That summer of 1968, she attended the Marlboro Festival. A summer she will always remember as a highpoint within her forming years as a musician. Zvi shares her fond memories of the livelong friendships she forged, especially with Richard Goode, who recommended her to move to New York full-time. She followed his advice and continued her postgraduate studies at the Mannes College with Claude Frank. “Shy and insecure, I arrived in New York not knowing what to expect and found myself at the centre of the New York classical music scene,” Zvi remembers.
Pianists Samuel Sanders and Murray Perahia, and violinist Alexander Schneider were amongst her circle of friends. She toured with violinist Yuval Waldman. And then, her father passed away in Israel and she returned home. An only child, she felt her place was here, close to her mother, and she started to make a living as a piano teacher. As a replacement for a radio producer, she launched her second career, radio producer for IBA, the Broadcasting Authority of Israel, working at the classical music station on National Radio.
Connecting her passion for classical music with her talents as a broadcast producer, writer, and editor, Edith Zvi initiated live broadcasts of concert performances. The annual Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s celebrations became public radio celebrations, and Zvi’s broadcast of the Rubinstein competition of 1977 added the necessary publicity to the coveted event of the classical piano world, putting Israel efficiently on the map of international competitions.
The enormous success of an Independence Day Broadcast, with hundreds of children performing music in the lobby of the Tel Aviv Art Museum, inspired Zvi to create her own Chamber Music Festival, the first one in Israel at the time. Even though the lively and entrepreneurial powerhouse postponed the project for many years, she founded the Upper Galilei chamber music days in Kibbiuz K’far Blum in 1985, and stayed on as its artistic director for 10 years.
Live projects of the festival’s radio production became a large cooperation “Kol ha musica ha camerit” between the Office of Education and the Upper Galilei regional council and public radio. Zvi describes it as a huge responsibility: “I was running a one woman show. I was producer, director, and performer and even though it was a very satisfying work, it was time to move on.”
From 1995-2000, she served as Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra which had established its home at the Tel Aviv Museum. The group of 35 musicians had just parted with its musical director, Shlomo Mintz, and was in a dire financial state. Ultimately Zvi had to recognize that she was not really “dealing with music but with budgets.” That same year, in 2000, she made her move back to radio, and joined the Rubinstein Society as their deputy director. And, then without really changing its job description, the position turned into artistic director in 2003.