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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

George Gelles

(b Satu-Mare, Sept 9, 1946). Israeli violinist of Romanian birth. She studied at the Rabin Academy in Tel-Aviv, and then in the USA as a protégée of Isaac Stern. She also worked with Josef Gingold at Indiana University (1966–7), and with Ivan Galamian at the Juilliard School (1967–9). She won the 1968 Paganini International Competition at Genoa, and the 1971 Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition at Brussels. Her prizewinning performance of the Sibelius concerto on the latter occasion was subsequently issued as a recording, and was praised for a maturity of approach and vibrant expression reminiscent of Ginette Neveu. Her New York recital début was in 1969, and her British début was at Windsor Castle in 1971. In 1986 she joined the faculty of Indiana University, where she gave the first performance of Donald Erb's Together Forever: Three Poems (1988) and recorded his violin concerto. She has toured widely, and is admired for intelligent and perceptive musicianship as well as spirited brilliance of technique....

Article

Ann Griffiths

(Rosemary)

( b Adelaide, May 9, 1961). Australian harpist . Having studied with the Salzedo method exponents June Loney (Sydney) and Alice Chalifoux (Cleveland, Ohio), she came to prominence as winner of the 1982 Israel Harp Contest. In 1994 she recorded a CD devoted to the solo harp music of Carlos Salzedo, and the same year was co-founder of ...

Article

William Y. Elias

(b Haifa, Aug 22, 1922). Israeli violinist. He began violin studies at the age of five with Karmy, and gave his first public concert when he was eight. At the age of ten he played to Huberman who sent him to study at the Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris, where three years later he won a premier prix. After graduating he studied with Enescu, Thibaud and Flesch. In the late 1930s he went to London and during the war he worked first in a munitions factory there and then for the army's entertainment service. After the war he made his débuts with the LPO, the BBC SO and other British orchestras. In 1951 he won the Thibaud Prize. The following year he returned to Israel and made his début there with the Israel PO and the radio orchestra. From the mid-1950s he toured widely and recorded the concertos of Tchaikovsky, Berg, Hindemith and Stravinsky, among others. He performed frequently in Paris, where he first appeared in ...

Article

Tully Potter

( b Tel-Aviv, March 22, 1946). Israeli viola player . She learnt the violin with her mother, then at the Israel Academy of Music and finally with Oedoen Partos at Tel-Aviv University, also studying art and mathematics. Having switched to the viola, she played in the Tel-Aviv Chamber Orchestra in 1968 and in the Israel PO from 1969 to 1974, gradually building up a solo career as a 20th-century specialist. In 1974 she moved to Toronto, becoming a major force in Canadian contemporary music; and from the 1990s she has been based alternately in Toronto and London. Golani has a charismatic stage presence and the ability to hold an audience's attention even with the most complex new music. In addition to playing and recording the mainstream viola repertory, such as the Bach suites, Bloch's Suite hébraïque, Joachim's Variations, the viola concertos of Martinů, Serly, Bartók, Bax and Rubbra, Benjamin's Fantasy and the Tertis version of the Elgar Cello Concerto, she has given the premières of more than 200 works, including 33 concertos. A number have been recorded. Music associated with her includes ...

Article

Eliyahu Schleifer

(b Budapest, March 5, 1932). Israeli composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist. As a young boy, he survived the Nazi invasion and miraculously escaped deportation. In 1949 he entered the composition department of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he studied the piano with György Kósa and Erno Szégedi, composition with Endre Szervánszky and Ferenc Szabó, and ethnomusicology with Zoltán Kodály. As a Kodály disciple, he spent two years among the Hungarian gypsies, collecting songs and stories. This resulted in his Gypsy Cantata on poems of Miklos Randoti, which won first prize at the Warsaw International Youth Festival (1955).

Following the failure of the Hungarian uprising, Hajdu escaped to France, where he studied with Milhaud and Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire. At the same time he wrote music for films and conducted youth choirs. From 1959 to 1961 he taught the piano and composition at the Tunis Conservatory and was active in ethnomusicological research there. This period is represented in his ...

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

James Wierzbicki

(b Tel-Aviv, Jan 15, 1946). Israeli pianist. He moved to the USA in 1962 to study at the Juilliard School of Music with Edward Steuermann and Ilona Kabos. In 1967 he made his New York recital début and won the Young Concert Artists Award; the following year he performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto no.4 in a nationally televised concert with Bernstein and the New York PO. After winning first prize in the Leventritt Competition (1969), he made his European début with Previn and the LSO in 1970. Since then he has maintained an active career as a recitalist and soloist, appearing with the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago SO, Boston SO, Berlin PO, LSO and LPO and the Israel PO, and in Japan, Australia and Latin America. He has performed regularly with the violinist Jaime Laredo and the cellist Sharon Robinson since 1976, and in 1981 the three officially formed the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio; together with the Guarneri Quartet they presented Brahms's complete works for piano and strings in New York in ...

Article

Uri Toeplitz

(b Odessa, Nov 17, 1903; d Tel-Aviv, Oct 14, 1972). Israeli composer and violinist. The son of the Jewish actress Esther Rachel Kaminska, he grew up in Warsaw. After working as a violinist he studied composition in Berlin with Friedrich Koch (1922) and in Vienna with Gál. On his return to Warsaw he was made leader of the Polish RO and he founded the Warsaw String Quartet, which won the Marshal Pilsudski Competition in 1934. In 1937 Kaminski was invited by Bronislav Huberman to become one of the leaders of the Palestine Orchestra (later the Israel PO), then in its second year. He settled in Tel-Aviv and stayed with the orchestra until his retirement in 1969. His creative work was influenced by a range of sources from Gregorian chant to the music of Richard Strauss, and including the oriental elements of Israeli folk music.

The best of Kaminski’s work is found in the progressive Triptych for piano and two concertante pieces: the witty Trumpet Concertino and the Violin Concerto, a more powerful and dramatic work although its last movement is lighter, with a Jewish theme and Sephardi dance rhythms. Kaminski played the solo part at the work’s première in ...

Article

(b Rosenberg, Hungary [now Ružomberok, Slovakia], Nov 27, 1882; d Tel-Aviv, Jan 14, 1962). Israeli educationist and pianist of Hungarian birth, active mainly in Germany. After studying the piano with Kullak and Busoni and composition with Felix Draeseke in Berlin, he made frequent appearances as a concert pianist and began teaching at the Stern and Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatories in Berlin. From his student days his political and cultural activities had developed his ideas about the role of music in education and had also equipped him with the organizational experience to put them into practice. In 1918 he became musical adviser to the Prussian Ministry of Science, Culture and Education, becoming in 1922 director of the newly established music department of the Central Institute for Education and Teaching. The institute organized in May 1921 a school music week, the first of eight annual events held in different German towns, where Kestenberg’s music reforms were explained and discussed. In the same year Kestenberg’s ...

Article

Margaret Campbell

(b Riga, Jan 10, 1948). Israeli cellist of Latvian birth . He had his first lessons at the age of eight, attended Children's Music School and Riga Conservatory and in 1965 moved to Leningrad. In 1966 he won a major prize in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, after which he studied with Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1970 he was imprisoned for 14 months in a labour camp near Gor′kiy, and in 1972 left the USSR for Israel. From this time he followed an increasingly successful solo career: his US début was at Carnegie Hall in 1973, and his London concerto début with the RPO in 1976, followed in 1977 by a recital début with Lupu at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Maisky later established a duo with Martha Argerich, with whom he has made many recordings, among them outstanding performances of the complete Beethoven sonatas and the sonatas by Franck and Debussy. His recording of Brahms's Double Concerto with Gidon Kremer and the Vienna PO under Bernstein is also notable, though his recordings of the Dvořák and Shostakovich cello concertos have been criticized for their idiosyncrasy and rhythmic wilfulness. Rostropovich has said of Maisky's playing that it ‘combines poetry and exquisite delicacy with great temperament and brilliant technique’. He plays a Domenico Montagnana cello dated ...

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

William Y. Elias

[Ödön]

(b Budapest, Oct 1, 1907; d Tel-Aviv, July 6, 1977). Israeli composer, string player and teacher of Hungarian origin. Born to an assimilated Jewish upper middle class family, he was a child prodigy and studied the violin with Ormandy. Hubay heard him play the violin at the age of eight and took him as a pupil at the Budapest Academy of Music, where he also studied composition with Kodály. After graduating from the academy in 1924, he was leader of the Lucerne Stadtsorchester (1924–6) and the Budapest Konzertorchester (1926–7). In 1927 he moved to Germany, working as a soloist, and in 1933 he became first violinist of the Jewish Cultural Centre. At the end of that year he returned to Hungary, moving then to Baku to teach the violin and composition at the conservatory (1935) and returning to Budapest as leader of the Konzertorchester (...

Article

William Y. Elias

(b Prague, Sept 24, 1910; d Haifa, Dec 20, 1968). Israeli harpsichordist, pianist, composer and educationist of Czech birth . He made his public début as a pianist at the age of 12. He studied first at the Prague Academy of Music and later at Prague University (1929–31). In 1936, at the invitation of Bronisław Huberman, he settled in Israel. After gaining a distinction in the 1939 Geneva International Competition he became sought after as a performer; following an engagement at the 1947 Prague Festival he made lengthy annual tours abroad, appearing under, among other conductors, Klemperer, Paray, Dorati, Celibidache, Solti, Fricsay and Bertini. In 1939 Pelleg was among the founders of the Institute for Jewish Music Research, and in 1949 he became director of the music department of the Ministry of Education and Culture in the new state of Israel. In 1951 he moved to Haifa, where he was among the founders of the Haifa SO and its music director until his death; he was also music director of the Municipal Theatre from its establishment in ...

Article

Tully Potter

( 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 ...

Article

Motti Regev

(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 ...

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

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

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....

Article

Ronit Seter

(b Montevideo, Jan 1, 1959). Israeli composer and guitarist of Uruguayan birth. After emigrating to Israel in 1974, he studied the classical guitar with Menashe Baquiche and composition with Jan Radzynski. He obtained the BMus (1984) and MM (1986) at the Rubin Academy of Music, Tel-Aviv University, where his teachers included Leon Schidlowsky and Seter. He began to teach at the Rubin Academy in 1995. One of the foremost guitarists in Israel, his honours include two ACUM prizes (1992) and the Prime Minister Prize for composers (1994). As a composer, Seroussi has drawn inspiration from a variety of sources, including Luis Buñuel's films, Henri Matisse's paintings and the poetry of Pablo Neruda and Antonio Machado. His style, influenced by European avant-garde pitch content and Latin American orchestration, tends towards new complexity. His orchestral composition Lux: in memoriam Mordecai Seter (...