The 20th International Harp Contest in Israel will take place in the magnificent Knights’ Halls in Old Acre (Akko),
a city declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and most famous for the co-existence between its Jewish and Arab citizens.
The International Harp Contest in Israel, so closely identified with King David, was the first competition ever in the world to be-held for this instrument.
The Contest was initiated in 1959 by A.Z. Propes and is most privileged and honored to have Maestro Zubin Mehta as its Honorary President.
The Music Committee of the International Harp Contest in Israel, as well as its Musical Director Ms. Julia Rovinsky, the principal harpists of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra all volunteer their services, talent and time for the success of the Contest.
The Contest is encouraging original compositions for the harp. It commissions an Israeli work for each contest to which the Propes Prize is granted. This year the commissioned work is “A Distant Echo” by Joseph Bardanashvili.
Since 1959, the Contest in Israel has taken place every three years. A Gala Festive Concert will open the 20th Contest on 15 October 2018. Harpist Yuying Chen from China, 1st Prize Winner of the 19th Contest in 2015, will be the soloist at this Festive Opening Concert.
32 contestants, under the age of 36, of all nationalities, were accepted by the Contest’s Selection Committee to participate at the First Stage. The Contest lasts for about two weeks and is held in four stages. Of the original 36 contestants, 16 will pass to Stage II; 6 will pass to the Semi-Finals and 3 to the Finals. The Final stage, the Closing Concert, will take place on October 15, 2018, with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Doron Salomon.
The First Prize, a Lyon & Healy Gold Concert Grand Harp, valued at US$ 55,000 donated by \the Salvi Foundation.
The Contest is sponsored by the Culture and Arts Administration at the Ministry of Culture & Sport, the City of Akko, the Old Acre Development Company Ltd, Salvi Foundation, Lyon & Healy – leading harp manufacturers in the world – and foundations and individuals in Israel and abroad.
YuYing Chen, China, First Prize Winner of the 19th Harp Contest in 2015
will play at the Opening Concert of the 20th International Harp Contest in 15 October 2018.