Julian Rachlin
(c) Ashley Klassen

Violinist and conductor Julian Rachlin was in Israel last week to start his tenure as Music Director of the Jerusalem Symphony. On his social media pages he gives an account of the tragic events in Israel and how they affected him.

« One week ago today was the opening of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra season. Friends from all over Israel and Europe joined me in celebrating my first week as Music Director of this wonderful orchestra. I was overjoyed to share the stage with the incredible musicians, meet the wonderful audience, and work alongside our dedicated team at the orchestra. We continued on with a second celebratory concert in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

On Saturday morning, my wife Sarah and I woke up to the sound of explosions near our hotel. Soon enough, sirens were heard and we spent the day with my parents in and out of the bomb shelter in the basement of our hotel. Thanks to the kind help of friends in Israel, my family and I were able to secure seats on a flight home to Vienna on Sunday.

I am at a complete loss for words as my friends, extended family, and the musicians of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, are still in Israel, facing unimaginable uncertainty and danger. I’m left speechless, overwhelmed with anger, shock, disbelief, and profound concern, distraught for my new musical family.

A week that was meant to be a celebration of music and togetherness has been overshadowed by the harsh reality of terrorism and conflict.

My thoughts are with Israel, and with all those who are enduring the unimaginable. It is impossible to know what to say or what to do. I hope for the safety of the people living through this hell, and send my deepest condolences to those who have lost friends and family in the most horrific of circumstances. »

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