Israel Chamber Orchestra music director quits

In a surprise move, the music director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra has announced his resignation. Roberto Paternostro, an Austrian conductor with family ties to Israel, was scheduled to continue in the post until the end of the present season, but instead will leave in the middle of this month. Paternostro is still scheduled to conduct the orchestra on its tour in Austria in October. Despite rumors of tension between Paternostro and the management of the orchestra, managing director Yuval Shamir said relations between Paternostro and management were good. (Haaretz Staff )

Tiroche art auction fetches $3 million

The 148th sale of Israeli and international art at the Tiroche Auction House in Tel Aviv brought in $3 million recently. The auction, held in two parts, saw 90 percent of the objects sold. Dov Hazan, one of the founders and managers of the auction house, said this was similar to previous sales. Pessimistic forecasts that the election and economic situation would hurt sales turned out to be wrong, he added. The first part of the sale was held on January 26, when the more expensive artworks were on sale. The most expensive painting, by Reuven Rubin, sold for $242,000.

Jerusalem International Book Fair to open Sunday

The Jerusalem International Book Fair will open this Sunday evening at the International Convention Center. The 26th event, which is held biannually in the Israeli capital, will run until Friday February 15. Over 500 publishers from more than 30 countries are attending, and will show over 100,000 books in various languages. Literary agents, authors and editors will also be in attendance. The prestigious Jerusalem Prize will be awarded Sunday evening to acclaimed Spanish author Antonio Munoz Molina. The prize is awarded to an author whose work best expresses and promotes the idea of the "freedom of the individual in society."