( b Tel-Aviv, Aug 31, 1945). Israeli violinist . He initially taught himself to play, first on a toy fiddle and then on a child's violin. At four he was stricken with poliomyelitis which left him permanently disabled. During a year's convalescence he continued to practise and he then entered the Tel-Aviv Academy of Music to study with Rivka Goldgart. By the time he gave his first solo recital, at ten, he had already made a number of appearances with the Ramat-Gan and Broadcasting Orchestras. In 1958 he played twice on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ on television in New York and decided to remain there, making a nationwide US tour and entering the Juilliard School of Music to study with Dorothy Delay and Ivan Galamian. He made his Carnegie Hall début in 1963 and the following year won the Leventritt Memorial Award. In 1965 he toured his native country and in the ...
(b Kiriat Haim, Dec 25, 1950). Israeli singer, composer, guitarist and bouzouki player. During the 1970s he played in various rock bands which performed mainly at weddings. One of these bands became known as Benzeen in the early 1980s, when Poliker established what was to become a fruitful and long-lasting creative partnership with the lyricist and critic Yaakov Gilad. Benzeen became highly successful with its hard rock sound, but disbanded in 1984 after the release of its second album. In 1985 Poliker made two albums of rock-oriented interpretations of Greek songs, with Hebrew lyrics by Gilad; these recordings widened Poliker’s popularity beyond the young audiences of rock and marked his shift towards a sound based on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern elements. In 1988 he recorded Ashes and Dust, in which he and Gilad explored their experiences of growing up in Israel in the 1960s as sons of survivors of the Holocaust, and this album is widely considered Poliker’s masterpiece. His later albums, two of which are purely instrumental, include virtuoso performances on guitar and ...
(b Prague, June 18, 1843; d Baden, Vienna, Aug 7, 1913). Austrian cellist and composer. He was born in the Prague ghetto, the son of Angelus Popper, cantor at two local synagogues. Having auditioned for the Prague Conservatory at the age of 12 as a violinist, he matriculated as a cellist because of the shortage of cello students, and became a pupil of Julius Goltermann. He made such rapid progress that within six years he presided over the cello class when Goltermann was on tour. At the age of 18 he was appointed assistant principal cellist of the Löwenberg Court Orchestra, and the following year assumed the post of principal. During this time he was engaged by Bülow and the Berlin Philharmonic as soloist in Robert Volkmann’s newly composed concerto. In 1868 he secured the position of principal in the Vienna Hofoper and the Vienna PO (the youngest player to hold such a post) and later joined the Hellmesberger Quartet. In ...
[Priwin, Andreas Ludwig]
(b Berlin, April 6, 1929; d Manhattan, NY, Feb 28, 2019). 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 ...
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 ...
(b Balassagyarmat, 1789; d Pest, Jan 23, 1848). Hungarian composer and violinist. The son of a poor Jewish tradesman named Rosenthal, he began studying the violin at the age of eight. After a time in Nyitra (now Nitra, Slovakia) and Pozsony (now Bratislava) he went to Prague, where he studied both music and calligraphy. In 1808 he moved to Pest, first working as a bookkeeper for a wholesaler. In the same year he gave a violin recital there, playing works by Kreutzer and compositions of his own in the Hungarian style; after this concert he decided to devote himself exclusively to music. In 1809 he joined the second Hungarian theatrical company in Pest as a violinist, later becoming its musical director; on 12 April 1812 this company performed the play Angyal Bandi with his music. He lived in Baja from 1813 to 1819, when a fire destroyed all his possessions, including his manuscripts. From ...
(b Heidelberg, Nov 13, 1897; d Jerusalem, Jan 15, 1974). Israeli composer, conductor, singer and keyboard player of German birth. He studied the organ with Philipp Wofrum and composition with Richard Strauss. From 1920 to 1926 he held the position of conductor at the Hamburg Neues Stadt-Theater, and from 1931 to 1932 was baritone and stage director at the Deutsche Musikbühne. He emigrated to Palestine in 1933, where he was appointed programme director of the newly founded Palestine Broadcasting Service (PBS, later Kol Israel [‘The Voice of Israel’]), a position he held until his retirement in 1962; he founded the PBS Orchestra (later the Kol Israel Orchestra) in 1938.
Many of Salomon’s early works were destroyed. His music from 1933 is tonal with modal inflections, combining European traditions with folk influences to create a light, accessible style. The Sepharadic Suite (1961) incorporates Spanish melodies; popular material is also used in the Second Symphony ‘Leilot be’Cna’an (‘Nights of Canaan’, ...
Anthony Philip Pattin
(b Detroit, Jan 24, 1947). American composer and pianist, active in Israel. He studied at Converse College (Spartanburg, South Carolina), Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Arizona (DMA 1970). His principal teachers include Ozan Marsh and Rudolf Serkin (piano), and Robert Muczynski (composition). Although he has composed for virtually all media, he has shown a special affinity for solo piano works and chamber music with piano. His brilliant piano writing often requires enormous technical facility on the part of the performer; textures are invariably contrapuntal, regardless of tempo, and rhythms are vital and varied with frequent changes of metre. His works often evoke a frenzied state through climaxes, rapid harmonic motion and breakneck speed. He has remarked that his ‘is not the kind of music to relax to, but the kind that makes people sweat; not only performer, but audience'. His interest in folk music stems largely from his desire to explore his own Jewish roots....
Catherine Parsons Smith
(b Hamburg, June 27, 1924; d Scarsdale, NY, July 11, 2006). American composer and pianist of German origin. She studied at the Sternsches Konservatorium, Berlin, from the age of five until her expulsion in 1935. On her family’s emigration to Sweden in 1938, she was admitted to the Swedish Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, despite restrictions on Jewish refugees, studying composition (with Ingemar Liljefors) and piano there until early 1941. The family then travelled to Mexico City, via the USSR, where Schonthal studied composition with Rodolfo Halffter and Manuel Ponce, and piano with Pablo Castellanos. She gave an acclaimed performance of her own piano concerto in Mexico City, and in 1946, after Hindemith heard her playing her own works, she entered Yale University on his recommendation (AB, composition, 1948).
Virtually all of Schonthal’s study and much of her subsequent compositional career took place in situations of exile and in relative isolation from other composers and creative artists. To support herself and her family she played the piano in bars and wrote popular songs and music for TV commercials, and from ...
(b Rostock, July 4, 1896; d Berlin, Oct 16, 1987). German composer and viola player. He studied composition and musicology in Freiburg, where his teachers included Julius Weismann and Willibald Gurlitt. After serving as solo viola player at the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus (1924–5), he played in a number of orchestras in Berlin. He attracted considerable attention during the early 1930s as a member of the Harlan-Trio (other members included his wife, the musicologist Cornelia Schröder (née Auerbach), and instrument maker Peter Harlan), an ensemble that performed medieval and Renaissance music on historical instruments. In 1935, because of his wife’s Jewish heritage and his connections with the workers’ music movement, Schröder was excluded from the Reichsmusikkammer. Although special permission allowed him to work as a violist at a Berlin theatre, his political difficulties continued after 1945, as he worked in East and lived in West Berlin. In 1965...