Interview: Israel Festival as stepping stone for young artists

5 August 2010

The 49th edition of the Israel Festival, Jerusalem, run from 25 May to 10 June 2010. Since 1966 the festival has been a member of the European Festivals Association (EFA) and benefitted from the Association as a space for the exchange of information, experiences and best practices. In an interview Director Yossi Tal-Gan shares the mission of the festival to act as a platform for unknown, young artists. The Israel Festival is a multidisciplinary festival that promotes theatre, dance and music of all sorts; it includes special interdisciplinary projects combining music, video, dance etc. Each year, the festival hosts companies from around 20 countries from all over the world. “In principle we try to host the best from abroad and regarding artists from Israel the festival tries to expose the young generation who needs the support,” Yossi Tal-Gan explains the main mission of the festival. In the past years, the festival served as a stepping stone for many companies who then became famous both at national and international level. Speaking about the audience of the festival, Yossi Tal-Gan explains that its composition very much depends on the subject: dance and theatre attract rather young audiences, whereas classical music usually attracts older people. In a special project the festival opens its doors to citizens from rural, small towns far away from Jerusalem. “We subsidise them by supporting the transportation, supporting ticket prices etc. People from these areas come every year to attend international performances, sometimes for the first time in their life.” The 2010 edition of the festival concentrated on several artists: in theatre focus was on Shakespeare, including lectures and discussions on Shakespeare plays; another project concentrated on Agnon, a Nobel Prize writer born in Israel; a third one on Chopin; and in a forth initiative the spotlight was put on Jazz. The interview (30 May 2010) was part of the broadcast project entitled “The Festivals of Europe”. From May 2010 until May 2011 – finishing just before the 2011 EFA General Assembly and Conference that is to take place in Varna and hosted by the Varna Summer International Music Festival – interviews with EFA members will be broadcasted on Radio Varna ( at a weekly basis. Related links: • Interview Yossi Tal-Gan: Part 1; Part 2EFA Multimedia Gallery (all interviews)