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 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 for the IPO. Many have gone on to great success, including as members of the Israel Philharmonic, other orchestras around the world and distinguished solo or chamber music careers. 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 facilities, the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music combines an intimate, intensive and personalised study experience in what many students describe as a “family-like atmosphere” with frequent exposure to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, its renowned guest artists, and teaching by internationally-respected faculty and staff, all in one of the great cities of the world.
Although inaugurated in its current incarnation as part of Tel Aviv University as late as 2004, the school's roots go back to 1945, when it was first established as the Israel Academy of Music, later named after philanthropist Samuel Rubin. The school has had three Honorary Presidents in its history - all three titans of the music world - Arnold Schoenberg, Leonard Bernstein and, currently, Zubin Mehta.
An early Director of the school was the great violist and composer Oedoen Partos, and future Directors included such eminent Israeli musicians as pianist and conductor Arie Vardi, composer and conductor Noam Sheriff and, currently, the pianist Tomer Lev.
The founding of the school was made possible thanks to the generous donation of businessman Josef Buchmann, vice president of the board of governors of Tel Aviv University and a staunch friend of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. As the school's Honorary President, Zubin Mehta was an active figure in the foundation of the school. Maestro Mehta has also been actively involved in the school's activities since its inception and has conducted the school's orchestra regularly.
The school is currently comprised of the Academy departments, the musicology department and the orchestral training program of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The school is part of Tel-Aviv University, and is located on the Ramat-Aviv campus as part of the Yolanda and David Katz Faculty of the Arts.
Programs of Study
The school trains the future generations of musicians in every musical domain: performing, singing, conducting, composition and theoretical research, emphasizing the training of a new generation of orchestral players – a reservoir of musicians for the Israel Philharmonic and other orchestras. The school grants B.A/B.Mus and M.A/M.Mus academic degrees in all fields of study, and PhD in musicology studies or musicology studies combined with the composition department.
The School faculty includes Israel’s finest musicians and pedagogues, many of whom are principal players with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition are leading and well-known artists and teachers such as Arie Vardi, Dora Schwarzberg, Hagai Shaham, Josef Bardanashvili, Sharon Rostorf-Zamir, Hillel Zori and Yoav Talmi.
This is enhanced by an intensive master class program. Many of the guest artists of the Israel Philharmonic visit the Buchmann Mehta School of Music to teach master classes - giving the students invaluable, close-up exposure to the elite musicians of our day. Among the very many musicians to have given masterclasses there recently are: Sir Andras Schiff, Yuja Wang, Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zuckerman, Julian Rachlin, Manfred Honeck, Gianandrea Noseda, Eva Mei, Murray Perahia, Gil Shaham, Thomas Hampson, Graham Johnson, Yo Yo Ma, Thomas Quasthoff, Christoph Eschenbach, Denis Matsuev, Menachem Pressler, Martin Frost, Radek Baborak, and Christian Lindberg.
The school has a special excellence program that enables 100 especially talented students to receive full scholarships in each of the school's departments. The intensive financial support enables the young musicians to dedicate all their time in studies and practices.
The Free-Tuition International Students Program
The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music runs a thriving program for international students, and is host to talented young musicians from around the globe: Europe, North and South America, the Far East and Africa. The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music International Free Tuition Program offers students who come from outside of Israel tuition free-of-charge. On a selective basis, the school also offers living stipends and housing.
Ensembles and Performance Programs
The school offers a multitude of performing ensembles: a full symphony orchestra, opera ensemble, oratorio choir, chamber choir, contemporary music ensemble and around 50 different other 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 students also perform in the leading musical venues in Israel and abroad. Over 200 concerts are held annually in the two concert halls of the school ("Clairmont" and "Targ") alongside competitions, workshops and master classes given by leading guest musicians from Israel and abroad – many of whom are guests of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
The school's series of concerts and lectures with over 2000 subscribers, held in the Clairmont Concert Hall on the University campus, draw music lovers from all over the country and give the students an opportunity to present the excellent work being done with all the school's ensembles, augmented by teachers and famous guest artists.
Orchestral Training Program
The Orchestral Training Program enables the members of the school's symphony orchestra to experience orchestral performing at the highest level. The orchestra's musicians work closely with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's principal players in weekly sessions and sectional rehearsals. The orchestra has two subscription series of its own, and also performs in Israel and abroad. Concert tours have included performances at Carnegie Hall and the Assembly General of the UN in New York, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the "Auditorio Nacional di Musica" in Madrid, the "Konzerthaus" in Berlin and Salle Sao Paulo. Among the musicians that have collaborated with the orchestra are conductors Zubin Mehta, Lahav Shani and Christoph von Dohnanyi, soloists Yo Yo Ma and Maxim Vengerov among many others.
IPO-BMSM Practicum Internship Program
In collaboration with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the BMSM has the prestigious Practicum Internship Program, an elite orchestral program by which selected outstanding students are given an opportunity to join the IPO in its regular concerts, featuring leading international guest conductors and soloists. The students in the Practicum Internship Program are coached by, and perform side-by-side with, the IPO players at the orchestra’s renowned Charles Bronfman Auditorium and other leading concert halls of Israel.
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 has one of the country’s finest organs. The 120-seat Targ Auditorium is a flexible space that houses performances, lectures and master classes. 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.
Beyond that are the many riches offered by Tel Aviv!
Over the years, the school has fostered many famous soloists, singers and conductors, and fed the ranks of some of the world’s most important orchestras. It has been home to outstanding alumni, from Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Menahem Pressler and Veda Kaplinsky to young stars of today such as Lahav Shani and Boris Giltburg.