Highbrow Culture in Tel Aviv

September 23rd 2012

Tel Aviv is the center of Israeli cosmopolitan culture. Since its founding by bourgeois Europeans a century ago, the “White City” has served as a hub of performance art, museums, galleries and film festivals. If you are looking to sample Mediterranean culture with an Israeli twist, make sure a few days of exploration in Tel Aviv is included in your travel itinerary.

Performing arts play an important role in Tel Aviv life. The Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center is home to both the Israeli Opera and the Cameri Theater. This is the place to go for performances of drama, dance, classical music, opera and jazz. Habima Theater offers plays performed in Hebrew, many of which have Jewish themes. The Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theater showcases a variety of contemporary dance styles, from both Israeli and international companies. High-quality films can be viewed at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, and film festivals are held there on occasion.

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra plays in the Smolarz Auditorium at Tel Aviv University, in the northern section of town. Founded in 1936, the orchestra tours the world’s cultural centers and its prestigious festivals. It has hosted most of the world’s greatest conductors and soloists and helps develop young Israeli talent. Spend a night out listening to the Philharmonic Orchestra’s classical and chamber music.

For those interested in contemporary art, we recommend the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of Israeli art from a variety of fields – painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, video, architecture and design. Another art museum worth checking out is Time for Art, a cultural center for Israeli artists and their work. Sculpture, painting, image and many other types of artwork are displayed here.

In addition, well reputed art galleries are scattered around Tel Aviv. The Shoham Art Gallery focuses on art created in the spirit of hope and encouragement. The Sommer Contemporary Art Gallery shows work by Israeli and international artists. For Jewish Art, visit the Stern Gallery, and for abstract, still life and impressionist works, stop by the Givon Art Gallery.