Israel's history of musical controversy





Since its founding in 1948, Israel has observed an informal ban on Wagner’s music because of its use in Nazi propaganda before and during World War II.

In 1953 on a tour to Israel, revered violinist Jascha Heifetz was attacked by a man with an iron bar after playing a violin sonata by Richard Strauss, who had been head of the State Music Bureau for several years under the Third Reich but who, it was later revealed, detested the Nazis and conformed to help protect his Jewish daughter-in-law and Jewish grandchildren. Strauss's music is no longer unofficially banned in Israel and is performed and broadcast regularly.

In 1998, Israel's Tel Aviv opera company shelved plans to perform a Wagner aria after dozens protested.

The Berlin Philharmonic was also barred from Israel because its conductor for more than three decades, Herbert von Karajan, was a Nazi party member. However they came to Israel under conductor Daniel Barenboim in 1990. Karajan died in 1989....



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