Since its founding over 40 years ago, the JMC has played a major role in developing Israeli musical talent throughout the land, regardless of where our students live, or what their financial means are. Our main task is to help develop each of our students to their highest potential, together with their teachers, in ways that their schools are not geared to do. We provide chamber music opportunities by bringing students together, getting the best coaches from Israel and beyond, and we involve them in orchestral playing, where they play under conductors that have a special rapport with young people.
One of the first people to teach here was the great cellist, conductor and composer, Pablo Casals. I had the privilege to work with Casals privately in Puerto Rico, and it proved one of the most treasured moments of my musical life. I can imagine how our students must have felt to have had the opportunity to work with Casals - it is something they will never forget. A young student, in addition to being nurtured by his teachers, will find special inspiration and excitement in working with somebody on that level. I find it necessary to provide this for all our Israeli students.
Music is of course a complex subject - it's not just about pretty tunes, pleasing harmonies, and restful moods. On the contrary, it can be an entry into the deepest recesses of our souls, with all the great philosophical, emotional and spiritual questions that man can ask. What is truly essential however is to understand the language - to be aware of the laws and the theories that underpin this language, so that musical speech can be meaningful, and intelligible. Overall, I want to encourage musicians to be more complete - so they do not have to rely only on their instincts, or on what their teachers tell them (though both are important). They have to use their own knowledge to create interpretations that have an innate authenticity.
Our dreams are that our students will achieve the highest standard of musicianship now, and in the future. The talent is certainly there, and with your support we can become partners in one of Israel's most worthy cultural endavours.
President, The Jerusalem Music Centre