Astrith Baltsan, presenter
Israeli pianist Astrith Baltsan was born in Tel Aviv and is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of both the piano and musicology departments at the Tel Aviv University. She won the Julliard School scholarship for graduate studies, and completed her doctorate in piano performance in the Manhattan School of Music. A first prize winner in the Banff Concerto Competition (Canada) and the Concert Artists Guild’s Auditions in New York City, she received numerous awards from the Yale University, The Tanglewood Festival, the La Gesse Festival in France, the Tutzing Festival in Munich and the Ernen Chamber Festival in Switzerland. Astrith Baltsan returned to Israel in 1986 to join the faculty of the Rubin Academy of Music at the Tel Aviv University. She became a regular participant in the Israel Festival, Jerusalem, The Musica Da Camera Festival, Tel Aviv and the Music Festival in Misgav, Acre and Haifa. In addition to solo recitals, she performs as soloist with all major orchestras in Israel, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. She has recorded for the Israel Broadcasting Service, Israeli Television, WFUV New York, CBS Radio and Television Canada and Radio France. She published numerous articles researching the form and content of classical masterpieces. Dr. Baltsan is critically acclaimed for her interpretation of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann and Brahms. She is also known for performances of contemporary music, and many Israeli pieces have been written especially for her performances of original Israeli music. She was the music director of the Musica Nova Ensemble for contemporary music (1986-1992). In 1989 she was appointed pianist in residence and music director of chamber activities in the Pierre Monteux Memorial Festival in Maine, USA.
In 1990 Astrith Baltsan began to develop her unique concept of a classical concert, which reaches out for larger audience. Her concerts-series “Classics in Personal View” presents performances of classical masterpieces coupled with her unique story-telling and multimedia devices such as video clips, fusion of various musical styles like classical, pop, and jazz with guest artists, opera singers, players, dancers and actors. Her concerts revolutionized the classical music scene and became the largest classical series in Israel. “Astrith Baltsan ‘s Classical Piano Show is a fascinating mixture of culture and entertainment touching every aspect of human existence thus making classical music for once both accessible and relevant” (The Jerusalem Post). Baltsan performs extensively in Israel, with all major orchestras , including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta, in concertos, recital and in chamber music. She was awarded the Tel Aviv Prize for performance, The Ministry of culture Award for performance of contemporary Israeli music (1993), the Ministry of Education Prize (1990) for new paths in music education, has her own TV and radio series on clasisscal music , published 4 books and released 10 cds and DVD.
Her programs are broadcasted regularly in Israel Classical Chanel Kol Hamusica. Her concerts tours as soloist include Europe, the US, Canda, Cetral America, Australia ,and the Far East. In January 2006 she was awarded "The Audience Choice" Prize in a competition held by Israel largest newpaper Yedioth Aharonoth (2006). In 2007 – "The best Classical performer prize" by Mifal Hapais (2008), and Excellence in music prize from Israel Government and Ministry of Education (2011). Her research and book + cd on Hatikva – Israel's national anthem – became a best seller and was cricatlly acclaimed as a Unique Achievement in Israel's Cultural Life and in the entire Jewish World.