About the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music
“What you see and what you hear is my dream come true”
Zubin Mehta, speaking at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music Symphony Orchestra gala concert, May 2017.
The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music was founded in 2005 as a unique partnership between Tel-Aviv University (TAU) – the largest and most comprehensive university in Israel – and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) – the country’s most prominent music institution.
The school’s mission is to train outstanding young musicians and to prepare them for professional careers, as well as to create future generations of orchestral musicians for the IPO as well as other orchestras in Israel and abroad. Many of the school’s graduates have gone on to great success, including careers as members of the Israel Philharmonic and other leading orchestras, as distinguished solo and chamber music performers, composers, conductors and music scholars. Indeed, the current Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic, Lahav Shani, is one of the school’s distinguished alumni.
Considered one of the world’s elite music education institutions, the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music combines an intimate, intensive and personalized study experience in what many students describe as a “family-like atmosphere” with regular tuition by internationally acclaimed BMSM faculty members and members of the IPO, frequent exposure to collaborations with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and masterclasses with the IPO’s renowned guest artists. And all of this in one of the world’s most exciting cities – Tel Aviv.
Inaugurated in its current format as The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in 2004, the school’s roots go all the way back to 1945, when it was first established as the Israel Academy of Music, later named after philanthropist Samuel Rubin. Throughout its history the music school has had three Honorary Presidents – all three among the world’s musical titans – Arnold Schoenberg, Leonard Bernstein and, currently, Zubin Mehta.
One of the first directors of the Tel Aviv Academy of Music was the great violist and composer Oedoen Partos. Following in his footsteps came such eminent Israeli musicians as pianist and conductor Arie Vardi, composer and conductor Noam Sheriff, pianist Tomer Lev, and, currently, musicologist and conductor Uri Rom.
The founding of the Music School was made possible thanks to the generous donation of the great German Jewish philanthropist Josef Buchmann, a staunch friend of both Tel Aviv University and of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. As the school’s Honorary President, Zubin Mehta has played a key role in founding the school in its renewed format, and has been actively involved in its activities, conducting the school’s symphony orchestra regularly in gala concerts and orchestral masterclasses.
The school is affiliated with the Yolanda and David Katz Faculty of the Arts and is located on TAU’s Ramat Aviv campus.
Study Programs and Tracks
The BMSM trains the future generations of musicians in every musical domain: vocal and instrumental music performance, conducting, composition and musicological research. The music school grants B.A./B.Mus. and M.A./M.Mus. academic degrees in all fields of practical and theoretical music training, as well as PhD in musicology, a combined PhD in musicology and composition, and artist diploma in music performance.
The school’s faculty includes Israel’s finest musicians and pedagogues, many of whom are principal players with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition there are leading and well-known artists and teachers such as Arie Vardi, Hagai Shaham, Josef Bardanashvili, Sharon Rostorf-Zamir, Hillel Zori and Yoav Talmi. Enhanced by an intensive masterclass program, the school regularly hosts the world’s leading soloists and conductors to promote students’ development.
The BMSM benefits from an ongoing parade of internationally acclaimed visiting artists who are invited to give masterclasses at all of the school’s departments, many of whom are guest artists of the IPO. Recent visiting artists include Sir Andras Schiff, Yuja Wang, Emanuel Ax, Murray Perahia, Menachem Pressler, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zuckerman, Julian Rachlin, Gil Shaham, Yo Yo Ma, Manfred Honeck, Gianandrea Noseda, Alan Gilbert, Christoph Eschenbach, Eva Mei, Chen Reiss, Thomas Hampson, Graham Johnson, Thomas Quasthoff, Martin Frost, Radek Baborak, Christian Lindberg and many others.
The BMSM International Program for Outstanding Students
Each year, the BMSM welcomes some of the finest young musicians around the world to our Tel Aviv campus, for music studies via our renowned international program. International students are welcome to apply for complete studies in all music performance tracks (B.Mus.); Artist Diploma is offered in music performance, while Master's degree (M.Mus.) is also offered in conducting and composition. Beginning from the academic year 2023-24, international students can also study towards M.A. in musicology. For students from our international partner institutions, we also offer the option of a year/semester at the BMSM as exchange students.
We offer FREE TUITION for all international students; with housing and financial assistance for outstanding candidates. All studies are in English, and international students play a full part in all activities of the BMSM including access to masterclasses with the Israel Philharmonic’s world-famous guest soloists and conductors, many professional opportunities to perform at Israel’s most attractive concert venues, and possibilities to apply for the elite programs with the IPO. And, of course, they are able to live amongst the culture and vibrancy of Tel Aviv! Alumni of the BMSM International Program have gone on to highly successful careers, both as musicians with the IPO (including the current concertmaster) and other orchestras around Israel and around the world, and as soloists.
The Music School offers a variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles: a full symphony orchestra, opera ensemble, oratorio choir, chamber choir, contemporary music ensemble and multitude chamber-music ensembles, offering many opportunities for students to enhance their performance experience. All of the ensembles of the school participate in the school's public concert series.
THE BMSM SUBSCRIPTION SERIES
The BMSM's series of concerts is one of the most successful in Israel, with over 100 performances per year. The program includes symphonic, chamber, vocal, keyboard, new music, Baroque music and lecture series, as well as special concerts; featuring students, faculty members, alumni and guests.
Orchestral Training Program
The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music offers a high-level Orchestral Training Program and intensive practical training opportunities with the Israel Philharmonic and its guest artists – the world’s leading conductors and soloists. Once a year, the BMSM Symphony Orchestra performs a festive gala concert under the baton of IPO Music Director Lahav Shani at the home of the IPO, the Charles Bronfman Auditorium, Tel Aviv.
Members of the IPO audition and coach students towards each of the orchestral projects. Based on their achievements, outstanding BMSM orchestral players are chosen to take part in the prestigious Practicum Program, where they are given an opportunity to join the IPO in its regular concerts, featuring leading international guest conductors and soloists.
Thanks to generous support from the Colton family, the BMSM and the IPO have recently established the Colton Internship Program, allowing selected BMSM graduates (including international students) to join the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for one season. Winners of this prestigious internship receive a salary, and individual mentoring by IPO principal players.
The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music sits in the spacious and beautiful campus of Tel Aviv University, at the centre of one of the most vibrant and culture-filled cities in the world.
The school boasts modern and comfortable practice rooms, its own recording studio and three performance spaces. The 300-seat Clairmont Concert Hall’s enviable acoustics make it an in-demand venue for recording, and its sold-out subscription series makes it one of Israel’s busiest performance venues. It also boasts one of the country’s finest organs.
The 120-seat Targ Auditorium is a flexible space that houses performances, lectures and masterclasses. And the Recording Studio is connected to a specially-designed 50-seat space that allows for intimate performances and recitals.
During their studies, students get regular access to the famous Charles R. Bronfman Auditorium, home of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, through the school’s association with the IPO. Recently given a major refurbishment, the auditorium boasts two of the finest concert spaces in the world — the large-scale Lowy Concert Hall and the chamber venue, Zucker Hall.
In addition, the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music offers other valuable facilities such as the Baroque Room with its array of Baroque-period keyboard instruments, and the M.Grinsten Music Library.
Internationally Celebrated Alumni
The BMSM has been home to many great artists from Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Menahem Pressler, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Yefim Bronfman, Boris Berman and Kati Debretzeni to young rising stars such as Lahav Shani, Boris Giltburg and Gal James.