Founded in 1961 as a music festival at the ancient Roman amphitheater in Caesarea, the Israel Festival set home in Jerusalem in 1980’s, establishing itself as Israel’s premiere multi-disciplinary international festival. The Festival takes place annually in the spring, presenting outstanding theatre performances, contemporary dance, classical music and performance from around the world, along with ground breaking Israeli works and open to the public street performances.
Attended by over 35,000 people the Israel Festival is one of the city’s most important cultural assets, vital to a modern, dynamic and pluralistic Jerusalem, empowering community, advancing education, and contributing to the economy and to tourism by positioning Jerusalem as a national and international cultural destination.
The Festival takes places at the Jerusalem Theatre, in other venues and site-specific spaces throughout the city and occasionally in other parts of the country as well. Past festival participants include Maurice Béjart, Bill Forsythe, Alvin Ailey, the Kirov Ballet, Peter Brook, Robert Wilson, Complicité, Zakir Hussein, Daniel Barenboim, The Trisha Brown Dance Company, Romeo Castelluchi, the Ensemble Modern, She She Pop and many more. Hosting leading artists from around the world and engaging emerging and established Israeli artists, the Israel Festival provides an important platform for inter-cultural encounter and dialogue.
The 55th edition of the Israel Festival will continue to build on the Festival’s strong brand recognition, uncompromising quality and prestige, while introducing an innovative and compelling cross-disciplinary artistic program, catering to the festival traditional audience and to new, younger crowds, students and professionals.