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Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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Haifa Symphony is college bound

By James Palmer
Photo courtesy of Haifa Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Boguslaw Dawidow says the moment he began working with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, he felt a connection.
Photo courtesy of Haifa Symphony Orchestra
The Haifa Symphony Orchestra’s string section rehearses.

The Haifa Symphony Orchestra is hitting the ground in the Bronx next week for the very first time.

The group is scheduled to play compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Carl Maria von Weber during its concert on Feb. 6 at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. The show is part of the orchestra’s American tour that includes 38 concerts in 15 states. It is their only performance in New York this year.

Founded in 1950, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra is a hive of cultural activity in northern Israel, offering a diverse range of concerts featuring classical, cantorial and popular music. Groups affiliated with the orchestra perform operas, big band and choral concerts. The company works to promote original Israeli music and often features Israeli soloists and conductors during its performances.

Conductor Boguslaw Dawidow will lead the Haifa Symphony Orchestra during its performance at Lehman next week.

Mr. Dawidow, who was first invited to conduct the orchestra in 2011, said he was immediately drawn to the Haifa musicians and their sound.

“From the first moment I began working with them, I felt a connection,” Mr. Dawidow said. “I knew it was going to work well then.”

Born and raised in Poland, the conductor said he cultivated a passion for music at a young age and has fervently pursued it ever since.

Neighbors migrating from Poland after World War II left an upright piano behind to Mr. Dawidow’s family. He started playing the instrument at the age of four. “Touching music for the first time was something special for me,” he said. “It’s important for children to feel music at a young age.”

Because of that experience, Mr. Dawidow said he is motivated to vigorously participate in the orchestra’s outreach program to elementary, middle and high school pupils in north Israel that includes free concerts and master classes for talented young musicians.

The city of Vienna and conductor Leonard Bernstein played a significant role in Mr. Dawidow’s own musical education when he studied there beginning in 1981.

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