The harp is an ancient Middle Eastern instrument with deep roots in Jewish history closely identified with King David. The International Harp Contest in Israel, founded in 1959, will for the first time take place in Acre, a World Heritage Site.
The 19th International Harp Contest in Israel will open on November 23, 2015 at the Knights’ Halls in Old Acre, a city declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Acre has become home for many cultural and musical events such as the Israeli Opera Festival, the Acre International Fringe Theater and more.
The harp is an ancient Middle Eastern instrument with deep roots in Jewish history, closely identified with King David. The International Harp Contest in Israel, founded in 1959, is the first competition in the world to be held for the harp and has been held triennially ever since. Maestro Zubin Mehta serves as the Honorary President of the contest.
A total of 26 contestants under the age of 35 from all over the world have been accepted to participate in the contest, which lasts about two weeks and is held in four stages. The first prize, a gold concert grand harp valued at US$ 55,000, is traditionally donated by Lyon & Healy of Chicago – a leading harp manufacturer. A special prize will be donated by the Mayor of Acre. Other monetary prizes are also donated by friends and supporters. The closing concert will be played with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Doron Solomon.
The contest also encourages original compositions for the harp and commissions an Israeli work for each contest which all contestants are required to play. The Propes Prize will be awarded in 2015 for the best performance of the newly composed "Mizmor Shir" by Menachem Wiesenberg.