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Tel Aviv: The Music Metropol of the Middle East

Nicknamed the “White City” because of its fantastic Bauhaus-style buildings, Tel Aviv has also earned a reputation for non-stop entertainment and nightlife and is known for its diverse cultural pursuits, especially music. Visitors can expect an eclectic mix of genres and venues which cater to a diverse range of tastes. Music is everywhere you go, from the beautiful promenade that stretches all over the coast of the Mediterranean, to city markets and public squares. And, let’s not forget that Tel Aviv hosted the 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019 at Expo Tel Aviv, a venue which often hosts all kinds of international performances.

Fans of classical music can look forward to performances by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Orchestra, while lovers of alternative beats have even more choices in the “city that never stops.” We’ve rounded up some of the best of them to give you a comprehensive music lover’s guide to Tel Aviv.

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

Based at the magnificent Charles R. Bronfman Auditorium, the Israel Philharmonic is one of the world’s leading orchestras. Under the direction of Maestro Zubin Mehta, the IPO performs a full season of subscription concerts in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. The IPO also tours the world’s cultural centres and prestigious festivals throughout the year.

Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda has been Chief Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra since the 2011-12 season. He is also the Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and Teatro Regio in Turin, as well as being the Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

1 Huberman Street, Tel Aviv – 03-621-1777

 

Israeli Chamber Orchestra

The Israel Chamber Orchestra (ICO) offers fresh new programs that recreate the classics while striving to shine a spotlight on new musical talent. The orchestra supports Israeli composers and presents well-known classics and new compositions.

The repertoire covers early baroque to contemporary, jazz and popular music. The ICO also tours extensively worldwide at prestigious international music festivals.

35 She’erit Israel Street, Tel Aviv – 03-5188845

Tel Aviv Israel October 04, 2019 View of unknowns Israeli people playing music at Banana Drum Beach in the evening

The Israeli Opera

The principal opera company of Israel, the Israeli Opera calls the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center home. Now under the general direction of Zach Granite, the Opera has Dan Ettinger as its musical director. The operas performed at the Opera House include Josef by Josef Tal and Israel Eliraz, Alpha & Omega by Gil Shohat to a libretto by Dori Manor and Ana Herman and A Journey to the End of the Millennium by Joseph Bardanashvili and A. B. Yehoshua, among others.

The opera’s orchestra is currently the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion. The Israeli Opera also presents dance, classical music, jazz, and children music series at the Opera House and is home to the Meitar Opera Studio, a practical study and performance program for young Israeli opera singers.

19 Shaul Hamelech Street, Tel Aviv – 03-692-7777

 

The Suzanne Dellal Center

This centre is Israel’s premier venue for dance. Established in 1989, the mission of the Suzanne Dellal Centre is to cultivate, support and promote the art of contemporary dance in Israel. The centre offers a diverse repertoire of performances, events, festivals, programs, and workshops from the worlds of contemporary dance and performing arts.

The Suzanne Dellal Centre is in a sprawling multi-level campus that consists of four performance halls, rehearsal studios, a restaurant and cafe, and wide plazas that host outdoor performances and events. The Centre is home to the Batsheva Dance Company and Inbal Dance Theatre.

5 Yehieli Street, Tel Aviv – 03-510-5656

 

Other Music Venues

Israel is becoming a touring destination for many popular artists. Paul McCartney and other music legends have appeared at the city various venues. There are many well-established concert venues in the city hosting a diverse mix of the country’s best artists and international musicians of great calibre.

 

The Block

One of Israel’s most prestigious nightclubs, The Block is all about cutting edge music and sound system. Some say it’s the best in the world. Modelled after the coolest clubs in New York City, the venue is famous for its parties. Owner Yaron Trax envisioned a vibe reminiscent of Big Apple clubs of the 70s and 80s, and judging by The Block’s popularity; he’s pulled it off well.

Located on Salame Street, the club is a bit detached from most of TLV’s wild nightlife. It has a main dance floor, a second more intimate one, and a lounge. Expect top-notch dance music artists, including Ellen Allien, DJ Harvey, Dixon, Ben Klock, DJ Koze, Louie Vega, Tiga, and many more.

157 Salame Street, Tel Aviv 03-537-8002.
The Block

 

Barby

Barby boasts a state-of-the-art sound system and is one of the city’s best-known music venues. It’s a small, unassuming club venue with a capacity of about 600 spectators, which hosts concerts almost every night, ranging from alternative music to rock and other modern tunes.

Derech Kibbutz Galiyot 52, Tel Aviv – 03-518-8123
Barby

 

Zappa Tel Aviv

Zappa Tel Aviv is one of four Zappa clubs in Israel. It attracts some big names and very successful Israeli singers and songwriters as well as international talents. It features concerts in many genres, including musical productions for children and the whole family.

Raoul Wallenberg St 24, Tel Aviv-Yafo – 03-762-6666
Zappa Tel Aviv

 

Hangar 11

Just as its name implies, Hangar 11 was once a storage place for ceramics. But in the early 1990s, Zeev Isaac completely transformed the venue, giving it a new artistic purpose. Today, Hangar 11 is known as one of the best places to see a concert in Tel Aviv. You’ll find it in the port of Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv-Yafo – 03-602-0888
Hangar 11

 

Reading 3

Reading 3 by Tel Aviv’s port boasts a fantastic state-of-the-art sound and lighting system and stages all kinds of concerts featuring performers from Israel and from abroad.

HaTa’arucha St. 3, Tel Aviv Yafo – 03-762-4000

These are some of the best-known places to enjoy live music in Tel Aviv. Several stadiums stage huge productions and even cultural venues like the Tel Aviv Museum of Art have often curated concerts to attract music lovers.

Last, but not least, the city is home to some fabulous music festivals you should not miss.

Piano Festival

The Piano Festival takes place every November and attracts some of the most important Israeli names of the genre. Over 300 musicians and ensembles, artists, creators, actors, and poets perform during the festival in original productions, tribute shows, and collaborations, which represent the multicultural and multidisciplinary era of contemporary Israeli music.

 

Felicja Blumental International Music Festival

The Felicja Blumental International Music Festival was established by Annette Celine in May 1999 in honour of her mother, famous pianist Felicja Blumental. It celebrates music from all over the world in a variety of genres ranging from classical music to jazz and ethnic tunes. In 2020, the festival will be held between 16 and 21 March at the Recanati Auditorium, Assia Auditorium, and the Mizne Blumental Collection Gallery at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

 

Tel Aviv Gay Pride Week

Tel Aviv Gay Pride Week celebrates LGBT tolerance and diversity with a multitude of events in venues all over the city. These include outdoor concerts, live shows, picnics, countless parties, and parades every June.

In essence, whatever music genre you prefer, Tel Aviv will have a place where you can enjoy it to your heart’s content.

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