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Article

Marie Rolf

(Hans)

(b Mannheim, March 4, 1928). American composer and conductor of German birth. Both of his parents were musical, his father being a cantor and composer of Jewish liturgical music. The family came to the USA in 1939 and Adler attended Boston University (BM 1948) and Harvard University (MA 1950). He studied composition with Aaron Copland, Paul Fromm, Paul Hindemith, Hugo Norden, Walter Piston and Randall Thompson; musicology with Karl Geiringer, A.T. Davison and Paul A. Pisk; and conducting with Sergey Koussevitzky at the Berkshire Music Center. In 1950 he joined the US Army and organized the Seventh Army SO, which he conducted in more than 75 concerts in Germany and Austria; he was awarded the Army Medal of Honor for his musical services. Subsequently he conducted concerts and operas, and lectured extensively throughout Europe and the USA. In 1957 he was appointed professor of composition at North Texas State University, and in ...

Article

Noël Goodwin

[Georgy]

(b Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 13, 1932; d Cologne, Oct 31, 2002). Israeli conductor of Soviet birth. He studied at the Leningrad Central School of Music and the Leningrad Conservatory, and also with Natan Rakhlin and Kurt Sanderling. In 1956 he was appointed conductor of the Saratov PO; he also taught at the conservatory there and conducted his first operas. The next year he became conductor at Yaroslav, remaining there until his appointment as chief conductor of the Moscow RSO in 1964; his guest engagements included appearances with the Bol′shoy Ballet. Ahronovich left the USSR in 1972 and became an Israeli citizen. After concerts with the Israel PO he began touring, appearing in London with the RPO and with the New York PO in the USA. He made his operatic début in the West with Otello at Cologne, where he was conductor of the Gürzenich Concerts from ...

Article

John Beckwith

(b Budapest, April 12, 1919; d Kingston, ON, February 24, 2012). Canadian composer, conductor and pianist of Hungarian birth. He studied with Kodály at the Budapest Academy (1937–41). As a young man he spent a period with other Jewish youths in a forced-labour contingent of the Hungarian Army; his later war experiences – escape, then concealment by friends during the winter of 1944–5 – are described in the memoirs of the novelist Theresa de Kerpely (Teresa Kay). After a season as assistant conductor at the Budapest Opera (1945–6), he went to Paris for further studies in piano (Soulima Stravinsky), conducting (Fourestier) and composition (Boulanger), remaining there for three years. He moved to Canada in 1949 (taking Canadian nationality in 1955), and for three years held a Lady Davis Fellowship and an appointment as assistant professor at McGill University. There he founded the electronic music studio and served for six years as chair of the department of theoretical music. He held grants for electronic music research from the Canada Council (...

Article

Stephen Plaistow

(Davidovich)

(b Gor′kiy [now Nizhniy Novgorod], July 6, 1937). Russian pianist and conductor, naturalized Icelandic. He was born into a musical Jewish family and entered the Moscow Central School of Music in 1945; his teacher there for the next ten years was Anaida Sumbatyan. His first major recital, devoted entirely to Chopin, was in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in April 1955, and later that year he gained second prize at the fifth Warsaw International Chopin Competition. In 1956, now a pupil of Lev Oborin at the Moscow Conservatory, he was awarded first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. While still a student he made his first tour outside the USSR the following year, to East and West Germany. After graduating, it was inescapable that he should be groomed for the second International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1962 (the American Van Cliburn having won the first), and he duly restored national honour by carrying off a shared first prize (with John Ogdon). His London début followed in ...

Article

Michal Ben-Zur

( b Haifa, Nov 17, 1933). Israeli conductor . She studied the piano at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, and subsequently studied conducting in Europe and the USA with Franco Ferrara, Celibidache, Hans Swarowsky and Boulez. From 1954 to 1960 she taught piano at the Rubin Academy of Music. Atlas won several international conducting awards, including the Dimitri Mitropoulos Competition (1964), the Leopold Stokowski Prize (1978) and the Eugene Ormandy Award (1980). In 1981 she was appointed associate professor and director of musical studies at the Technion in Haifa. She is the founder and principal conductor of the symphony orchestra and choir of Technion, the Israel Pro Musica Orchestra and the Atlas Camerata. She has also appeared as a guest conductor with the RPO in London, the Royal Liverpool PO and the Stockholm PO, among others. Atlas has given the first performances of works by the Israeli composers Amy Maayany and Zvi Avni, and has recorded Stravinsky's ...

Article

Eliyahu Schleifer

(b Jerusalem, Sept 15, 1941). Israeli composer and conductor. He studied at the Rubin Academy of Music (teacher's diploma 1967, BMus 1972) and at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1976). From 1968 to 1973 he served as the director of Renanot, the Institute of Jewish Music, Jerusalem. In 1971 he joined the music department at Bar-Ilan University, where he founded an electro-acoustic laboratory in 1995. He has conducted numerous concerts in Israel, as well as national television and radio broadcasts. In 1973 he helped establish the Natanya SO, with which he has performed concerts of contemporary Israeli music. An award-winning youth orchestra conductor, he became music director of the Jerusalem Youth Orchestra in 1987.

Avitsur's compositions express a deep commitment to Jewish and Israeli culture. Many of his works are large-scale vocal compositions based on scenes from recent Jewish history. Much of his music, such as the Symphony no.2 ‘Shirat Hadorot’ (‘Generations’ chanting’, ...

Article

Alan Blyth

(b Buenos Aires, Nov 15, 1942). Israeli pianist and conductor. He was first taught by his parents and made his début as a pianist in Buenos Aires when he was seven. In 1951 the family moved to Europe where he played at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and thence to Israel. Back in Salzburg in 1954, he met Edwin Fischer and Furtwängler, both major influences on his future career. Studies at the Accademia di S Cecilia in Rome and with Boulanger completed his education.

Barenboim made his British début as a soloist in 1955 and his American début two years later, and first conducted, in Israel, in 1962. From 1964 he worked for some years with the English Chamber Orchestra as conductor and pianist, recording with them symphonies by Mozart and Haydn, and a series of Mozart piano concertos. Meanwhile he began an international career as a conductor. He directed the South Bank Summer Festival in London (...

Article

William Y. Elias

(b Brichevo, Bessarabia [now Moldavia], May 1, 1927; d Tel Hashomer, Israel, March 17, 2005). Israeli conductor and composer of Russian birth. Taken to Palestine as a child, he began violin lessons at the age of six. He later studied at the Milan Conservatory (1946–7), in Israel, and at the Paris Conservatoire (1951–4) while taking further studies with Nadia Boulanger, Chailley, Honegger and Messiaen. In 1954 he returned to Israel and taught conducting at the Music Teachers’ College, Tel-Aviv, and later at the Rubin Academy of Tel-Aviv University, where he was appointed a professor in 1975. In 1955 he formed the Rinat Choir, which quickly acquired a wide reputation and became the Israel Chamber Choir. Bertini’s orchestral début was also in 1955 with the Israel PO, with which he first toured the USA and East Asia in 1960. His British début was in 1965...

Article

Charles Barber and José A. Bowen

(b Bucharest, June 16, 1928; d Oklahoma City, March 5, 2005). Israeli and American conductor of Romanian birth. He studied the violin and conducting at the Bucharest Conservatory, continuing his conducting studies with Silvestri and Lindenberg. After his début with the Romanian State Opera with Faust in 1946, he joined the Bucharest Radio Quartet and the Romanian State Ensemble as a violinist, becoming musical director of the latter (1950–55). He was principal conductor of the Romanian State Opera (1955–9) in Bucharest and won the 1956 conducting competition in Besançon. He emigrated to Israel (becoming naturalized in 1959) and became musical director of the Haifa SO (1959–66) and founder-conductor of the Ramat Gan Chamber Orchestra (1960–67). He made his British début with the LPO in 1960, and his US début with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1965; his success led to many engagements as a guest conductor, including the Boston SO, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco SO, New York PO and the Berlin SO. His musical directorships included the Göteborg SO (...

Article

Noël Goodwin

(b Jerusalem, Feb 16, 1936). Israeli conductor, of Israeli and British citizenship. After studying the violin at the Jerusalem Conservatory, he took part in Celibidache’s conducting classes in Hilversum and studied conducting at the Paris Conservatoire, winning the 1963 Guido Cantelli conducting prize at Novara. After working chiefly in Italy, he made his British début in 1965 with the LPO and subsequently conducted other British orchestras, creating a strong impression in the standard repertory. In 1969 Inbal made his opera début with Elektra at Bologna; this was followed by Don Carlos at Verona the same year. In Siena (1971) he conducted the first performance since 1803 of Cherubini’s Anacréon with the original French text. He was chief conductor of the Frankfurt RSO (1974–90) and chief conductor at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice, from 1986 to 1989. Among the premières Inbal has given are Xavier Benguerel’s Percussion Concerto (...

Article

Richard Wigmore

(b Talinn, Dec 30, 1962). American conductor of Estonian origin. The son of Neeme Järvi, he studied percussion and conducting at the Talinn Music School before moving to the USA in 1980 to continue his studies at the Curtis Institute (graduating in 1988) and with Leonard Bernstein at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. He became a US citizen in 1985. Järvi was music director of the Malmö SO from 1993 to 1997, and principal guest conductor of the Royal Stockholm PO from 1995 to 1998 and the CBSO from 1996 to 1999. He has also appeared as guest conductor with other leading orchestras in Europe and the USA, including the Orchestre de Paris, the LSO, the Berlin PO, the Czech PO, the Philharmonia, the Concertgebouw (with whom he conducted the première of Sallinen’s Eighth Symphony in 2004), the Israel PO, the Boston SO, the Los Angeles PO, the New York PO and the Chicago SO....

Article

Noël Goodwin

(Tapani)

(b Helsinki, March 7, 1946). Finnish conductor and violinist. The son of a double bass player in the Helsinki PO, he was given violin lessons and entered the Sibelius Academy at the age of six as a pupil of Onni Suhonen. He became a violinist in the Helsinki Youth Orchestra, and at 18 the leader of the Suhonen Quartet. A year later he joined the Helsinki PO as associate principal second violin, and became leader of the Finnish National Opera Orchestra (1966–8), where he also gained experience as third conductor with the opera company. Self-taught as a conductor, he won the first Herbert von Karajan International Competition at Berlin (1969), which led to engagements with major orchestras in Europe, the USA, Israel and Japan, and to recordings; these brought him a reputation for youthful spontaneity tempered by sensitivity and disciplined feeling. His British début was with the NPO at the Festival Hall in ...

Article

Douglas Townsend

(b Brooklyn, NY, March 24, 1936). American composer and conductor . He studied the trumpet with Vacchiano, composition with Giannini, and jazz performance and arranging with John Lewis at the Manhattan School (BMus 1959, MMus 1960), and composition with Persichetti at the Juilliard School. He performed as a trumpeter in the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the Goldman Band (now the Guggenheim Memorial Band), the Woody Herman Band and the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, as well as in various Broadway shows. From 1969 to 1971 Kaufman was assistant professor and composer-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin. In 1971 he moved to Israel, where he served as director of music for the city of Haifa (1971–2) and taught at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem. His music was performed by the Israel PO, the Jerusalem SO and other resident organizations. He returned to the USA in 1976 and took up academic posts at Eastern Montana College (...

Article

Ury Eppstein

(b Tel Aviv, Jan 13, 1936). Israeli composer and conductor. He studied at the New Jerusalem Academy of Music (1951–3), including conducting with Eitan Lustig, and composition privately with Ben-Haim (1956–60) and at Columbia University, New York, where he specialized in electronic music with Ussachevsky (1961–2, 1964–5). In addition he studied architecture and urban planning at the Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa (BA 1960), and at Columbia (1961–2), and philosophy at Tel-Aviv University (MA 1974). He was a founder and conductor of the Israel National Youth Orchestra (1953–7, 1970–4), the Tel-Aviv Municipality Youth Orchestra (1956–60) and the Technion SO (1958–60). He was also chairman of the Israel League of Composers and the ISCM Israel section (1970–4, 1981–8) and taught at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance (1972–3...

Article

Margaret Campbell

(b Moscow, Oct 30, 1957). Israeli violinist, viola player and conductor of Russian birth . He studied in Israel with Ilona Feher from 1964 to 1973, and made his début with the Israel PO under Zubin Mehta in 1968. In 1973 he went to the USA for his Carnegie Hall début and to study with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School. In 1977 he made a major European tour, appearing with leading orchestras and conductors, and he has subsequently followed an international career as a soloist and chamber music player. He has given recitals with the pianists Itamar Golan and Georges Pludermacher, and as a member of the Golan-Mintz-Haimovitz Trio. He was music director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra from 1989 to 1993, and has also conducted the Israel PO and the Rotterdam PO; in 1994 he was appointed music director of the Limburg SO in Maastricht. Mintz has recorded both violin and viola repertory, and has been awarded the Grand Prix du Disque on several occasions. In ...

Article

Edward Greenfield

[Priwin, Andreas Ludwig ]

( b Berlin, April 6, 1929). American conductor, pianist and composer of German birth . Son of a prosperous lawyer who was also a talented amateur musician, he showed exceptional musical talent from his earliest years. Playing piano duets with his father, he quickly developed phenomenal sight-reading ability, and at the age of six entered the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, studying the piano with Rudolf Breithaupt. In 1938 his family (of Russian-Jewish origin) left Germany for Paris, where he studied briefly at the Conservatoire. Emigrating to the USA the following year, the family settled in Los Angeles, where in 1943 he became an American citizen. While still at school he quickly learnt to use his talents as a pianist, playing accompaniments to silent films in a cult movie house and later becoming an orchestrator at the MGM film studios. This led to commissions to write film music of his own, which – following the practice of the studios – he had to conduct himself. This, in turn, fostered an ambition to conduct more widely, and he was soon conducting local performances of the classical repertory with players from the studio orchestras. Meanwhile he was developing a talent for playing jazz, and while still at school was performing in clubs, soon afterwards making his first recordings. At the same time he took composition lessons, with Joseph Achron, Ernst Toch and Castelnuovo-Tedesco among his teachers, and was invited by the violinist Josef Szigeti to play in private performances of chamber music. Previn was called up for army service in ...

Article

William Y. Elias

revised by Irina Boga

(b Iaşi, April 17, 1929; d Jerusalem, 9 May, 2009). Romanian-born Israeli conductor, composer, and violinist. He studied the violin (with Garabet Avakian) and conducting (with Constantin Silvestri) at the Bucharest Academy of Music (1945–7). In 1957 Rodan pursued advanced studies in conducting and chamber music at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. He made his début with the Romanian RSO in 1953. In 1961 he moved to Israel and conducted the Israel PO, becoming chief conductor and music adviser to the Israel Broadcasting SO (1963–72). As a conductor he preferred post-Romantic and less extreme contemporary music. In 1965 he founded the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra and, as its permanent conductor until 1969, toured with it to Europe, East Asia, Australia, South Africa, and the USA. Rodan appeared as a guest with various European orchestras and frequently conducted at the Israel and Arthur Rubinstein festivals, with such soloists as Rubinstein himself, Barenboim, Rampal, Perlman, and du Pré. In ...

Article

Arthur Jacobs

revised by Noël Goodwin

(b Jerusalem, March 7, 1944). Israeli conductor. He studied the violin and conducting at the Rubin Conservatory in Jerusalem, and then conducting at the Guildhall School of Music in London, 1966–9, winning the 1969 Dimitri Mitropoulos Competition in New York. This brought him a season’s engagement as assistant to Szell and Bernstein with the New York PO, preparing performances but not conducting. His début was with the Zealand Orchestra in Copenhagen in 1969 and he then appeared with the Israel PO. From 1970 he began touring in Europe, making his first appearances in Britain that year with the BBC Welsh Orchestra in Cardiff, and in London with the English Chamber Orchestra in 1971. He first appeared in the USA with the Chicago SO at the 1972 Ravinia Summer Festival and made his opera début at Santa Fe in 1973 with Der fliegende Holländer. In 1970 he moved to London and in ...

Article

Michal Ben-Zur

(b Tel-Aviv, Oct 15, 1950). Israeli conductor. He studied in Tel-Aviv with Noam Sheriff and in Vienna with Hans Swarowsky. Since his first success in 1980 conducting Mahler's Third Symphony with the Vienna SO, he has conducted such leading orchestras as the Berlin PO, the London SO, the Israel PO and the San Francisco SO; he has also appeared at many of the major European festivals and has conducted at leading opera houses, including Vienna, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and the New Israeli Opera. He was musical director of the Düsseldorf SO, 1987–93, and was appointed musical director of the Jerusalem SO in 1992 and the Luxembourg PO in 1997. Shallon's repertory is wide-ranging, and he has given a number of premières, notably von Einem's Jesu Hochzeit (1980, Berlin). Several Israeli composers, among then Noam Sheriff, have dedicated works to him. Among his recordings are viola concertos by Bartók, Hindemith, Schnittke and Mark Kopytman, with his long-time partner, Tabea Zimmermann....

Article

Steven Johnson

(b Philadelphia, March 12, 1921; d Chicago, June 13, 2002). American composer and conductor. Raised in Philadelphia by Russian Jewish immigrant parents, he studied the violin with Emmanuel Zetlin (1937–42) and composition with Stefan Wolpe (from 1938). At the age of 16 he was selected as the youth conductor of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. He graduated from public high school in 1939, but received no other formal education. During the early 1950s he taught at the Third Street Settlement Music School, New York and from 1956 to 1959 worked at the MacDowell Colony. At the invitation of Rochberg, he accepted a part-time position at the University of Pennsylvania in 1963. The following year he joined the composition department at the University of Chicago, a position he retained until his retirement in 1992. He also founded and directed Chicago University’s Contemporary Chamber Players and guest conducted such ensembles as the Chicago SO and the London Sinfonietta....