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College of Arts & Sciences
Jewish Studies Program

Ina Esther Joost Ben-Sasson, Principal Cellist of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra --Musical Autobiography

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 4:00pm

"My Spiritual Journey from Germany via France to Israel"

Location: Spears Music/Art Center Recital Hall, Columbia College 

Free and open to the public! 


Ina Esther Joost Ben-Sasson, Cellist 

Ms. Joost Ben-Sasson recounts her personal journey and life choices, with musical illustrations from each phase. The renowned cellist shares her musical and spiritual path, growing up in post-war Germany, moving to Paris as a young adult where she performed with Pierre Boulez and the Ensemble Inter-Contemporain, converting to Orthodox Judaism while in Paris, and making aliyah to Israel to accept the post of Principal Cellist with the Jerusalem Symphony, a position she held for over 20 years. Ms. Joost Ben-Sasson illustrates her personal experiences and life choices with musical examples from each phase. Composers include J. S. Bach, Ernst Bloch, Max Bruch, Joachim Stutschewsky, Paul Ben-Haim, Noam Sheriff, Andre Hajdu, Daniel Akiba, and Meira Warshauer.

Since her immigration to Israel in 1989, Ina Esther Joost has been the Principal Cellist and frequent soloist of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra IBA. German born, she studied with  P. Fournier, S. Celibidache and E. Barenboim , after receiving her Soloist’s Diploma at the State’s Music  Academy Hamburg (Germany). Having won top prizes, including the Diploma of the Tchaikovsky Competition , Moscow, and the 1st Prize of the International Cello Competition Belgrade, she has been in high demand as a soloist in Europe, the USA, South Korea, Israel and Brazil, being accompanied by world renowned symphony orchestras from Paris, Geneva, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Tokyo, Jerusalem and Rio de Janeiro.

Following her performance at the World Cello Congress III in Baltimore, USA , in 2000, she was invited as a Visiting Professor at Towson University, MD, in 2001, played in concerts and festivals and made her New York début with overwhelming success.

Her recordings include French and Israeli compositions for cello solo (IMI), a CD with Romantic and Impressionistic music for cello and piano, the Six Suites by Bach, “Nigunim” for cello solo, a CD with compositions by Gabriel Faure for cello and piano (NAXOS , 2010), and her new CD with Russian sonatas for cello and piano, published by NAXOS in 2014. Many Israeli composers dedicated solo works to her.

During recent years, she has combined performing as a soloist and teaching master classes in the USA, in Brazil (International Cello Encounter Rio de Janeiro), in Mexico (2010), Poland, Germany (Bach Festival, 2011 ; 2013/2014, 2015 and 2016), France (2012 and 2013/14), in Canada (2013) and in China (2014).


Sponsors: USC School of Music, Jewish Studies Program of the University of South Carolina, Hesed House of Columbia College, Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast,  Columbia Jewish Federation