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At the beginning of January 2020, ten young Israeli pianists participated in three private lessons with the world-renowned piano professor, William Fong.
Fong is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London and Head of the Piano Department at the Purcell School for Young Musicians, one of Europe's leading schools for talented young musicians.
All students received a full participation scholarship from Zefunot Culture.
This workshop originated from the need to give Israeli students the opportunity to be involved in developments within the world of music.
We have no doubt that this type of training helps nurture the next generation of pianists in Israel.
We thank Abigail, Idit and the staff of the Felicja Blumental Music Center in Tel Aviv for all of their help and cooperation in creating an optimal learning environment for our participants.
Professor William Fong
The young pianists that participated in William Fong's private lessons:
From the letters sent to us by the participants:
"...The lessons expanded my perspectives on the musical pieces and gave me new tools for practice. Furthermore, Prof. Fong was generous, interesting, pleasant and contributed to the accuracy of the pieces." (Matan Gur Nelson)
"...The lessons were taught in a very interesting and experiential way, and William gave me a lot of tools and things to think about when performing the pieces we were working on and in general as a pianist." (Dany Dvorkin)
"...I learned a lot from the lessons with William Fong and I acquired tools for myself as a pianist. I enjoyed every lesson, and came out of the entire workshop full of inspiration. The lessons with Professor Fong were very important to me, and I felt that he was very nice to me, and gave everything he had during the lessons. I am very happy that I had the privilege of being part of this workshop." (Yali Zaken)
"...During the lessons, Prof. Fong introduced new ideas for performing the musical pieces I was practicing and for my overall piano playing. William is a warm and pleasant person to learn from. The last lesson on the piece by Ravel was outstanding as it conveyed wider experience. The other lessons were excellent as well, as he showed me ideas I hadn't thought or heard of before and I was able to adopt them into my practice." (Lior Lifshitz)
"...The lessons with Willam Fong were interesting, engaging, professional and gave me many new tools and ideas to think about. I really enjoyed being part of this wonderful project and I feel fortunate to have had such an experience. Everything was well organized with positive and supportive energies." (Saeed Diab)
"...Professor Fong gave me a new approach to look at the music I play, especially playing Bach. He not only talked to me about the specific piece, but also about the history and how, during the composer's era, such works were played. He helped me with both technical and personal aspects." (Romy Nevo)
"...Very precise work on small details. Fong gives logical explanations to everything, including things that are done by instincts, which lets me (as a student) think more about how and why I do/don’t do something (such as tempo, phrasing, pedaling, etc…) which enriched my musical understanding. That was a great experience and I hope to meet him again." (Mohammad AlSheikh)
Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition
This year, Zefunot Culture will reward the Best Israeli Performer Award at The Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition.
The prize will be awarded at the ceremony that will take place on May 21st, 2020 after the Grand Concerto at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium.
Creating Opportunities for Israeli Musicians
Zefunot Culture seizes every opportunity to help elevate the careers of Israeli musicians abroad. In 2019, our organization introduced the Carmel Quartet to pianist and artistic director of the Morellino Classica Festival, Pietro Bonfilio. Carmel Quartet performed during the festival in Tuscany and received great reviews.
This year, Bonfilio invited the young cellist, Nahar Eliez, recipient of the Zefunot Culture Scholarship, to perform at the festival in early September 2020, in the picturesque town of Pitigliano.
Two full-participation scholarships to the prestigious
This year we reached out to the BUTI Project (Boston University Tanglewood Institute) and for the first time, our organization will provide two exceling young Israeli musicians with a full-participation scholarship to the prestigious course held each summer at the Institute in Massachusetts, US.
We are extremely thankful for the dedication and help of the Shuster and Grossman families from the US, for raising donations for this important cause.
The two students that were granted the scholarships are pianist Yali Zaken and violinist Tom Shmarkov.
Morningside Music Bridge's (MMB) Visit to Israel
For the second time our organization hosted Morningside Music Bridge (MMB) directors, in order to give students and teachers access to the prestigious International Summer Program. Paul Dornian, President and CEO of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Maimie DeSilva, Director of the MMB Project, held meetings with students, teachers, conservatory directors and leading academic faculty around the country.
This year, Zefunot Culture is collaborating with AICF (America-Israel Cultural Foundation) to grant a joint-participation award from both organizations to outstanding students who will be accepted into the prestigious MMB Summer Program.
GRANTS & PRIZES
Zefunot Culture has made it its goal to promote, support and encourage excelling young musicians.
During 2019, we have awarded grants of over 100,000 NIS
Zefunot Culture continues to provide a warm home for Israeli and international musicians in the Zefunot Home in Tel Aviv.
Since the beginning of 2020 we were happy to host both new and longtime friends:
Piano Prof. William Fong (UK)
Pianist Pietro Bonfilio (Italy)
Violinist Semion Gavrikov (Israel / Luxembourg)
Paul Dornian, President and CEO of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife Kathy (Canada)
Maimie DeSilva, Director of the MMB Project and her husband Jeff (Canada)
Photo by Adi Elbaz
May 29, 2020
AND THE WINNER IS ...
Concert at the "Zefunot Culture" Home with the 2020 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition winner. *
November 7, 2020
SVETLIN ROUSSEV & MICHAEL ZARTSEKEL
Home concert with Italian pianist Pietro Bonfilio. *
* The young Israeli musicians who will perform in each concert will be announced at a later date
PROMOTING YOUNG ISRAELI MUSICIANS
Few young Israeli musicians have the ability to create their own web presence in English - an essential tool for any artist wishing international exposure.
Our upgraded site includes personal pages for each recipient with photograph, press quotes, YouTube footage, links to social media and most importantly - an up-to-date biography (supplied by the musician).