The world-famous Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra will join musical forces with Montreal’s Ensemble Caprice to perform works by Rameau, Charpentier, Telemann and three songs by Montreal composer Nico Jaap Hamburger at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, October 23. David Shemar will conduct the works by Rameau and Telleman, and Matthias Maute will conduct the pieces by Charpentier and Hamburger

The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra is the first Israeli ensemble to perform Baroque music on period instruments and with Baroque techniques. The orchestra was founded in 1989 by harpsichordist Prof. David Shemar, who continues to be its Musical Director.

In a recent interview, Ensemble Caprice founder Matthias Maute noted; “This is the biggest musical exchange between Israel and Quebec – possibly Canada. Musicians from the two orchestras will perform as one large ensemble for the Montreal concert.” Matthias continues; “From our end, we leave our comfort zone for a whirlwind of ideas and inspiration when we take our places alongside other accomplished musicians. It’s always been our mission to keep trying our new musical ideas and experiences. Music is a wonderful way to span the difference between cultures.”

“We start off as colleagues and we end up as friends.”

… Matthias Maute, Ensemble Caprice

Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra

The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra with Musical Director Prof. David Shemar

To further illustrate the power of music, Matthias recounts how the musicians of Ensemble Caprice and the singers from Ensemble Vocal Arts Quebec shared their music during the past two summers of the pandemic. “We normally perform seventy concerts per year, but that came to an end in 2020. During the past two summers, we went door-to-door in less affluent neighbourhoods, places where you might not think people would enjoy classical music. We went in pairs, with one musician and one singer and we performed on the sidewalk in front of their house or building. We gave 9,000 mini-concerts, and we were curious to see if classical music would mean something to these audiences. It was a huge success! It was touching to see how much people appreciated our music.” Ensemble Caprice won the 2020 OPUS Award for Musical Event of the Year for their impromptu concerts.

“We want to bring that personal touch to the concert halls, to adapt our mini-concert experiences to larger halls.”

The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra’s annual concert series takes place in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, offering performances of Baroque and early Classical works. Their concerts feature some of today’s most outstanding early music artists from Europe and the USA; among them Andrew Parrott, Roberto Gini, Philippe Pier lot, Michael Schneider, Joshua Rifkin, Kati Debretzeni, Peter Harvey, Walter Reiter, Alfredo Bernadini, Enrico Onofri and Lina Tur Bonet, as well as leading Israeli Baroque musicians.

The orchestra also places emphasis on educational activities. JBO recordings include“Hagar and Ishmael” (A. Scarlatti) and J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations (harpsichord: David Shemer).

The orchestra hosts two annual Jerusalem festivals: Bach in Jerusalem, taking place in March near the date of Bach’s birth, and the Vocal Fantasy Festival, a summer event giving center stage to the human voice. Following successful overseas tours, the JBO recently returned from critically acclaimed concert tours in Germany and Estonia.

During the world-wide Covid-19 pandemic, the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra continued their artistic endeavours as much as possible; and have been performing chamber concerts that are broadcast live to audiences in Israel and abroad. Most recently, JBO presented a Vocal Fantasy ONLINE Festival, broadcasting 5 concerts, including Handel’s St. John Passion and other chamber, operatic and choral concerts that took place in various locations in Jerusalem. The live-streaming performances were met with enthusiastic online audiences online and garnered wonderful reviews. Some of the recent online concerts can be viewed in the orchestra’s YouTube page:

The combined baroque orchestras, Israeli soprano Daniela Skorka and the Ensemble Vocal Arts Quebec choir promises to provide an inspired concert of early music on October 23 at 7:30pm. Théâtre Rialto is at 5723, Avenue du Parc. Tickets are available at Eventbrite: