Israeli Mandolin Soloists
The Israeli Mandolin Soloists is a chamber ensemble composed entirely of plucked string instruments. Yaki Reuven, an artist who in recent years has been taking care of the next generation of Israeli mandolin players, saw it as his duty to preserve the rigorous specialization track in artistic mandolin playing in the Jerusalem Academy of Music, and created a group of Israeli performers, that will serve as a home for those excellent artists who graduate from his class at the Academy. The ensemble is rooted in the Beer-Sheva Conservatory. The best mandolin soloists in the world studied in this conservatory, and the collaboration with the Jerusalem Academy created one of the loveliest establishments with plucked string instruments.
This ensemble endeavors to create the new out of the old, to connect these wonderful musicians who grow in Israel and turn them into a superb musical ensemble, which holds together the roots of the “Beer-Sheva-Jerusalem” school and enjoys the international standing and knowledge accumulated by the Israeli mandolin soloists over the last twenty years. The rare sound of a mandolin ensemble of this kind inspires also new writings, alongside the renewal of string orchestra repertoire. The main purpose of the ensemble is to promote the commission of new works. It concentrates in performing 21st-century music and it arranges and presents fresh performances of classical music, which is originally written for string orchestras – as well as original music for mandolin. The Mandolin Soloists do not only play. They hold “excellence forum” meetings at the Academy, in order to study and further develop and promote the level of mandolin playing in Israel and abroad. The ensemble is home to the outstanding students in the academy. They also participate in a pedagogical project, in which they teach mandolin students in schools in underprivileged neighborhoods in Beer-Sheva, in the south of the Negev. They all play solo instruments made by Arik Kerman, who made himself available to improve the instruments played by the ensemble. The construction of those unique instruments and the establishment of the ensemble were made possible by the Sarney family, which has been donating to the Beer-Sheva Conservatory for decades. The ensemble performs 21st Century program for chamber orchestra/ mandolin ensemble, as well as Italian Baroque, and Spanish classical mandolin program.