All About Keshet Eilon

Who are we?
Israel’s Keshet Eilon Music center was founded in 1990 on Kibbutz Eilon in Western Galilee in order to foster and promote young string musicians from Israel and abroad. The Center’s musical activities, which are intended for performers at the highest level, have gained a remarkable reputation throughout the musical world, and attract dozens of today’s foremost young musicians every year. Many of Keshet Eilon’s 1,300 graduates have won the world’s most important musical competitions and have embarked upon magnificent careers as soloists; others lead renowned orchestras – and all act as goodwill ambassadors for Western Galilee and Israel as a whole.

What are our objectives?
Keshet Eilon’s aim is to promote string musicianship in Israel and throughout the rest of the world and to ensure that every gifted student has the opportunity to play, regardless of his or her financial situation. To this end, we raise funds from people for whom music is close to their hearts. In addition, we strive to bring together different peoples and cultures, to stage quality cultural events in Israel’s periphery, to create jobs in Western Galilee and to attract outsiders to the region. The Center operates with the assistance of its friends in Israel and abroad, who help to raise funds and organize benefit concerts. It is also supported by the following people

What are our principal activities?
The Center holds three major events each year: the Winter Seminar, the Spring Seminar and the International Summer Mastercourse. The seminars in winter and spring are designed for young Israeli musicians who participate on the recommendation of their teachers. At these events, each of which lasts for three to four days with overnight on-campus accommodation provided, the students learn from some of the world’s finest teachers and gain experience playing as individuals and in ensembles. The seminars are designed to encourage string-instrument playing in Israel.

The International Summer Mastercourse, which lasts for three weeks, is intended for young musicians who have reached the very highest level. After a rigorous selection process, some fifty-five students are chosen from the over four hundred applications we receive each year. During the course they take part in masterclasses, receive individual instruction from the world’s finest teachers, gain incomparably valuable concert-hall experience, play in chamber-music groups and perform in an ensemble composed of all the course participants.

The notion that every talented student deserves the opportunity to play has led us also to music schools in Israel’s Arab community. So far we have collaborated with schools in Arara and Jatt in the Little Triangle, and in 2015 we also began to work together with the Polyphony Education Center in Nazareth, which, like Keshet Eilon, strives to bring members of different communities together and bridge the gulf between young Jews and Arabs through music. In December 2017, March 2018 and December 2018 we held seminars jointly with Polyphony Nazareth, and in April 2019 we shall repeat the experience. At the start of 2019 we began additional activities to promote violin-playing in the Arab town of Qalansuwa, which is also in the Little Triangle. At the same time, we help and encourage young Arab musicians from all over Israel, in order to integrate them into our seminars and the Summer Mastercourse, where they can form personal ties with other participants and perform together with them in joint Arab-Jewish chamber-music groups, etc.

In addition, Keshet Eilon holds a concert series during the year. The Sounds of Keshet Eilon series of eleven concerts, which takes place in the Bar-Uryan Hall, offers a wide variety of compositions that generally combines classical and vocal music performed by some of the finest artists with world music and Hebrew song.

And that’s not all
Keshet Eilon Music Center is also home to musicians from Israel and all over the world who come to us to practice in an atmosphere of concentration and pastoral quiet. The peaceful surroundings and the remoteness from the spotlight and the hustle and bustle of the city, they say, enable them to focus uninterruptedly on music. As a result, three weeks at Keshet Eilon can sometimes be as valuable, as far as results are concerned, as a whole year of study at an academy of music anywhere else in the world. The Center includes spacious accommodation facilities, an attractive cafeteria with a beautiful view, a concert hall with superb acoustics and seating for an audience of 256 people, excellent pianos that are at the disposal of all visiting musicians, and additional practice areas.

Looking towards the future
We at Keshet Eilon are currently working on plans for the establishment of an international music academy that will offer a three-year live-in program to meet the needs of young musicians from all over the world. Apart from their music studies, students will also prepare for the International Baccalaureate together with their contemporaries who are not similarly musically gifted. The school will place special emphasis on life’s social aspects: we at Keshet Eilon believe that musicians are, first and foremost, people.

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