The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

January 2, 1951: The North American tour of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra sponsored by the American Fund for Israeli Institutions began with a concert in Washington, D.C. conducted by Dr. Serge Koussevitzky.

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was founded as the Palestine Orchestra by violinist Bronislaw Huberman in 1936, at a time when many Jewish musicians were being fired from European orchestras. Its inaugural concert took place in Tel Aviv on December 26, 1936, and was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. Its first principal conductor was William Steinberg.

Its general manager between 1938 and 1945 was Leo Kestenberg—like many of its members, a German Jew forced out by the Nazi rise to power. During the Second World War the orchestra performed 140 times before Allied soldiers, including an 1942 performance for soldiers of the Jewish Brigade at El Alamein. At the end of the war it performed in recently liberated Belgium. In 1948, after the creation of the State of Israel, the orchestra became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

My father, Israel Borouchoff, performed and recorded with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 1961, Israel Post issued a stamp commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Israel Philharmonic.

israel philharmonic orchestra - 25th anniv 1961

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