1-20 of 72 results  for:

  • Peoples and Music Cultures x
  • 21st c. (2000-present) x
  • Composer or Arranger x
Clear all

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

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

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

Miri Gerstel

(b Saarbrücken, Sept 2, 1927). Israeli composer of German origin. He studied composition with Erlich, Ben-Haim and Seter, and the piano with Pelleg, graduating from the Israel Academy of Music, Tel-Aviv, in 1958. From 1961 to 1975, Avni served intermittently as the director of the AMLI Central Music Library. Between 1962 and 1964 he continued his studies in the USA: at the Columbia–Princeton Electronic Music Center with Ussachevsky and in Tanglewood with Copland and Foss. Avni later taught composition and served as director of the electronic music laboratories at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance (1971–95); he was appointed head of the department of theory and composition there in 1976. From 1968 to 1982 he also served as editor of Guitite, the bi-monthly publication of the Israeli Jeunesses Musicales, and from 1978 to 1980 he was chairman of the Israeli League of Composers. Avni was appointed chairman of the jury of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in ...

Article

Ronit Seter

[Berman, Bernhardt]

(b Wiesbaden, July 20, 1923). Israeli critic, composer and musicologist. He moved to Mandatory Palestine in 1936. After studying composition with Paul Ben-Haim, his most influential teacher, Bar-Am attended the Ecole Normale de Paris (1949–51). He studied musicology at Tel-Aviv University (BA 1977), where he became the principal lecturer for courses on Jewish music and Israeli contemporary music (1973–96) and the first director of the Archive of Israeli Music. The secretary general of the Israeli League of Composers (1960–76, 1976–8), he became chair of the organizing committee of the ISCM in Israel in 1980. Though most influential as the music critic of the Jerusalem Post between 1958 and 1995, Bar-Am also wrote many essays on Israeli music in Hebrew, English and German, notably ‘A Musical Gateway between East and West’ (Jerusalem Post, 20 April 1988). He ceased composing in the early 1970s but resumed in ...

Article

Ketevan Bolashvili

(b Batumi, Nov 23, 1948). Georgian composer. He studied composition with A. Shaverzashvili at the Tbilisi State Conservatory (1968–76) and taught at the College of Batumi Music (1973–95). In 1987 he was awarded the Z. Paliashvili State Prize and in 1995 he emigrated to Israel.

Bardanashvili came to notice in the 1970s when, in his first serious experiments in composition dating from his student years, he set himself complex creative tasks and constantly endeavoured to find uncommon ways of solving them. His creative thinking was formed by a synthesis of national traditions – Georgian and Jewish – and contemporary methods such as dodecaphony, in addition to aleatory and sonoristic techniques, all applied in a non-dogmatic manner.

He seeks to reveal the complex, multi-faceted aspects of the human soul, and the rich spectrum of its emotional world; the varied literary sources of his inspiration include, in particular, Jewish medieval poetry and the work of Marcus Aurelius and Michelangelo. His Symphony (...

Article

Miri Gerstel

(b Jerusalem, Jan 22, 1954). Israeli composer. He studied composition at the Guildhall School in London (1978–9), with Mark Kopytman at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem (graduated 1983), and with George Crumb and Richard Wernick at the University of Pennsylvania (PhD, 1987). Since 1987 he has been teaching at the Rubin Academy. He was the chairman of the Israeli Composers' League (1994–5).

His compositions tend to amalgamate different styles, for example aleatory means and proportional notation in Rubaiyat (1982) and atonal, extreme chromaticism with heterophony in the Sinfonia cromatica (1993). In the latter, each of the three movements represents a family of colours (magenta, aquamarine and white light) and the chromatic scale is developed as an important motif. In the Elegy for Anna Frank he uses a metalphone, an instrument of his own invention made of 11 gongs of different sizes, to evoke the sound of a railway. Ben-Shabetai's compositions have been performed in Europe and in the USA....

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

Jehoash Hirshberg

(b Breslau, Jan 18, 1922; d Tel Aviv, August 27, 2014). Israeli composer. His parents settled in Palestine in 1923. After studying at the Israel Academy of Music with Alexander Boskovitch, among others, he was appointed to teach there when it merged with Tel-Aviv University in 1966. In 1975 he completed the MA in classical studies at the University, and studied Gregorian chant with Dom Jean Claire at Solesmes. He served as a jury member for prizes in Gregorian chant at the Conservatoire National Supérieur, Paris (1990, 1996, 1997).

In his early works Braun adopted the ideology of a national Israeli music, merging folklike dance patterns with cantillation motifs and modal chromaticism, as in his transparent Piano Sonata (1957). During the late 1950s and 1960s he composed several 12-note compositions, such as the Prelude and Passacaglia for harp (1967), retaining his predilection for simple melodic lines and consonant harmonies within the dodecaphonic context. Later works are more stylistically diverse. His Piano Trio no.1 (...

Article

Alla Vladimirovna Grigor′yeva

(b Moscow, Feb 25, 1952). Russian composer. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory where he studied composition with Khrennikov; he completed his postgraduate studies in 1981 and had become a member of the Composers’ Union in 1979. Notable landmarks in his career were the premières of his ballets Optimistichskaya tragediya (‘An Optimistic Tragedy’) and Ukroshcheniye stropivoy (‘The Taming of the Shrew’) at the Stanislavsky–Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre in Moscow (1985, 1996) and the performance of the Yevreyskiy rekviem (‘Jewish Requiem’) in Germany in 1994.

Bronner writes music predominantly for the theatre and makes extensive use of theatrical elements in other genres: the monumental examples of this can be found in Yevreyskiy rekviem for soloists, chorus and orchestra in which he sets a poem by Chaim Byalik in Yiddish alongside prayers, the address of Maimonid in Tvrit, lines from the diary of Anne Frank, lyric poetry from the Song of Songs...

Article

Ronit Seter

(b Haifa, Dec 7, 1957). Israeli composer, active in the USA. She studied at the Rubin Academy of Music, Tel-Aviv University (BA 1982) with Abel Ehrlich, Sadai and others, in Berlin with Schnebel (1983), at Bard College (MFA 1987), where her teachers included Eli Yarden, and at the University of California at San Diego (PhD 1993) with Roger Reynolds, Ferneyhough and others. She has taught at the Darmstadt summer courses (1990–98), where she received the Kranichstein prize (1992), and at the University of California, San Diego (from 1997). Her other honours include an Asahi Shimbun Fellowship for a year residency in Tokyo (1993–4), a year residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart (1996), a Heinrich Strobel Stiftung Fellowship (1997–9) and a commission for Ensemble Intercomtemporain employing IRCAM technology (1998)....

Article

Nathan Mishori

[Avraham]

(b Berlin, Oct 17, 1929). Israeli composer of German birth. He moved to Palestine with his parents in 1934 and began studies of the piano in 1945 and the oboe in 1947. Blinded in the [Israel] War of Independence of 1948, he studied theory and composition privately with Hajos for three years, and he graduated from the Israel Academy of Music, Tel-Aviv, in 1953. Two years later he had a string quartet, a piano sonata and some songs publicly performed. Parts of these works showed a personal expressive quality, which reached a highpoint in the sombre orchestral Alei yagon va’nocham (‘Metamorphosis of Grief and Consolation’). Earlier tendencies toward fast chromatic modulations developed into atonal writing in the piano Capriccio, the String Trio and the Lea Goldberg Songs (1962); the influences of Prokofiev and Bartók gave place to those of Schoenberg. The dodecaphony ruling the Movimenti quasi sonata...

Article

Kay Edwards

[Blue Butterfly ]

(b Madison, WI, June 4, 1959). American composer and flutist of Mohican descent (enrolled member of Stockbridge Band of Mohican Nation). He earned degrees in music composition from Northern Illinois University (BM 1981) and Arizona State University (MM 1990) and a separate degree in American Indian Religious Studies from Arizona State University (MA 1992). Davids merges his classical training in Western music with Native American elements that have been nurtured by many visits to Stockbridge Munsee Reservation, where his father was raised; in many of his pieces, native percussion can be heard alongside European instruments to create a colorful musical tapestry. Davids is also a concert flutist, famous for performing on his signature handmade quartz crystal flutes, as well as standard flute and native wooden flutes. He has written commissioned works for the National Symphony Orchestra’s 60th anniversary, Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, Chanticleer, Zeitgeist, the Kronos Quartet, the Miró String Quartet, and the Joffrey Ballet. He has received awards from In-Vision, Meet the Composer, Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and Jerome Foundation, among others. In ...

Article

William Y. Elias

(b Odessa, Aug 3, 1940; d Los Angeles, June 7, 2006). Israeli composer of Ukrainian birth. He studied at the Odessa Conservatory (1958–65) with Starkowa (piano) and Kogan (composition) and at the Gnesin Institute (1968–71) where he completed the doctorate. In 1973 he moved to Israel, where he was appointed to a post at Tel-Aviv University. Though the works he wrote in the USSR were influenced by early 20th-century Russian music and by Hindemith, in Israel he turned to graphic notation and to specifically Jewish subjects.

(selective list)

Principal publisher: Israel Music Institute

Article

Ury Eppstein

(b Cranz, Sept 3, 1915; d Tel Aviv, Oct 30, 2003). Israeli composer of German birth. After initial studies in Germany, he went to Zagreb to study with Václav Huml at the academy of music (1934–8). In 1939 he settled in Israel, studying composition at the Jerusalem Academy of Music with Shelomo Rosovsky until 1944. Ehrlich taught in various Israeli institutions from 1940; in 1964 he was appointed to the staff of the Israel Academy of Music, which was incorporated into Tel-Aviv University in 1966, and from 1972 to 1983 he was professor of theory there. His works from before 1953 are in a late Romantic style, influenced by the melody and rhythm of Middle Eastern folk music in a manner typical of the Israeli ‘Mediterranean’ style. Later Ehrlich went beyond this by employing oriental elements such as micro-intervals, rhythmic structures, contrasting timbres and heterophony. In the late 1950s he began to use serial procedures, a development that was stimulated when he attended courses given by Stockhausen and Pousseur at Darmstadt in ...

Article

William Y. Elias

(b Riga, July 1, 1928). Israeli composer of Latvian birth. She received her musical education at the Riga Music Academy and settled in Israel in 1972. That year she wrote a symphonic poem, Hakshev! (‘Listen!’), for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, setting a text of E. Narusi. In 1973 she founded the first music conservatory for new immigrant teachers in Holon and was its director for approximately ten years.

Feigin developed an innovative system for teaching children in groups and has frequently conducted workshops at music education institutions throughout Israel. She has specialized in writing piano and organ works (especially for four or six hands) for use in her group teaching of children, and numbers among her progressive studies arrangements of Israeli and feast songs. Her music inclines towards traditional harmonies, inspired by the Russian nationalist school, and incorporates a great deal of folk material. While still in Riga, she composed five ballets on Russian epics: ...

Article

James Freeman

(b Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 15, 1936). Russian composer, active in the USA. After studying at Leningrad’s Institute of Naval Architecture (1953–9), Finko entered the Leningrad Conservatory (MM 1965), where his teachers included Vadim Salmanov. He emigrated to the USA in 1979, eventually settling in Philadelphia. His teaching appointments have included positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Texas, El Paso, Yale University and Swarthmore College, among others. In 1991 he became composer-in-residence for the Delaware Valley Opera Company. Among his commissions are works for the Fromm Foundation, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Orchestra 2001.

Finko’s Russian-Jewish heritage is an important aspect of his music, often providing the subject matter (especially for his operas and tone poems) as well as motivating the thematic content. Musorgsky and Shostakovich, the music of the Russian Orthodox Church and Jewish folksong and synagogue music are all clear influences on his style. He has been especially interested in exploring the possibilities of the concerto and has composed numerous works for solo instrument, or instrumental ensemble, and orchestra. His Viola Concerto (...

Article

Wesley Berg

(Joel)

(b Boston, June 30, 1942). Canadian composer and pianist of American birth. He studied at Boston University (BMus) and Michigan State University (MMus; PhD), and has taught at the University of Western Ontario, Acadia University, the University of Alberta (chair, 1986–9) and Queen's University, where he was director 1990–97. His compositional style has been described as post-Schoenbergian, employing a chromaticism controlled both by a limited number of pitch class sets and a sense of tonal hierarchy (Lewis, 1993). Many of his works are confessional. His fascination with the Canadian North has resulted in compositions such as Cry Wolf (1977), after a Cree Indian legend. In 1980 he began to explore themes from Jewish culture and history in works such as Morning: Peniel (1980), Zakhor: Remember (1983) and Small Worlds (1984). Several of these interests come together in Six Fantasy Pieces...

Article

Jehoash Hirshberg

(b Haifa, 1946). Israeli composer and musicologist. She studied at the Music Teachers’ Training College (Tel-Aviv), the Rubin Academy (Jerusalem), New York University (MA 1975) and Bar-Ilan University (PhD in musicology 1995). She also studied Arabic language, culture and history, and Hebrew linguistics at Tel-Aviv University (BA 1969–72). In 1996 she was appointed to a post at the Music Teachers’ Training College. Her honours include the Prize of Excellence in Israeli Music (1992), the ACUM (Israeli performing rights society) Prize (1994), the Composer's Residency Award of Villa Montalvo and the Prime Minister's Composition Prize (1998).

The ideology of East-West synthesis, characteristic of much Israeli music, has been deeply ingrained in Fleischer’s personality. Her admiration for the qualities of Arabic poetry has found its expression in a series of settings that smoothly alternate between Western and Arabic idioms, as in the ...

Article

Myriam Soumagnac

(b Asnières, Dec 19, 1947; d Paris, July 4, 2004). French composer. Before completing university courses in natural science, literary Arabic and ethnomusicology, he entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied with Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Schaeffer, receiving additional instruction from Antoine Duhamel. He won the Lili Boulanger composition prize in 1978, which was followed, from 1980 onwards, by further prizes from the SACEM and the Institut de France. During the 1970s he undertook 14 field trips to Africa, and between residencies at the Villa Medici, Rome (1979–81), and at the Casa Velasquez in Madrid and Palma de Mallorca (1983–5), he was a visiting lecturer at Kenyatta University College, Nairobi (1981–2). Appointed to a professorship in ethnomusicology at the Lyons Conservatoire in 1985, he subsequently extended his studies of oral traditions to the West Indies, Polynesia, Egypt and Israel. He was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in ...