction fosters personal connections through music, which is the essence of Keshet Eilon.
In addition, Keshet Eilon organizes an annual concert series – “The Sounds of Keshet Eilon”, staged at Keshet Eilon’s Bar-Uryan Concert Hall, with world-class performances for music-loving audiences, including young musicians, in the Galilee Western and beyond at affordable prices. Programs include string recitals, chamber music concerts, choirs, folk music, and more.
Tell us about the International Summer Mastercourse which will take place from July 24 to August 11?
After two years of not holding the International Summer Mastercourse in live format due to the Covid-19 virus — we intend to stage it this year in the traditional, safe setting that has proven successful for years.
In general, we plan to include, among other activities, master classes, faculty and student chamber concerts, and outdoor concerts that will bring the local Galilee community closer to music and even attract listeners from around the world. center of Israel.
Unfortunately, however, in the shadow of the current war in Europe, we are concerned that it will cause problems with flight shutdowns if it continues into the summer, and possibly financial and other difficulties as well. .
It is only later that we will be able to know the main subjects of the next Mastercourse, selected each year as enrichment for the students. A bit difficult to plan for today.
What does a typical day on the kibbutz look like?
Since our first Mastercourse, the daily structure of the program has remained the same:
Morning: private lessons
Noon: Archery practice
Late night: social activities
Why did you decide to emphasize the practice of archery? How does this relate to string playing overall?
The archery workshop was born out of the need to find a form of physical activity for students who spend so many hours of the day indoors practicing their music.
To our surprise, we discovered a correlation between the sport of Olympic archery and the game of strings. They require similar physical elements: correct posture, hand-eye coordination, concentration, etc. The amazing fact is that over many years, stringed instrument players have been shown to excel at archery and learn it with minimal training compared to regular archery students. .
We have found that most string students and teachers enjoy the sport of archery and that it reinforces and improves the skills that the two activities share.
Who will be part of the teaching staff this year?
Keshet Eilon is excited to cultivate the next generation of young string players by exposing them to exceptional artists and teachers who are ready to offer their talent, professional experience and accumulated knowledge to young musicians during the Summer Mastercourses. All in a family and friendly atmosphere, appreciated by students and teachers alike.
The 2022 faculty will include:
Shmuel Ashkenasi (Israel-USA,) Edward Grach (Russia) Ilya Kaler (USA) Olga Kaler (USA) Nam Yun Kim (South Korea) Sergei Ostrovsky (Israel) Itzhak Rashkovsky (Israel-UK,) Ani Schnarch (Israel-UK,) King Shiloah (Israel,) Chaim Taub (Israel) Ulf Wallin (Sweden) Robin Wilson (Australia) Qian Zhou (Singapore)
Paul Coletti (USA) Tatjana Masurenko (Germany-Russia)
Amit Peled (USA-Israel,) Hillel Zori (Israel)
Julia Gurvitch (Israel) Anna Kavalerova (Israel) Eugenia Lakernik (Israel) Irina Zheleznova (Israel)
How can people apply for the Summer Mastercourse?
People can enter the Keshet Eilon website, complete the application form and submit it online via SlideRoom.