James Judd
Photo: Harald Hoffmann

After having been informed about the disastrous financial situation of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, the band’s Music Director James Judd has addressed a letter to the members of the Board, the General Director, and the musicians of the Orchestra. His office has sent Pizzicato a copy of this letter, in which the conductor declares that he is willing to waive his fee in order to help saving the orchestra.

« I am shocked to hear of the financial situation in which the orchestra finds itself due to the persistent situation of insufficient government budgeting, cuts of productions of the Israeli Opera, fees which haven’t been updated for years, and the difficult of raising sufficient funds. All these threaten the very existence of this fine orchestra and the livelihoods of its dedicated musicians.

It was my proud honour to accept the position of Music Director of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion in September 2014 and to dedicate myself to the continued growth and excellence of this fine ensemble. Since then I have been closely involved in the activities of the orchestra, its programming and planning. I had the pleasure of taking the orchestra to China in November 2014, where we were described in the media as great ambassadors of Israel and brilliant interpreters of the Chinese music which we performed. The music of Israeli composers has featured at home and abroad in our programming, our outreach to young people is exemplary.

It is sad that the budgetary starvation is pushing this cultural treasure to the brink of extinction in a country so renowned for musicians and orchestras of such high quality with a public so appreciative of the music making.

At this critical time, I dedicate myself to the survival of our wonderful orchestra by foregoing with immediate effect my Music Director fee while nonetheless carrying on the many functions and duties which my position demands, and I urge the authorities involved in budgeting the orchestra to rethink the restrictions on the magnificent cultural heritage of the city of Rishon LeZion and the State of Israel. » (s) James Judd

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