26 February 2017 - 30 Shevat 5777 - ל' שבט ה' אלפים תשע"ז
Arts & Culture
8th Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival E-mail

Premiere Performances, a presenter of solo recitals and chamber music concerts, has announced the lineup for the 8th Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival (HKICMF), to be held from 14 to 25 January, 2017.

For the first time in the festival’s history, there will be a Composer in Residence, Australian violist and composer Brett Dean, who is much in demand as a composer around the world. Dean is coming to Hong Kong following a period as Artist in Residence for the Taiwan Philharmonic. His stay in Hong Kong is a collaboration between Premiere Performances and two performing groups: the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and the New Music Ensemble – the two groups will perform Dean’s compositions in January, with participation by Dean himself.

HKICMF is known for pairing new works with established classics, so three Brett Dean compositions are paired with masterworks by Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart. Epitaphs, for viola quintet, will be the featured piece in the programme on 21 January at City Hall Theatre, and will be performed by Dean together with the Borromeo Quartet.

Premièred at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival, Epitaphs paints portraits of five of the composer’s friends who passed away. Sketches for Siegbert, to be played by Dean on solo viola in the concert on 23 January at Tsuen Wan Town Hall, honours Siegbert Ueberschaer, Dean’s colleague in the Berlin Philharmonic viola section. Finally, Huntingdon Eulogy (2001), commissioned by the BBC, will be played by US cellist Nicholas Cannelakis and Hong Kongbased pianist Evelyn Chang in the closing concert on 25 January at Sha Tin Town Hall. The piece is named for the Hunting don Estate winery in Australia, home to a music festival that Dean has been associated with since 1997.

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Art Therapy Workshop E-mail

IsraAID Nepal in collaboration with the Embassy of Israel in Nepal organised a workshop on “Art Therapy: The use of art and creative process for mental wellbeing” from 3 to 6 October.

The workshop gave participants an introduction to art therapy as a therapeutic tool that can enable emotional expression and enhance coping strategies for individual and group empowerment. The three-day workshop, with 15 participants representing various organisations, was facilitated by Israeli art therapists Dr Elana Lakh and Anat Gilad.

The closing ceremony was held in the presence of Yaron Mayer, Israel’s Ambassador to Nepal; Mohan Singh Rathore, Chairman of Good Governance and Monitoring Parliamentary Committee; Nabaraj Dhakal, Former AIG, Nepal Police, and other distinguished guests.

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Ancient gate-shrine uncovered in Tel Lachish National Park E-mail

An important and unusual discovery was made in archaeological excavations earlier this year in the Tel Lachish National Park in Israel: a gate-shrine dating from the First Temple period (eighth century BCE), in what archaeologists consider compelling evidence of King Hezekiah’s efforts to abolish worship there.

The archaeological excavation was conducted from January to March by the Israel Antiquities Authority, at the initiative of the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage and in co-operation with the Nature and Parks Authority, in order to further the continued development of the Tel Lachish National Park.

The northern part of the gate was uncovered decades ago by a British expedition and an expedition of the Tel Aviv University, and the current excavation was engaged in completely exposing the gate. The gate that was revealed in the excavation is the largest one known in the country from the First Temple period.

Sa’ar Ganor, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said: “The size of the gate is consistent with the historical and archaeological knowledge we possess, whereby Lachish was a major city and the most important one after Jerusalem. According to the biblical narrative, the city’s gates were the place where ‘everything took place’: the city elders, judges, governors, kings and officials – everyone would sit on benches in the city gate. These benches were found in our excavation.”

The Lachish city gate, which is now completely exposed and preserved to a height of four metres, consists of six chambers, three on either side, and the city’s main street that passed between them. Artifacts discovered in its rooms indicate how they were used: in the first chamber were benches with armrests, at the foot of which were numerous finds including jars, a large number of scoops for loading grain, and stamped jar handles that bear the name of the official or a “lmlk” (belonging to the king) seal impression.

Two of the handles have the seal impression “lmlk hbrn” (belonging to the king of Hebron). The word “lmlk” is written on one of the handles, together with a depiction of a four-winged beetle (scarab), and another impression bears the name “lnhm avadi”, who was probably a senior official during the reign of King Hezekiah. It seems that these jars were related to the military and administrative preparations of the Kingdom of Judah in the war against Sennacherib, king of Assyria, in the late eighth century BCE.

The continuation of the building is the gate-shrine, whose walls were treated with white plaster. According to Ganor, “Steps to the gate-shrine in the form of a staircase ascended to a large room where there was a bench upon which offerings were placed.

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