Suri Kasirer, left, of the concert tribute
committee, with Jane and Ishaia Gol,
concert co-chairs.

Sign Of The Time
Turns Maestro On

OLFGANG SAWALLISCH, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, made his maiden voyage to Israel in 1996 when he conducted the Israel Philharmonic. Leah Rabin, who headed the International Friends of the Sheba Medical Center-Tel Hashomer, took the Munich-born maestro and his wife Mechthild on a visit to the hospital, noted for its cancer research and hospice care.

Two years later, Mechthild succumbed to cancer.

“This was a sign for me,” Sawallisch said, “to give concerts in support of this great hospital.”

Sawallisch recently appeared at Christie’s in Rockefeller Plaza in a benefit for the hospital’s department of chemotherapy, named in memory of his wife. He played the piano for violinist Gil Shaham in a recital of Beethoven, Brahms and Bloch.

Mordechai Shani, the hospital’s director general, told me that his colleague at he hospital, Dr. Bolek Goldman, is Ariel Sharon’s personal physician.

Shani said he served as minister of health in Yitzhak Rabin’s cabinet in 1993-96.

“What party do you belong to?” I asked.

“I’m not a party member,” he said. “I’m a doctor.”


[ Back to Top ]