- 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 (classical and spoken dialects), 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.
Fleisher is a very prolific and diverse composer. The ideology of East-West synthesis, which has concerned many Israeli composers, 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 Ballad of Expected Death in Cairo. The trilingual Oratorio 1492–1992, written in commemoration of the expulsion of Jews from Spain, shifts freely between atonal and tonal harmonies, monophonic cantillation, and patterns borrowed from Spanish folk music. Her aesthetic attitude is best represented by her Hexaptichon, six versions of settings and interpretations of ‘I’m Sick of You’, a powerful Arabic poem by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, ranging from a vocal performance in pure Arabic style (especially as recorded by the superb vocalist Etti ben Zaken) to a Western, two-piano version, and mixed East-West versions for string quartet, a cappella choir, and baroque ensemble....