A b o u t   t h e   o r c h e s t r a 

Since its establishment in 1970, the Netanya Kibbutz Orchestra - NIKO (former "The Israel Kibbutz Orchetsra"), has been regarded as an excellent and unique musical institution, and one of the shapers of the Israeli cultural landscape. Since 2002, its musical director and principal conductor has been Yaron Gottfried - one of the most prominent of a generation of young musicians, a conductor, pianist and composer, who has bridged the gap between classical and contemporary music.

The Ideal and the Mission - Quality Classical Music for the Periphery:
The NIKO is the only Israeli orchestra that has - for more than 15 years - provided concert series for both subscribers and the broad public in venues in outlying regions of the country: Nahariya (the Western Galilee), Dorot (near Shderot), Ein Hashofet ( in the Menashe mountains), Kimron (Bet She'an), Ein Hachoresh (Hefer Valley), Givat Brenner (coastal plain), Ashkelon, as well as the Tel Aviv Art Museum and the Givatayim Theatre in the center of Israel. In addition, the orchestra performs, within various frameworks at other places such as Sdeh Boker, Kiryat Gat, Afula, Be'er Sheva, Carmiel, Or Akiva, Kfar Blum, Kiryat Shemona, Tiberias and Kinneret. In doing so, it fulfills the ideal of its founders , namely bringing quality classical music to music lovers in peripheral settlements throughout the country, as well as to the frontline areas.

The Artistic Program:
the NIKO, which has 36 musicians, performs 120 concerts every season. The imaginative, up-to-date and refreshing artistic programs have constantly earned high praise from critics and audiences alike. What distinguishes it is its original, experiential and refreshing approach- classical pieces alongside folklore and jazz, and combinations of different styles, artistic, vocal and visual. This distinctive line of repertoire initiated by Musical Director Yaron Gottfried, integrates cooperation with leading artists and choirs from Israel and abroad such as:- The New Potsdam Chamber Choir, Rishar Galiano, the Swingle Singers, Hagi Shaham, Mendi Roden, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, the Noah Dar Dance Group, video-artists and others… Each year these programs attract 50,000 visitors of all ages to packed concert halls. At times the audiences are obliged to sit on the stairs. Most of the NIKO's members come from the periphery - from the kibbutzim Hanita and Cabri in the north to Kibbutz Maagan in the south. Some are immigrants from the former Soviet Union, for whom the orchestra is their cultural and professional home and, as such, an important element in their absorption into Israeli society. The rapport between musicians coming from different backgrounds produces a special ambiance of excitement, mutual support and creative joy that stands out clearly in their performances.

Educational Activities:
The orchestra is involved in a large educational program, the "To Touch Music" project for schoolchildren from the periphery as well as from the center of the country. This project, together with the national cultural organization "Sal Tarbut Artzi, the Academy of Music in Jerusalem and Dr. Yael Shai (Supervisor of Musical Education , Ministry of Education(?) provides children with their first direct and personal encounter with classical music, musical instruments, musicians and with exemplary compositions. Within the framework of this project, small chamber music groups from the orchestra visit specific classrooms during the year and give concerts with accompanying explanations. Towards the end of the year, when the children are familiar with the music and properly prepared, a full orchestral concert is given, where they encounter the instruments and the musicians. More than 6,000 children participate annually in this project, and following its huge success it is expected to be expanded from year to year. This year members of the orchestra will give 50 classroom chamber music concerts and 20 orchestral concerts.

Community Participation:
In addition to all the above activities, the NIKO invites sectors of the population with special needs (blind, brain damaged, severely disabled and people in need of psychiatric care) to concerts at special venues around the country such as "Bet Uri" in Afula, and "Kishurit" near Nahariya

The NIKO has gained great esteem both in Israel and around the world. Its performances in the USA, Mexico, Korea, Germany and Spain have been highly successful. Since its foundation in 1970, under the baton of conductors such as Avi Ostrovsky, Noam Sheriff and Doron Solomon, the NIKO has won numerous awards and prizes, including the ACUM Prize, The Top Hat Prize and the Prize of the Public Council for Culture and Arts.
M a e s t r o    Y a r o n    G o t t f r i e d 

Yaron Gottfried - General Music Director

The NIKO's Music Director and Principal Conductor - Yaron Gottfriedis one of the most prominent musicians of the young generation in Israel - a conductor, pianist and composer, a versatile musician who bridges between classical and contemporary music.
Maestro Gottfried regularly appears with the top orchestras in Israel and worldwide, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, the Haifa Symphony and the Jerusalem (IBA) Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Sinfonietta Beer Sheva.
Abroad he has conducted the Mav and Duna Symphony Orchestras in Budapest, the Debrecen Philharmonic, the New Chamber Orchestra of Potsdam, the Salta Orchestra (Argentine), the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra (Texas), the La Cross Symphony Orchestra (Wisconsin), the Vancouver Orchestra and more.
In 2008 he made a successful debut in the Forbidden City with the Beijing Xinkogqi Orchestra. In 2010-2011 he is invited to appear with the Portland Chamber Orchestra and the La Cross Orchestra.
His original compositions have gained high regard and acclaim and are regularly performed by various orchestras in Israel and worldwide and broadcast on radio and television. In addition, his works were recently performed in the Villa Celimontana and Armonia Festivals in Italy and in Vendsyssel (Denmark).

Maestro Gottfried is the chosen artist of the Foundation for Excellence in 2003-7. He is a member of the prestigious MacDowell Artists Center in the USA, won First Prize at a conducting competition in the framework of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and America-Israel Cultural Foundation's "Artist's Week", as well as First Prize in a composer's competition of the Red Sea International Jazz Festival. He has led the NIKO to the unique rank it currently enjoys, as the leading Israeli orchestra in innovative and attractive repertoire and unprecedented success among the music-loving audience in Israel.

O r c h e s t r a    m e m b e r s  
Music Director: Yaron Gottfried
First Violins
Ella Vaulin***
Gilad Hildesheim***
Hadas Fabrikant
Mari Rutshtein
Pavel Levin
Gennadi Talis
Baruch Stern
Second Violins
Rachel Ringelstein*
Ina Tillis
Svetlana Kaminsky
Gary Kholodenko
Uri Lavi
Lina Tartakovsky*
Roman Kononevich
Yaacov Avnet
Tami Waterman*
Tlalit Tshersky
Marina Kanievsky
Yifat Weltman
Jonathan Ron*
Ran Ben-Naftali
Ela Elina Haikin
Daphna Itzhaky
Hila Peleg*
Miki Lam

Eila Nadav*
Miri Ziskind
Nitzan Caspi*
Shelly Danzer
Ruthi Varon*
Amit Cohen
Guy Sarig*
Tal Kaz
Timpani & Percussions
Omri Blau*
O r c h e s t r a    A d m i n i s t r a t i o n  

Edna Solodar
Head of the
Management Committee

Ehud Gross
General Manager
Sales and advertising manager
Tzipi Laski
Shoshi Hirsch
Ruth Dagan
Stage Manager
Amit Cohen
Office Support Staff
Dorit Nesher
Re c o r d s    &   C D    
Gershwin: Porgy & Bess suite
Macdowell: Indian suite
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Music from the British Islands
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Johan Sebastian Bach: Mass in B minor B.W.V 232
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The NIKO strings - play Israeli music
CD Released by COCH
Cover of 'Music for strings'
CD - "Siniza I Fumo" - Daniel Akiva In memory of the Jews from Saloniki - 1996
CD - "Return to the South", Israeli Composers - 1992
L.P. Haydn Symphonies 39 and 44 - 1980
L.P. Italian Music - 1980
C o n c e r t    t o u r s  
  • 1998 - Germany - Doron Salomon
  • 1995 - Albania, Italy, France, Spain - Doron Salomon
  • 1994 - Germany, Croatia - Doron Salomon
  • 1993 - South Korea - Doron Salomon
  • 1992 - Spain, Germany - Lior Shambadal
  • 1990 - Germany, Hungary - Lior Shambadal
  • 1988 - Germany - Lior Shambadal
  • 1987 - Spain,Germany,Norway - Shalom Ronli-Riklis
  • 1982 - USA-East Coast (Columbia Artists) - Noam Sheriff
  • 1981 - Mexico - Noam Sheriff
  • 1979 - Belgium, France and England - Noam Sheriff
  • 1977 - Germany, Switzerland - Noam Sheriff

T h e    I K O    i s    s u p p o r t e d    b y :
  • The Ministry of Culture and Sport -
    Culture Administration
  • The Federation of the Kibbutz Movements
  • Omanut La'am
  • The Rich Foundation
  • The Pais Lottery
  • Beracha Foundation
  • Kanfei Meshek Tourism
  • Visa, Isracard

The Kibbutz movement Beracha Foundation The Ministry of Culture and Sports - Culture Administration The Pais Lottery
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