August 1st - August 20th 2021


Tel-Hai festival of 2020 has moved online! for more information on this year's festival, click here.

The Master Classes take place at our summer home, Midreshet Sde Boker – an inspiring environment, located in the magical region of Ramat HaNegev.

The program is 20 days in total (including days of arrival and departure) and sub-divided equally into 2 terms of 10 days. During the program, the participants receive individual lessons, attend daily public masterclasses and evening concerts and may apply and take part in the various workshops, as detailed below.

Each participant is assigned to a faculty member of his or her choice, as indicated in the application form, for regular classwork during each term of the course. Outstanding students will be recommended for lessons with Guest Faculty. In addition, some students will be invited to perform at the public Master Classes in the afternoons. Students are encouraged to apply and perform in the student concerts during the program. If interested and qualified, students may apply to Tel-Hai's Concerto Competition (see relevant information below).

On the last evening, students travel from the southern campus of Sde Boker to Tel-Aviv for Tel-Hai’s annual Gala Concert at the Tel-Aviv Arts Museum, in which outstanding participants of the course will be invited to perform.

The daily routine during the program:

Individual lessons and workshops take place daily from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.

Public Master Classes are every day from 4.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

Evenings are dedicated to student concerts and other events, usually at 8.00 p.m.


Considering the importance of performing in public, a number of public concerts will take place during the course. Be ready to perform from the first day! Please include in the application form the pieces you prefer and are ready to play in public. The concert programs will be devised in consultation with the faculty. If you intend to perform a concerto, be sure to have a two-piano score.

The Art-Song Workshop

Whether on the concert stage or in parlor music-making, the voice and the piano are arguably the closest allies and collaborators. Think of the glorious songs by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wolf, Faure, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Mahler, Strauss, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and more…

Some of today’s and yesterday’s greatest pianists are/were astounding collaborators to singers – Barenboim, Brendel, Horowitz (listen to his live recording with Fischer-Dieskau of the Schumann Dichterliebe), Uchida, Schiff, not to speak of the incomparable Gerald Moore.

Most significantly, the singers’ handling of a musical line, their breathing and articulation constitute an ideal for every pianist to seek.

Art-song builds upon an intimate inter-relationship between the music and the words. Both performers – the singer and the pianist – communicate meanings and feelings expressed within this relationship. Both need to understand the music and the text. Thus, while preparing a song, the pianist should study not only the instrumental part but also the singer's part and the poem. Students participating in the art-song workshop are expected to be well-heeded in these different aspects of the song: poems translated and understood, piano parts mastered and vocal material learned. Such preparation will enable a fascinating and enjoyable work, with resident singers, on a collaborative interpretation of a great repertoire.

Master-classes students interested in taking part in the Workshop are requested to indicate so in the Application Form. They will be contacted by the office about the repertoire.

Chamber Music Workshop

Mindful of the significance of chamber music in pianist’s professional life, a Chamber Music Workshop is offered to the Master Classes participants applying for the full term or for the first half of the Classes. This year, the focus is on sonatas for violin and piano, viola and piano, cello and piano, and piano trios. The faculty string players, in the true spirit of collaborative music-making, will take an active part in building performances, sharing their experience, knowledge, and insight in the process. Successful projects may be presented in Master Classes public concerts. As the number of places in the Workshop is limited, only those genuinely interested in the subject and with previous experience in studying and performing chamber music should apply.

If you intend to join the Chamber Music Workshop, please indicate so in the application, specifying one complete composition which you wish to work on. The piano part should be ready for rehearsing from day one of the course.

Following is the list of works you may choose from:

Any sonata for violin and piano or viola and piano (preference will be given to sonatas by Beethoven, as we are celebrating Beethoven this year)


A sonata for cello and piano: Beethoven (no. 1, 2, and 3), Brahms (no. 1), Franck, Shostakovich; and Fantasy Pieces op. 73 by Schumann,


A trio for violin, cello, and piano: Beethoven (op.1 no. 1, 2, and 3; op. 70 no. 1, op. 97), Schubert (both), Mendelssohn op. 49 no. 1, Brahms (trios in B and in C minor).

Improvisation Workshop

During his workshops, Guy Mintus sets out to connect the participants deeper with the core of their own musical expression by using an approach that is both technical and holistic.

In this intensive session, participants will take part in musical games, experiments, exercises that will reveal the improviser and the inner voice in each participant.

The workshop will include taking pieces from the participants’ repertoire and using them as springboards for improvisations, re-imaginations, and musical explorations.

Guy had taught globally at institutions such as UCLA; Royal Conservatory Madrid; University of Cincinnati; University of Toledo; KM School of Music & Technology, Chennai; Tel Aviv-Vienna Vocal Connection; Thelma Yellin High School of Arts, and more.

Concerto Competition

In what has become a meaningful annual event in Israel's musical calendar, the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, one of this country's leading performing bodies, presents within its regular season a Gala Concert with the winner of the Tel-Hai Concerto Competition as soloist. The Gala Concert is a fully professional event, on par with the orchestra's subscription concerts.

Since the 2011-12 concert season, Tel-Hai Concerto Competition prizewinners are also featured as soloists with the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra at their annual “Rising Stars” concerts.

The Master Classes participants, of sufficient accomplishment and experience to rise to the occasion, are invited to prepare a complete concerto* for the competition, which will take place during the course. The competition jury will consist of the artistic directors and faculty of the Master Classes, representatives of the orchestras, and guest musicians invited to judge the event.

Those wishing to take part in the Concerto Competition will so indicate in the application form. In addition, they are required to present a letter from their primary teacher, testifying to their professional ability to perform in a full-fledged orchestral concert. Please note that only those attending the full program (both terms) are eligible to enter the concerto competition.

For the Concerto Competition Rules and Regulations click here »

* Except by Bach and Haydn. Additionally, due to technical limitations, only performances of concertos for one piano and orchestra can be accepted.