Flowers for the maestro ... Gil Shohat with Nelly Perry at the Sharon Hotel, Herzliya. Below: Gil enjoying the applause from an appreciative audience after his performance
Photos: Mike Altman
Ten years ago, ESRA’s Hand-in-Hand Food Pantry committee - set up in Netanya to provide food to families in need - approached Nelly Perry and asked if she would be prepared to organize an event in support of this worthy project. Nelly agreed, and this year marked the 10th annual performance by the eminent conductor, composer and pianist, Gil Shohat – by now a personal friend of Nelly. Their relationship goes back some 20 years, having first met through his master class teacher, Mario Curcio, who was a patient of her late husband.
Raising money for hungry families resonates with Nelly because of her own parents’ experience during World War II. For the greater part of the war Nelly’s parents were in hiding in Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania. Somehow they survived in spite of having had virtually no food to eat for five years.
As in previous years, Gil Shohat introduced the concert with the words “As long as there is one hungry child in Israel – I will perform.” This he continues to do as a gift to ESRA and the families who benefit from his outstanding talent. He wooed his audience with a challenging program that included Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 21 in C major and Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor - the piano solo version compiled by the maestro himself. His introduction of each piece added an enhancing dimension for all privileged to be entertained by this superb artist and warm human being.
The audience at the Sharon Hotel settling down for the concert
It has not been an easy year finding the funds enabling the Hand-in-Hand Food Pantry to continue to supply much needed food for the hungry. This memorable evening, which attracted an audience of over 200, will enable many families (who might otherwise have gone hungry) to enjoy Pesach.
Heartfelt thanks goes to the prime sponsors, Gil Shohat and the Sharon Hotel. Nelly expressed her gratitude to the hardworking members of the Hand-in-Hand Committee as well as ESRA Netanya.
ESRA expresses its deep appreciation of Nelly.