July 31, 2009
You won’t have read about it, but in the last few days, there has been increased tension on the Israel-Lebanon borders – neither side trusting each other. Perhaps a woman hanging out the wrong-coloured washing….
Or perhaps it was the voice of the violin disturbing the balance of usual sounds. We were staying at Kibbutz Eilon, only 2 km. from the Lebanese border. It is a simple kibbutz, with a small fishery, a mosaic art studio, rooms to rent and a gallery and garden of statues, some made from the mosaics, others from who-knows what:
But, for almost 1 month a year, it becomes one of the centres of the music world. Around 40 of the leading young violinists, having come through a rigid selection system, come to attend the Keshet Eilon Master Classes.
Students are there from Korea, Finland, Lithuania, USA, Australia, Russia, Austria, anywhere. This year, for the first time, they included some violists (who play the viola) and cellists.
And then there are at least 20 leading pianists, the very necessary accompanists, who again are gathered not only from around Israel, but the World.
The violinists’ days are filled with individual lessons and group lessons. A master class is held every day in the main concert hall, when a couple of the students perform in front of one of the masters, who then takes over, giving his criticism of the piece and showing the students ‘how it’s done’.
In 2 weeks’ time, we shall have the pleasure of watching the students ‘showing off’ at a Gala Concert here in Tel Aviv. Last year, it comprised many solo performances, mixed with stunning group shows, and culminating in a mass presentation of Keshet Eilon’s skills. Really a very special experience.
And how do the students spend their free time in this hot place? Of course, there’s a great swimming pool in the kibbutz. There’s free archery lessons – the music centre has always felt that there is a close relationship between the 2 skills of violin-playing and archery – the bows and strings, the accuracy, the balance, the power and the concentration.
Nearby there are the Crusader fortresses of Montfort and Yechiam (with Beaufort just over the Lebanese border). Here’s us at Yechiam, site of one of our nephews’ wedding. The view of the sea from the hill is stunning.
Imagine having a wedding at such a location.
And then there’s Rosh Hanikra, the border village that features glorious caverns on the coast – and the famous railroad built by the British in an attempt to feed the army in the struggle against Hitler….
And there’s Nature. The northern Galilee has plenty of that. Here are a few bits and pieces I glimpsed.
Thanks for taking this journey with me…