The Jewish Kulturbund performed in this Frankfurt theatre, which was filled to capacity.

The Jewish Kulturbund orchestra, conducted by William Steinberg, performed in this Frankfurt theatre, which was filled to capacity.

The Palestine Symphony Orchestra started under the direction of Bronislaw Huberman in 1936, recruiting European Jewish musicians, providing them not only a living wage, but a safe place to live far from threats in Austria, Germany, Poland, and Hungary.  A core group from the Frankfurt Kulturbund voluntarily left Germany, including William Steinberg, to form part of the core of the orchestra in Palestine. William Steinberg accompanied Arturo Toscanini when the Palestine Symphony Orchestra launched. After a couple of years, Toscanini and Steinberg left for America, working for the NBC Orchestra. In 1948, the Palestine Symphony Orchestra became the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by prominent conductors such as Leonard Bernstein (1947-149; Laureate Conductor 1947-90) and Zubin Mehta (1968).


  • hallo !

    My father , Erich Toeplitz, was a member of the Kulurbund Orchstra from 1934

    to 1936 where he went to play in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

    I would like to ask if you have any material about him or pictures of him from that time.

    Thank you

    Yaron Toeplitz

      • Hallo
        My father Erich (Uri) Toeplitz was a member of the Kulturbund in Frankfurt . In 1936 he was pickek to go to Israel for the grounding of the philharmonic orxhestra

        • Yaron,

          I interviewed your father in Israel in 2004. He was a lovely, gentle man. His interview is part of our Shared Stories collection:

          Uri Toeplitz, Flutist

          Flutist Uri Toeplitz played for the Frankfurt Kulturbund in 1934 until 1936 when he left with William Steinberg and others from his orchestra for Palestine. He was one of the founding members of Bronislaw Huberman’s Palestine Symphony Orchestra, which is today the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. He was the principal flutist with the orchestra until his retirement. Here’s an excerpt from his interview.

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