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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Orchestra, always committed to cultural diplomacy, will return to Europe and then go to Israel in late May.

The concerts will bring the orchestra to six European cities, including Brussels, Paris, Hamburg and Vienna, then Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin will lead the orchestra to historical famous halls in Europe, but also newer classical music centers.

“To have the Philadelphia Sound there will be wonderful,” Nezet-Seguin said. “I can’t wait.”

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The famous Philadelphians trip to Israel is rather unique.

“This is, of course, to mark the 70th anniversary of the country,” he said.

The Philadelphia Orchestra is the only major American symphony orchestra to travel to Israel this anniversary year, and only the third to ever visit the country.

“For me it will also be my first trip ever to Israel, and I couldn’t have dreamt of better company than all of my musicians in the Philadelphia Orchestra,” he said.

During the briefing at the Kimmel Center, two Israeli born orchestra musicians performed.


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