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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

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

Arthur Jacobs

(b Budapest, July 30, 1931). Israeli conductor. His family settled in British-mandated Palestine in 1944 and he followed Israeli custom in changing his original surname to the present Hebrew form. Having studied the piano and horn, he graduated from the Tel-Aviv Academy of Music in composition and conducting (1962) and was encouraged by Antal Dorati to pursue a conducting career. In London, where he studied at the GSM, he won the school's conducting prize in 1963, followed in 1964 by the first prize at the international conducting competition sponsored by the Royal Liverpool PO. In 1967 he conducted the Vienna PO at the Salzburg Festival. From 1969 to 1971 he was chief conductor of the Sydney SO, and in 1972 he became chief conductor of the NDR SO and of the Basle SO. After a spell in Tokyo as musical adviser for the Tokyo Metropolitan SO (...

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

Yohanan Boehm

revised by Nathan Mishori

(b Warsaw, July 11, 1913; d Tel-Aviv, Dec 23, 1985). Israeli composer and conductor of Polish origin. He graduated with honours in the violin (1935) and conducting (1936) at the Warsaw State Conservatory. Conducting studies continued at the Accademia S Cecilia (with Molinari) and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena (with Casella); later in Switzerland he studied conducting with Scherchen and composition with Burkhard. Gelbrun played the violin and the viola with the Warsaw PO (1935–7), for Radio Lausanne (1941–4) and with the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra (1944–8). After emigrating to Israel in 1949 he devoted his time to conducting and composition. He was permanent guest conductor with the Israel RSO (1949–53), chief conductor of the Israel Youth Orchestra (1950–56) and chief conductor of the Inter-Kibbutz SO (1950–55); he was then made professor of composition and conducting at the Academy of Music of the University of Tel-Aviv....

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

Eliyahu Schleifer

[Heinrich]

(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad, Russia], March 2, 1909; d Tel-Aviv, Dec 13, 1990). Israeli composer, conductor and string player . He studied the viola and composition with Hindemith at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1927–30). From 1930 to 1933 he played in the Grosses Orchester des Südwestdeutschen Rundfunks. With the rise of the Nazis, he left Germany and, after a year's sojourn in Istanbul, emigrated to Palestine. In 1934 he settled in Jerusalem where he joined the Palestine Music Conservatory (1934–47) and the Jerusalem String Quartet (1934–9), both of which were founded two years earlier by the violinist Emil Hauser of the Budapest String Quartet. He was appointed to the Jerusalem New Conservatory and Academy of Music in 1947 (assistant director, 1949–54; director, 1954–8). He later moved to Tel-Aviv, where he played the viola in the Israel PO until 1974. During 1974–5...

Article

Miri Gerstel

(b Riga, Dec 22, 1903; d Haifa, March 24, 1967). Israeli composer and conductor of Latvian birth. He studied in Riga, at the Leipzig Conservatory, and privately with Scherchen and Glazunov. After working as an opera conductor in Saarbrücken (1926–8), he became the musical director and conductor of Rudolf von Laban's dance theatre in Berlin. He went on to conduct the Berliner SO (1929–32) and the Riga Opera (1932–4). In 1935, with the ascent of Nazism, he emigrated to Palestine. Between 1941 and 1947 he conducted the Palestine Folk Opera and Palestine Orchestra, and from 1950 to 1958 he was director of Kol Zion LaGola, an Israeli Radio Broadcast for the Diaspora. He settled in Haifa as an honorary citizen in 1962. As well as writing oratorios, chamber works and orchestral music, he composed many popular songs and incidental scores for theatre productions....

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

Jehoash Hirshberg

(b Russia, 1899; d Tel Aviv, 1968). Israeli critic, choral conductor and composer of Russian birth. In 1925, soon after his emigration to Palestine, he was appointed music critic of the newly founded socialist daily Davar, a position he retained throughout his life. He changed his surname from Rabinowitz to the more Hebrew Ravina in 1930. His frequent and detailed reviews, which insisted on a high standard of performance and programming, and sought a genuine Jewish musical style, were highly influential. In an attempt to bring music to the people, he collaborated with David Shor on an ambitious education project that included public lectures, the publication of popular music appreciation booklets and song anthologies, and the establishment of a nation-wide network of amateur choirs. He was also a strong supporter of contemporary music in Palestine. His many songs (around 60), mostly written for young children, were intended as part of a newly composed folksong repertory....

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

William Y. Elias

[Karl ]

(b Heidelberg, Nov 13, 1897; d Beit Zayit, nr Jerusalem, Jan 15, 1974). Israeli composer and conductor of German birth . A pupil of Richard Strauss at the Berlin Academy of Arts, he became a répétiteur at the Berlin Staatsoper, sang at the Hamburg Opera and conducted in Baden-Baden. After settling in Jerusalem in 1933, he became the first music director of the Jerusalem Broadcasting Service in 1936. In 1938 he founded the Israel Radio SO (now Jerusalem SO), and from 1957 to 1962 he was director of the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s Transcription Service. In Germany he was active in reviving Handel’s Rodelinda and in 1944 he organized the first Bach and Handel festival in Jerusalem.

On his arrival in Israel, Salmon became influenced by the folk music of the region, which resulted in such works as the Symphonic Suite on Greek Themes (1943) and the Sephardic Suite...

Article

Michal Ben-Zur

[Kar’el]

(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’, ...

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

Miri Gerstel

(b Tel-Aviv, Jan 7, 1935). Israeli composer and conductor. He studied philosophy at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (1955–9). He started his musical training with Ze'ev Priel (conducting and piano), Horst Salomon (horn) and Paul Ben Haim (composition, 1949–57). He attended a conducting course with Markevitch in Salzburg (1955) and studied composition with Blacher at the Berlin Musikhochschule (1959–62). From 1972 to 1982 he was music director of the Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra. He taught at the Cologne Musikhochschule (1983–6) and was music advisor to the Israel Festival (1985–8). He was music director of the newly founded Israel SO from 1989 to 95, during which time he became the first Israeli conductor to include works by Richard Strauss in public concerts. He taught conducting and composition at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem (1986–9) and from 1990 taught at the Rubin Academy in Tel-Aviv (director from ...