The International Master Classes held in the city of Tzfat, Galilee's Capital, begins immediately at the closing of Tzfat's Klezmer Festival, now celebrating its 31th year. Klezmer music and Tzfat's name are long considered as synonyms, describing a musical and spiritual special experience that draws thousands of listeners, visitors and music lovers from Israel and the whole world.

The Master Classes project is klezmer-style based – the Eastern-European Jewish folklore, from which it spreads to a variety of styles, beginning with classical and ending with Arab music. Most of the leading klezmer artists in the world arrived to the Jewish music beginning their way in classical music. The project enables young musicians of all religions to complete their studies with classical and ethnic musicians, opera singers as well as Yiddish and Arabic folklore singers, oud players – this variety creates a unique blending and mutual fertilization. Students from Israel and the world over take part, as well as excelling soldier-musicians, in addition to the students of the Music Playing Tzfat project and amateur musicians.

Eyal Shiloach: "The contribution of Tzfat's Mayor Mr. Ilan Shohat and the Klezmer Festival Chairman Mr. Yigal Shitrit, in turning Tzfat into a magnet is invaluable. The city's spiritual atmosphere and its music-lover inhabitants have been hosting the Klezmer Festival for 30 years and enabled the creation of the Master Class project at its conclusion. Tzfat's Mayor says: "Tzfat, the Jewish soul music capital is proud to continue the festivities of the International Klezmer Festival and also host this year's international musical project of Master Classes". "This year too, International Master Classes joins the special atmosphere of the Klezmer Festival, with leading artists and music-lovers from around the world, who are joining the thousands festival visitors in a great celebration of high quality music, outdoor performances and musical workshops of varied styles" said the Klezmer Festival Chairman Mr. Yigal Shitrit.

The students will participate in private lessons in the mornings, workshops and chamber music in a great variety of ensembles and styles in the afternoons and in the evenings they will have jam sessions of music and dance (these will be open to the public). The workshops will include ensembles combining instruments, singers and choir as well as dancing in a variety of styles, including Jewish klezmer-style and oriental dancing. "Our wish is that the students would experience style unfamiliar to them", says Eyal Shiloach, "in the Arab-Jewish course they will be acquainted with the ties between Arab and klezmer music".

Arco Association continues also this year to bestow scholarships, with the collaboration of the Municipality of Tzfat, the David Friedman Foundation, and the Academic Tzfat College. These scholarships are granted to young gifted musicians, residents of the city and the Galilee region, Excelling IDF musicians and overseas students. 

This project forms part of a cultural, musical and spiritual vision, which will turn Tzfat into an attraction for artists, intellectuals, students and creators from the world over, to come to the Galilee's capital and enjoy its landscapes and magical atmosphere and contribute to the cultural flourishing and thriving of the entire region.

Production: Shirley Osher; Contents Editor: Tsilli Rudik;  PR: Azoulay;  Graphic Design: Grafikot; Website: FaceliftWeb