The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra

Music director: David Shemer 

The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, the first Israeli ensemble to perform Baroque music on period instruments and with Baroque techniques, was founded in 1989 by harpsichordist Prof. David Shemer, who continues to be its musical director. As of 2006, Maestro Andrew Parrott has served as the orchestra’s honorary conductor. The JBO’s annual concert series takes place in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, offering performance of Baroque- and early Classical works, hosting some of today’s most outstanding early music artists from Europe and the USA, among them Andrew Parrott, Roberto Gini, Philippe Pierlot, 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 holds two annual Jerusalem festivals: “Bach in Jerusalem”, taking place in March around 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 concert tours in Germany and Estonia. 

The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra is supported by the Cultural Administration of the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport and by the Cultural Department of the Jerusalem Municipality.

David Shemer, artistic director // Harpsichordist, conductor and teacher

Prof. David Shemer has long been one of the leading figures on the early music scene in Israel. He teaches harpsichord and early music at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He is also invited to hold master classes in Israel, Europe and the USA. David Shemer serves as artistic director and conductor of the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, which he established in 1989. As a soloist, chamber musician and conductor he appears and records in Europe and the USA. His recording of J.S.Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” has received enthusiastic reviews from critics  and audiences alike.