The international harp contest in Israel is one of the highlights of musical events in Israel and abroad. The Ministry of Culture appreciates the important activities carried out by the Harp and Zamir Society and the constant emphasis on the performance of Israeli works during the contest. The harp is one of the most important musical instruments mentioned in the Bible and its music is identified with King David. The harp contest celebrates the connection between ancient and contemporary and between the Biblical and everyday life.
I was glad to know that this year has a record number of registered contestants, from all over the world, who are the future generation of harpists. The existence of the contest in the city of Acre, a wonderful “Pearl” in the north of Israel, adds strings and shades to the contest. Acre is a spectacular and inspiring combination between the ancient and the contemporary, between the azure sea and the urban experience. In recent years, the city of Acre been blessed with a surge in the fields of culture and sport. I am proud that my vision and the policy of cultural justice, which I lead, are expressed in the many cultural projects, taking place in Acre and in the periphery in general.
I wish success and great pleasure to each of the participants in the contest, who will arrive to Israel from near and far. The contestants took great challenge posed by the competition, worked on the preparation of the repertoire, and poured their artistic perception into sounds, producing with their ten fingers, pedals on their feet and mainly with their emotional involvement.
Warm greetings to the competition and to the participants, its organizers, artists and all the organizers behind the scenes for the success of this blessed activity.
Special thanks to the Chairperson of the Harp & Zamir Society, Ms. Colette Avital, to the Director General of the Society, Mr. Yossi Frost, to the Honorary President of the Contest, Maestro Zubin Mehta, to the Music Committee of the International Harp Contest in Israel, to the Music Director Ms. Julia Rovinsky and of course, to my friend, the host mayor, Mr. Shimon Lankry.
MK Brig. Gen. (Res.) Miri Regev,
Minister of Culture and Sport
Together with the State of Israel, who is celebrating this year its 70th Anniversary we too are celebrating the 20th International Harp Contest in Israel. It will take place in the spectacular Old city of Acre (AKKO) a city on the shores of the Mediterranean, rich in history and culture, the meeting place between east and west, old and new. It is a city where Jews, Moslems, Christians and Baha’i live together in harmony. It preserves its medieval Crusaders halls and forts next to Moslem monuments and shrines.
And just like the city – our competition blends ancient and new traditions: an ancient instrument known in the past as the “lyre” on which, according to our sources, none other than King David played; and a modern competition, created in 1959, which has already become a tradition.
This is a competition we take pride in: since its inception it has retained its excellence and has remained one of the most prestigious contests in the world. During the almost 60 years of its existence, over 620 contestants have participated in our contest, some of whom have become world-renowned harpists.
This year too, we are happy to greet in Israel 31 contestants from 15 countries; and we are honored to have an important International Jury headed by Madame Catherine Michel.
We are most grateful to the City of Acre and to its generous Mayor for hosting us; to the Ministry Of Culture and Sports for its continued support; and to our generous donors.
Our thanks go to our energetic and innovative Musical Director, Ms. Julia Rovinsky, the Chief Harpist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and to our Musical Committee; to the members of our Jury who honor us with their presence and their competence; to our Executive Committee, to our staff and to our many volunteers.
“Salvi Foundation” have been our partners all along and have provided the harps for this as well as for past competitions. They deserve our gratitude.
We are looking forward to a great musical experience and wish our contestants much success.
will take place in “Acre – A City of Culture”.
The Old Acre Development Company and the City of Nazareth are pleased to host the 20th International Harp Contest for the second time. The joining of the international harp contest in Israel to all the cultural events held in Acre throughout the years adds to the importance of Acre as a city of cultures that has preserved many cultures for thousands of years The Ministry of Tourism, through the Old Acre Development Company and Nazareth, is proud to continue hosting the contest.
Acre is one of the oldest cities in the world, a city proclaimed by UNESCO World Heritage Site is the most appropriate place to conduct this contest, a city that merges new and old, Jews and Arabs, past and present and attracts tens of thousands of people from Israel and the world.
I would like to thank the people who have decided to hold this contest in Acre again this year, to all those who participate in organizing the contest, Mr. Yossi Frost, Mr. Avi Faintuch and Ms. Aliza Gondor, as well as all the artists, winners, creators and the Ministry of Tourism.
We welcome you to experience the Knights’ Hall and the beautiful, magical sights of Old Acre. Wishing great success and pleasure to all those arriving to the contest!
As Music Director of the International Harp Contest in Israel, I am delighted to welcome the members of the international jury, contestants, teachers and music lovers, to the 20th International Harp Contest.
We all come from different countries, cultures and political backgrounds, but our passion and love for music and beauty unites us all. I am certain that this bond will make our world a better place.
I am very pleased that we were given this beautiful instrument to fulfill that purpose. I have experienced many contests, both as a contestant and jury member. I know that the Contest requires great effort, strong will and even sacrifice in order to progress and succeed, but the participation itself will make you grow, develop and strive for greatness. I welcome and deeply thank all listeners and supporters who will join us to experience this thrilling Contest together.
My special appreciation goes to the members of the international jury, who have agreed to put their prestigious careers on hold and come all the way to Israel to make our Contest the best it can be.
Our country is filled with beautiful, mesmerizing places, and our Contest will take place in one of the most amazing cities in the world, the ancient Akko. The significant history of this area, in combination with the magnificent sound of the harp, will make an unforgettable experience for everyone.