Buchmann-Mehta School of Music was founded in 2005,
as a merge of the Samuel Rubin Israel Academy of
Music, Tel-Aviv University's Musicology Department
and the orchestral training program of the Israel
The Samuel Rubin
Israel Academy of Music, the largest unit to form
the new school, was founded as early as
as the Israel Music
Conservatory & Academy. Its founders were all
immigrants from central Europe (mainly from
Hungary), who fled Europe just prior to the outbreak
of World War II, and were among the founding members
of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Among them
Oedoen Partos, composer Alexander Uria Boskovich,
pianist Ilona Vincze, cellist Leslo Vincze, and
violinists Lorend and Aliza Fenivash
& the late Ilona Feher .
In its early days,
the Academy was comprised of 80 students and 18
teachers and the educational activity took place in
the shelter of “Shalva” high school in northern
Tel-Aviv. The Academy`s first director was cellist
Dr. Leslo Vincze. The number of students increased
rapidly and by the early 1960’s there were more than
1000 students and 150 teachers at the Academy.
1951, composer Arnold Schoenberg was appointed the
first Honorary President of the Academy; and
composer and principal violist of the IPO,
Oedoen Partos, becameI its director. That
same year, the Academy moved to Southern Tel Aviv,
where it shared a building with the “Tachkemoni”
elementary school on Lilinblum Street. Following
Schoenberg’s death, renowned composer, conductor and
pianist Leonard Bernstein was appointed Second
Honorary President of the Academy.
Joining the newly
in 1966, the Academy moved to its current building
in Ramat-Aviv campus. Following the move, the
Academy was separated from its conservatory
division, that became an independent institute, "The
Israeli Conservatory of Music", today located on
Stricker street. In 1972, with the establishment of
the Yolanda and David
Katz Faculty of Arts, the Academy became
an integral part of this new faculty.
The Academy Building, Ramat Aviv.
Already at this
stage, the Academy received national and
international recognition as Israel's prime school
of music and the country`s main source for
music making. Many of its graduatesheld
senior positions in leading orchestras, opera houses
and educational institutions in Israel and abroad.
During the early
1970’s, the Academy’s orchestra developed
significantly. In 1970, the orchestra went on
concert tour to Sweden and in 1975 to South-Africa.
Its 1978 tour to Germany and the U.S. earned much
development continued with the establishment of the
Oratorio Choir in 1974 by conductor Avner Itai, and
the studio for Electroacoustic music by composer
In 1977 pianist
Arie Vardi, a graduate of the Academy in its early
years and a distinguished faculty member, was
appointed as director, followed by composer Yehezkel
Braun two years later. In 1981, composer Yizhak
Sadai was appointed to direct the institution and
established the composition department's study
program which served as the educational programme
for composition students for many years. In 1985
composer Joseph Dorfman was appointed Director of
the Academy. During his term of office, the "Katcz
piano competition" and the "Gertler" Quartet were
In 1991, violinist
Yair Kless was appointed director. These were the
years of the massive "Aliyah" from the former USSR.
Within a short period, the student population
doubled and numerous new teachers, leading musicians
that came to Israel at that time, joined the faculty
of the School. During this period, the ground floor
level of the school was built adding many new
teaching and practicing rooms.
The following years
saw numerous renowned composers visiting the
Academy, including György Ligeti, Olivier Messiaen,
Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutoslawski, Maxwell
Davies and Pierre Schaeffer. The Academy also hosted
famous pianists during a series of donor concerts
such as Radu Lupu, Bella Davidovich, Rudolf
Buchbinder and Yefim Bronfman.
Appointed in 1994
as director, composer Ami Maayani initiated the
establishment of the recording studio and the
library listening room. In the same year, conducted
by Noam Sheriff, the Symphony Orchestra and the
Oratorio Choir performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
at the Noga theater hall.
celebrated its 50th jubilee in the academic year of
1994-5 with many exciting on-campus concerts as well
as concerts throughout the country.
The Six Former Heads of
the Academy: Right to Left:
Vardi, Yehezkel Braun,
Yair Kless, Yizhak Sadai,
Ami Maayani &
The highlight event
was the moving performance of Bizet’s “Carmen” in
the Noga theater hall conducted by Ami Maayani and
directed by Micha Hendel.
The two cooperated
again with yet another big operatic performance of
the biblical opera "Saul and David" by Carl Nielson,
in its first performance outside Scandinavia, within
the framework of the celebrations marking the 50th
jubilee of the state of Israel in 1998.
These years marked
the completion of the Clairmont hall, the new
concert hall of the Academy, designed by Ami Maayani
in cooperation with architect Yoram Raz with the
donation of Angela and Maurice Clairmont, one of the
oldest and most dedicated friends of the Academy.
That same year, the elegant Clairmont Concert Hall
was inaugurated with pianist Andreas Schiff giving a
master class and a special piano recital.
In 1998 composer
and conductor Noam Sheriff was appointed director of
the Academy. During his
term of office, the Adrea and Victor Symphony
orchestra was established and a
new "Gertler record
collection" of professional recordings produced at
the new recording studio was added to the music
In 2000, Composer
Ami Maayani was appointed director for a second
term, during which the Concert Organ in the
Clairmont Hall, built specially to suit the hall,
was inaugurated. In 2003 the new subscription series
was founded with pianist Tomer Lev as its artistic
director. The six concert series and 2000
subscribers turned the Academy into one of Israel's
most productive music centers and the Clairmont hall
into one of the most sought out concert venues
throughout the country.
Until today, the concert series are a vital part of
music making at the school and serve as its showcase
by providing a regular performance platform for the
orchestra, choirs, chamber ensembles and outstanding
soloists of the school and its guests.
appointment of pianist Prof. Tomer Lev as Director
in 2004, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra signed an
agreement with the Academy and in 2005; the new
Buchman-Mehta School of Music was founded in
cooperation with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
The founding of the school was made possible thanks
to the generous donation of businessman Josef
Buchmann. The new school's Honorary President is
Maestro Zubin Mehta.
special Gala Concert conducted by Maestro
Zubin Mehta with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
and the new School’s Orchestra celebrated its
establishment. Within the new framework, a new
"excellence program" was inaugurated enabling 100
especially talented students to receive full study