Discovery from Israel

POULENC - Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani

BRUCKNER - Symphony No. 3 (1873 version)

"Neither the Berlin Symphony Orchestra nor its audience could have wished for a better and more interesting conclusion to the season. Once again much was invested and much was gained. The discovery of this concert in Philharmonic Hall - well attended despite the beginning summer vacations - was Meir Minsky. Previously unknown to us, this conductor from Israel convinced instantaneously with an unusual program. Who would have known that Francis Poulenc and Bruckner could have something in common?

The program placed in juxtaposition the Concert for Organ, Strings and Timpani by the sparkling French composer with Buckner's Third Symphony. As it turned out, there are several points where the tangent lines of Poulenc's bizarre and archaic work and Bruckner do touch. Organist Edgar Krapp emphasized the various sonorities in daring combinations of organ registers.

Another surprise was the original version of Bruckner's Third Symphony. We cannot go
into details here. We heard the original version that conceivably was never before presented in Berlin without any of the later modifications."

The differences between the original and the 1879 version we usually hear are significant, particularly in the second and fourth movements; and the comparison comes out clearly in favor of the original.

The Berlin Symphony Orchestra, under its guest conductor, accomplished this difficult task with a magnificent performance. Minsky shaped this symphony with grandeur, proving supreme artistry in each phase. Above all, he demonstrated a natural emotional relationship to Bruckner - an asset one does not necessarily take for grated from an Israeli conductor."


Radical Original Version

POULENC - Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpany

BRUCKNER - Symphony No. 3 (1873 version)

"The Berlin Symphony Orchestra played Bruckner's Third Symphony in a version that was known to Richard Wagner in 1973, but that was neither printed nor ever performed during its composer's lifetime. When Bruckner, in 1877, conducted the world premiere of this symphony - and the audience simply left the concert hall – he presented the second version. What we mostly hear today is the third version, dated 1890. This was the version Bruckner considered the final one. It is shorter by one fifth. Nonetheless, the differences between the versions are of a deeper nature - in fact, as Bruckner himself once expressed it - the new versions were for the present time, whereas the original version was for the future.

"The original version of the Third Symphony is, in effect, much more radical, unusual and far less economical than the later version. In more than one respect - among them in the polyrhythmic final part of the slow movement that was omitted from the later versions - it confronts any orchestra with major problems.

The Berlin Symphony Orchestra played for the first time under the baton of the young Israeli conductor, Meir Minsky. The orchestra performed with dedication and intensive contact with its conductor. Mastering a score unfamiliar to the orchestra, they rendered both a profound and penetrating interpretation. With his excellent choice of tempi relations, Minsky achieved a clear presentation of the overall form and the inner proportions of the work.

The audience in Philharmonic Hall thanked Bruckner, Minsky and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra with vociferous ovations."
Martin Wilkening


Jubilation for Meir Minsky's Art

TCHAIKOVSKY - Violin Concerto
BEETHOVEN - "Eroica"

"The Israeli conductor had his highly successful debut here in Berlin four years ago. This time he excited us with Beethoven's "Eroica". Minsky shaped the work richly, precisely, without mannerism, and handled the orchestra with assurance."


Powerful Conducting

TCHAIKOWSKY - Concerto for Violin in D Major, op. 35
BEETHOVEN - "Eroica"

"Once again it became evident that the performance of the Symphony Orchestra depends strongly on the quality of its conductor. Under the direction of Meir Minsky, the orchestra achieved a quality seldom heard until now.

Already, in the solo concerto attributes of Meir Minsky were evident. Their full value became apparent in Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E Flat major, the "Eroica". Minsky's powerful, athletic style of conducting gave the work driving excitement and vivacity. Even the broken baton did not hinder his determination of expression. Through dramatic gesture, the second movement grew to a tragic magnitude, enveloping even the Scherzo."



Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir

LISZT: "Christus" Oratorium

A Rare Performance

"...On the podium at Hercules Hall was the Israeli Meir Minksy, a conductor who exudes a serene, complete mastery, and possesses a convincing always clear conducting technique. With a sure hand, he led the brilliant Philharmonic Choir (rehearsed by Joshard Daus), through the heights and depths of this theatrical and rarely contemplative music. Obviously his priority was to achieve structural transparency rather than to produce an overpowering sound of tutti ecstasy. His rendition struck an immaculate balance between a bucolic blissfulness and a solemn profession of faith. He was always a faithful advocate for the work, sensitive to its needs, catching its essence and skillfully avoiding any excess and exaggeration. The quintet of soloists (Judith Hildegard Hartwig, Peter Straka, Siegmund Niemsgern and Richard Salter) on whom demands increased towards the end was well matched and balanced. The orchestra gave an excellent performance. The audience was very attentive and deeply moved. After the final "Amen", before the applause broke out, a single voice in the auditorium was heard to utter: "Hallelujah!"

Manuel Brug


Sound of Beauty and Esprit

JOACHIM - Overture "Heinrich von Kleist" Op.13
CHOPIN - Piano Concerto. no. 2
BRAHMS - Haydn Variations
STRAUSS - "Till Eulenspiegel"

"What fireworks of expressive contrasts Minsky sparked in Strauss's "Till Eulenspiegel"! There was not a single performing indication in the score that Minsky let slip by unnoticed. He revealed his craft in its entire virtuosity. It was also fascinating to follow the eloquence and expressiveness of his left hand: at times a clenched fist, at times softly arched or widely spread out, thrown forward as swift as an arrow and downwards with rage, finally letting it drop relaxed. The orchestra was at one with him, responding to every gesture he initiated conveying every minute gradation of color and expression."

Suzanne Rode


BEETHOVEN - Prometheus
BEETHOVEN - Triple Concerto
BRAHMS - Symphony No. 1

To be updated.


Basel Symphony Orchestra

H. ELLER - 5 Pieces for String Orchestra (1953)
HAYDN - Cello Concerto in C Major
TCHAIKOVSKY - "Rococo Variations"
B. MARTINU - Symphony No. 5 (1946)

Soloist: Antonio Meneses

"The first subscription concert of the A.M.G. in the big hail of the casino offered a diversified program leading from classic to modem music. The evening started with Heino Eller's (1887-1970), "5 Pieces for String Orchestra"... The deep strings provided a good foundation for the smooth and melodious tunes of the violins. Martinu's Symphony No. 5 enabled the orchestra in its full size to demonstrate its great potential. Neeme Jarvi. who originally was supposed to conduct this concert had canceled and the A.M.G. on a very short notice, found an excellent replacement in Meir Minsky. who is already known in Basel.

The maestro conducted in sheer icy with very expressive and precise gestures, that brought to mind the young Leonard Bernstein in his general expression and at times, almost too opulent movements. The wind section gave an excellent performance... .

In the two solo pieces (Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations and Haydn's Concerto in C Major), the fresh, expressive and attentive guidance of the conductor made the orchestra an understanding and professional accompanist, both secure and flexible."


Basel Symphony Orchestra

H. ELLER - 5 Pieces for String Orchestra (1953)
HAYDN - Cello Concerto in C Major
TCHAIKOVSKY - "Rococo Variations"
B. MARTINU - Symphony No. 5 (1946)

Soloist: Antonio Meneses

Maestro Meir Minsky created an opulent musical dinner which was seasoned with works of a distinct character and with a willing Basel Symphony Orchestra. The concert hall was transformed into a banquet hall not only through the sound but also by what the conductor brought to the eyes... Meir Minsky, who is obviously a maestro, led the orchestra through the emotional and solemn tuti with expressive and sweeping gestures... He left no bar untouched. and carefully molded and gave meaning to each note. He approached Martinu's Symphony No. 5 in the same manner. At one moment the orchestra sounded powerful and potent in a Beethoven dimension, and at the next moment only the sound of a soft and tender flute solo could be heard. He had the orchestra totally in his hands. And so, the lyrical string passages allowed a glance into the deepest of emotions, and the 5th Symphony became an entity on its own, complete and whole."


Exciting Russian Evening


RACHMANINOFF - Piano Concerto No. 3
PROKOLIEV- Symphony No. 6

"Some unusual programming that included Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto and Prokofiev's Sixth Symphony was enthusiastically received by the audience at the eighth Bern Subscription Concert. Meir Minsky, conducting the Bern Symphony Orchestra, impressed with his musical conviction, backed by a profound knowledge of the score. He led with abundant temperament; yet at the same time each detail was carefully molded and measured to fit the overall interpretation. The result was to illuminate and clarify intricate works that could, in other hands, all too easily slide into exercises in mere virtuosity. Minsky sought out the works' underlying details and muted colors, and the Bern Symphony adhered to his direction. Thus Prokofiev's rather opaque Symphony received clear outlines in a reading that had breadth and spaciousness, but also enchanted with the enormously colorful Russian folkloric elements intact. It remains to he said that this was a particularly harmonious collaboration between conductor and soloist, which in turn was transmitted to the orchestra, lending the evening sparkle and beauty."

Urs Eberhard


Minsky Takes Noisy Grant Park Debut In Stride

JOACHIM - Overture "In Memory of Heinrich von Kleist"

SCHUBERT - Symphony No. 8

TCHAIKOVSKY - Symphony No. 5

All performers making their debuts with the Grant Park Symphony should bring along a Zen like inner tranquillity to match their outward musical abilities.

Such a quality would not automatically guarantee a critical and popular success, of course, but it certainly would help the artist tune out the heat, rain and humidity- not to mention the steady drone of Lake Shore Drive traffic-that make nearly every concert at the Petrillo Music Shell a creative compromise.

It is to the credit of Meir Minsky, the Polish-born, Israeli-trained New York-based conductor who made his first appearance with a major domestic orchestra here Wednesday, that he not only survived but prospered. Even the wailing fire engines and noisy helicopter that conspired to finish off Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony before it had scarcely begun did not shake his confidence or command. And the orchestra, which takes these things in workaday stride, made itself his obedient subject. [...]

Minsky began with a work not even the Chicago Symphony has played, an overture by Joseph Joachim written in memory of the German poet Heinrich von Kleist. Joachim is best known today as one of the great violinists of the 19th Century (his cadenzas to the Beethoven and Brahms violin concertos are in every fiddler's repertory.) Apart from the "Hungarian" violin concerto, however, his music has long since slipped from the repertory.

Schumann is the composer whose name springs most readily to mind when one hears Joachim's Opus 13, and the stylistic resemblance flatters both composers. It is an attractive, well-made work. I was glad to have discovered it in so firmly argued a performance.

The Schubert Eighth is hardly your typical piece of summer music, either, but it does separate the musicians from the time-beaters. Apart from his ill-advised decision to broaden the tempo at the start of the development section in the first movement, thereby impeding the musical flow, Minsky shaped a lyrically cogent, sensitive account, notable in particular for the quality of the woodwind playing. Indoors, it would have sounded even better.

The Tchaikovsky Fifth Symphony also was notable for its musical integrity. Minsky summoned a solid, expansive sound from the orchestra. [...]
John von Rhein


Orchestre National de France

RACHMANINOV -"L"ile des morts"
TCHAIKOVSKY - Piano Concerto, no. 2
MARTINU - Symphony no. 5
Soloist: Peter Jablonski

"... Martinu's Fifth Symphony was performed in a very convincing manner by Meir Minsky, a conductor who was visibly penetrated and absorbed by this music, and enflamed the Orchestra National de France with fire and passion."

Pierre Vidal


Orchestre National de France

RACHMANINOV -"L"ile des morts"
TCHAIKOVSKY - Piano Concerto, no. 2
MARTINU - Symphony no. 5
Soloist: Peter Jablonski

"The reading of Martinu's Fifth Symphony by Meir Minsky, who replaced the ailing Charles Dutoit, was significantly more interesting. Less infused with French spirit, he underlined and emphasized the rhythm, pressing it a bit at times, rather than the sound effects. In this way he drew Martinu towards the Rachmaninoff or Prokofiev spirit, (in the first movement) and even in a more convincing way, towards Stravinsky's "Oedipus Rex". The piece rediscovered its Slavic atmosphere and its natural environment.

The balance of the program, for both concerts, was classical and was in tune with the different temperaments of the conductors, as demonstrated in their performances of the symphonies. The long continuous movement of Rachmaninoff's "The Isle of the Dead", was conducted by Meir Minsky in a rigorous and grand manner. Meir Minsky inspires and conveys transparency, clarity, and oppressive mournful calm, creating climaxes (Dies irae), and paradoxical relief."

Jean-Guillaume Lebrun


MAHLER: Symphony No. 4,

Soloist: Ira Bertman, soprano

“In Mahler's Fourth Symphony conductor Meir Minsky obtained a wonderful orchestral sound, the like of which is rarely heard. ... He obtained an overwhelming wealth of superbly musical playing from the orchestra, expressed in long and beautiful melodic lines, with some superb solo contributions from horn, trumpet and oboe. ... Minsky's musical abilities deserve to be remembered.”

Maariv, Ora Binur, 11/01/05

“Meir Minsky has been revealed as an outstanding conductor. … After the intermission, Minsky conducted Mahler's Fourth Symphony, and while I was still busy with the serious thoughts I mentioned above, something happened to me, almost unnoticeably, the most wonderful thing one can experience during a concert: I found myself totally drawn into the music. All of a sudden, I ceased being a worried critical observer and became, somehow against my best will, part and parcel of what was happening onstage. I imagined Austrian landscapes as seen from the composer's summer retreat, I could hear the sounds from the Tyrolean village, I could imagine Viennese waltzes, and when the first movement's climax came - and Minsky certainly knew how to build a dramatic progression leading to that very moment - I was already about to take leave of my senses. ... This is obviously what good music is supposed to do to you: just like drugs.Kol Hair, Yaron Scherter, 14/01/05


Meir Minsky Made The Orchestra Fly

HINDEMITH - "Sinfonia Serena"
PAGANINI - Concerto for Violin and Orchestra no. 1
KODÁLY - "Háry János" Suite

"The fifth subscription concert of the Mecklenburg State Orchestra's season was an extraordinary experience for the audience. It confirmed what the "Staatskapelle" orchestra's enthusiasts have always maintained: that, with an outstanding conductor, this orchestra can give outstanding concerts.

On the podium was Meir Minsky, a thoroughbred conductor with a sparkling temperament. The way he inspired the orchestra was simply astonishing. Genius will always push towards the very limits of what is possible, and Minsky fully proved it. He used a wide range of gestures and expressions, and went all the way, from a forceful fencing-style attack with his baton, to dancing pantomimes. This total involvement and body expression inflamed the orchestra to a brilliant and cultured music making. All of this was evident during the performance of Hindemith's "Sinfonia Serena" - and again in the "Háry János" Suite by Zoltán Kodály."

Dr. Reinhard Diekow


Mahler 1st with Brilliance

MOZART - "Jeune homme" Piano Concerto
MAHLER - Symphony No. 1

"Through his uncompromising revelation of the inherent conflicts of the piece, Minsky lifted the orchestra to dazzling heights, offering a magnificent performance of Mahler's First Symphony."

Dr. Reinhard Diekow


Even Silence is Music

HANDEL - Organ Concerto in F Major

BRUCKNER - Symphony No. 3, (1873 version)

"With a sure hand, Minsky hurled the gigantic blocks of sound, shaping raw power into a totally convincing dynamic concept. With an endless flow of sheer crescendi he led the orchestra to the very peak of their ability. In the winds choral, the brass reached hitherto an unforeseen fortissimo-intensity, ... Minsky challenges the ensemble like no other conductor. Here even silence is music - charged with tension. It was then blissfully released into a string sound of ethereal beauty in particular at the end of the main theme and at the end of the adagio, which was performed by the conductor with almost transcendental slowness."

Hagen Kunze


Refined Bruckner Interpretation

HANDEL - Organ Concerto in F Major

BRUCKNER - Symphony No. 3, (1873 version)

"Meir Minsky demonstrated here his real strengths. With ample gestures and wide bows, the conductor led the orchestra through this work, and the musicians, ever attentive and inspired followed him with refinement. The vast musical breath and stylistic multiplicity underlying this Anton Bruckner symphony inspired the Gera-Altenburg musicians as well. They played in a gripping albeit very subtle way. The conductor carefully balanced the interactions between the differenct sections of the orchestra and was at all times a complete master of the music making. The public responded with enthusiasm and thanked the conductor and the orchestra with prolonged applause."

Klaus-JÜrgen Kamprad


Achievement For The Israel Chamber Orchestra

Meir Minsky, an Israeli conductor who has been in Europe for several years, was summoned on short notice to stand in for the ailing Tamas Vasary. The substitution proved to be a success. Minsky obtained from the players of the Israeli Chamber Orchestra a very high level of playing. Mozart's Symphony K209 in A major was impressive. ... the orchestra played very well to the accompaniment of the young Ukrainian pianist, Igor Tchetuyev ...

The rest of the concert was very enjoyable, with Rumanian dances by Bartok, ... in Beethoven Symphony No. 1, it was bubbly, elastic and convincing. Absolutely, a highly recommended concert.

Haggai Hitron


The Solisten der Kammerphilharmonie Berlin

BARBER - Adagio for Strings

HARTMANN - Concerto funebre für violine und streichorchester
SHOSTAKOVICH - Chamber Symphony (String Quartet no. 8)

"The musicians under Meir Minsky performed Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony (String Quartet no. 8) with powerful expression and deep conviction this is music as a profession of faith. The relentless rhythms of the allegro molto, and the grotesque even sinister waltz - it all made for a very intesnse and convincing interpretations."

Gregor Schmitz-Stevens


In Fine Form

VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS - "Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis"


BRITTEN - "Peter Grimes": Four Sea Interludes

ELGAR - "Enigma Variations"

Soloist: David LLOYD

"The distinguished Polish-born Israeli, Meir Minsky, a conductor of international repute, had no difficulty reaching into the heart of this distinctly British music.

There would, of course, be no problem with the Elgar, for his music reflects much of the 19th century mid-European symphonic school in which Minsky has specialized.

Indeed, this was the finest performance I have heard of the Enigma Variation given by the KZNPO.

Minsky kept the tempi comfortably restrained, with the details of performance and characterization of each variation clearly meaningful. Each section of the orchestra, from the rich string playing and the clarity of the wood winds to the warm, enforced and blended brass, played with concentration and purpose.

Vaughan-Williams's music is particularly expressive of the English temperament and character, with both the Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and the Oboe Concerto reflecting the lyricism, tranquility and homespun nature of his music.

In the Fantasia, which is effectely scored for two different sized string groups and occasional solo moments, Minsky exploited beautifully the imaginative string textures and the expressive variety of sound, sustaining the lyrical, folk-flavored quality throughout. ...

Benjamin Britten's Four Sea Interludes, a descriptive and virtuoso work for large orchestra, provided a good contrast to the Vaughan-Williams pieces, with its more dissonant idiom, its fascinating cross-rhythms and colorful orchestration. Minsky's meticulous rehearing produced a performance full of character and atmosphere.

This was a concert of consistently fine performances by the KZNPO under the direction of a highly sensitive and perceptive musician."

Barbara Trofimczyk


BRAHMS - Piano Concerto no. 2

BRAHMS - Symphony no. 1

Soloist: Sergei EDELMAN

"Meir Minsky's interpretation of this wonderful score (Symphony no. 1), reflected Brahm's clarity of thought and formal logic, and his rich orchestral textures.
With perfectly chosen tempi and full exploitation of the scope for expressive dynamics, he captured effectively the heroic quality of the music, coaxing some lively and expressive playing from the orchestra."

Barbara Trofimczyk


MUSSORGSKY - "Night on a Bald Mountain"

TCHAIKOVSKY - Piano Concerto no. 1

SHOSTAKOVITCH - Symphony no. 5

Soloist: Margarita SCHEVCHENKO

"Meir Minsky conducting the KZNPO for the third successive week, has been a great success with the orchestra, and Durban has enjoyed his presence on the podium. Mussorgsky's colorful and programmatic Night on a Bald Mountain, and the stirring SymphonyNo. 5 by Shostakovich, both perfect opportunities for orchestral and conducting virtuosity and display, were wonderfully exciting and musically articulate, the orchestra excelling under Minsky's direction.

It was another superb concert by the KZNPO."

Barbara Trofimczyk


Meir Minsky Conducted 7th State Orchestra Concert

HINDEMITH - "Mathis Sinfonie"

MOZART - Piano Concert, K-466

STRAUSS - "Till Eulenspiegel"

When a guest conductor springs in to take over a previously planned program, it deserves acknowledgement because thus the over all concept of a cycle remains intact. Meir Minsky, who led the Seventh Symphony Concert of the State Opera, however, needed no regrets about the originally established program, as it contained two works - Hindemith's "Mathis Sinfonie" and Strauss; "Till Eulenspiegel"- both presenting very gratifying tasks for conductor.

Meir Minsky was born in Poland in 1949, raised in Israel, studying music there and later in Italy, and resides not in New York. With his powerfully gripping temperament rhythmical assurance and well-developed feeling for tone and color, Minsky displayed a tension-filled performance, offering a thrilling rendition of Paul Hindemith's "Mathis der Maler", composed in 1934. He kept a perfect balance between the expressive gestics to which Hindemith was inspired by the pictures of Matthias Bruenewald at the Altars of Isenheim, and the occasionally over board counterpoint skills of the composer.

Especially expressive was the Third Movement (Versuchung des Heiligen Antoinus) in the declamation of the strings and the impetuosity of the brass section in the "Alleluia" beautifully played.

In "Till Eulenspiegels Lustige Streiche" by Richard Strauss, Meir Minsky highlighted the pertness of this ingenious score with high-spirited dash. With his unusual elasticity of music making and his delight in the humour and esprit of the forever-young impishness of these melodies, he was able to camouflage a few weaknesses in the performance. But all in all, the orchestra was in good form and the brilliant soli received abundant applause.

Albert-Peter Ritz


MOZART - "Paris Symphony"
MENDELSSOHN - Concerto for 2 pianos and orchestra, E Major
Schubert - "Unfinished"

"The conductor Meir Minsky, by using sweeping gestures – brought out of the orchestra a precise and lively Mozart touch."

Schubert at the end - High Point

Meir Minsky, who lives in New York, is a conductor of strong will and challenging creative power. This fact became evident especially after the intermission. The way he sounds out Schubert's "Unfinished" and then works it up into a fresh experience, develops into an extremely strong adventure.

Minsky conducted in convincing combinations of strength and softness, tension and release, and allowed the opposites of unfathomable grief and resplendent, consoling thoughts, to hit at each other; and as the orchestra followed him with exemplary presence and intensity, there arose, the otherwise so often neglected music, in its full growth and depth. For this - the audience thanked - obviously, deeply moved - the guest and the orchestra.

Fred Sallenbach


BRAHMS - Double Concerto
BRAHMS - Symphony no. 4
Soloists - Gidon KREMER, Mischa MAISKY

The Westpahlian Symphony Orchestra was very well aware of the responsibility entailed in accompanying these two virtuosi. This may have been mainly due to the merit of the capable young conductor, Meir Minsky. This fast-rising conductor proved his sense for dramatic musical development and transposition of form also in the following Fourth Symphony in E Minor by Brahms, with its powerful passacaglia in the finale. The Orchestra gave its best, which was well appreciated by the audience.

Joachim Ludewig