The Emek Hefer Chamber Choir, Israel's first regional choir, was founded in 1965 by the renowned choral conductor Henry Klausner. Over the years conductors have included Maya Shavit, Naomi Faran, Ronit Eisenberg, Varda Zelig and Yael Kain.
In 2000, following his successful career in St. Petersburg, Shimon Levtov was appointed Conductor and Musical Director.
The choir numbers over fifty singers from Emek Hefer and the Sharon (coastal, rural areas between the towns of Hadera and Herzliya), and includes men and women from every walk of life.
Weekly rehearsals are held in the Community Hall of Moshav Beit Yitzchak, Emek Hefer, every Sunday between 20:00 - 23:00.
The diverse repertoire includes compositions accompanied by piano and orchestra as well as a cappella, from baroque, classical and romantic periods to modern composers, including traditional Israel, Jewish and world music.
The choir has performed with leading Israel orchestras including the Jerusalem, Haifa and Rishon Lezion Symphony Orchestras, The Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva and the Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra.
Major works performed by the choir include, among others:
- Handel’s Messiah
- Mozart’s Requiem and Great Mass in C Minor
- Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Theresienmesse
- Rossini’s Missa di Gloria
- Verdi’s Requiem
- Bethoven's 9th symphony
- Brahm’s German Requiem
- Puccini’s Petite Messe Solennelle
- Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances
- Aaron Harlap's Requiem
- Orffs' Carmina Burana
The choir regularly takes part in musical events, festivals and competitions in Israel and abroad. The choir took part in the Abu Gosh Festival in Israel, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, St. Petersburg’s 300 Year Anniversary in Russia, the Kodaly Festival in Hungary and a Jubilee Celebration in Siegen, Germany (twin city to the Emek Hefer region of Israel).
The choir sang with the Israel Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra under the baton of Ada Peleg at the Henry Crown Hall in Jerusalem. This concert was broadcast live worldwide by the EBU (European Broadcasting Union).
The performance of Verdi's Reqiem at the Tel Aviv Center for the Performing Arts with the Rishon LeZion Symphony Orchestra under conducter Andres Mustonen, was broadcast live by the Israel Broadcasting Authority on their classical music program.
The Choir is supported by the Emek Hefer Regional Council and takes part in concerts and other events ocurring in Emek Hefer.
Ella Levtov - Accompanying Pianist
Mrs. Levtov has a master's degree from the St. Petersburg Academy of Music in Russia. Mrs. Levtov has been working with the choir since 2003, at both rehearsals and performances.