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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

Jehoash Hirshberg

(Heinz)

(b Berlin, Aug 9, 1915). Israeli composer of German birth. His studies at the Stern Conservatory were halted in 1936 as a result of the Nazi persecution, and in the same year he emigrated to Palestine. There he studied composition with Wolpe and the piano with Irma Wolpe-Schoenberg and Ilona Vince-Kraus. As a student he made his living as a café jazz pianist in Jersualem and established himself as an excellent improviser. From 1945 until his retirement he was a professor at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem. A highly versatile musician, he taught the piano, the harpsichord, theory, composition and improvisation. He also lectured in the musicology departments of Tel-Aviv University, the Hebrew University, the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze, Geneva, and New York University.

One of the diverse group of composers who emigrated from Europe to Palestine during the 1930s, Alexander experienced the tension between the ideological pressure to create a new national style with a nebulous Middle Eastern and folklike orientation, and the urge to keep abreast of current Western music. This tension is reflected in the contrast between the post-Romantic chromaticism of ...

Article

Natan Shahar

(b Warsaw, Aug 8, 1909; d Yakum Kibbutz, Israel, Dec 18, 1993). Israeli composer and teacher of Russian descent. He received his early musical education in Moscow. In 1924 he emigrated with his family to Palestine, where he continued his musical studies with Shlomo Rozovsky (1928–9). He began to compose in 1930. From 1934 to 1936 he studied music education at Trinity College, London, and composition with Bantock and Rowley; at the same time he also studied at Tonic Sol-fa College, London. With the formation of the Israeli Army, he was appointed First Officer for music, founding the orchestras of both the army and the cadets. In 1949 he became the central inspector for music education at the Ministry of Education, a post he held until his retirement in 1975.

Amiran was one of the Ereṣ Yisrael composers who developed the character of what became known as typical Israeli folksong. His vast number of songs (around 600), many of which set biblical texts, were published in a wide array of pamphlets and song books. The most notable of these include: the nursery songs ...

Article

Nathan Mishori

(b Warsaw, Jan 1, 1896; d Tel-Aviv, Dec 14, 1973). Israeli composer and teacher of Polish birth. He was brought up in his grandfather’s Hassidic home, where he absorbed Jewish folk and liturgical music and learnt to play the violin. A period in cosmopolitan Russia (1913–22) caused him to doubt the significance of his Jewishness, but back in Warsaw he regained his faith through Zionism. He taught music in Hebrew high schools and the Janusz Korczak orphanage, conducted the Hashomer Hatza’ir Choir, for which he arranged Jewish folksongs and composed, and founded the Hevrat Dorshei Musika Ivrit (Society for the Promotion of Hebrew Music) in 1928. In the previous year he had graduated from the State High School of Music, where he studied composition with Szymanowski, though the violin was his principal subject. He moved in 1929 to Palestine. In Tel-Aviv he worked as a teacher and choir director at the Lewinsky Teachers’ Seminary until ...

Article

William Y. Elias

(b New York, April 1, 1930; d Seattle, Jan 30, 2003). Israeli composer of American birth. She studied at the Eastman School, Rochester (BMus 1952), and at the Manhattan School, New York (MMus 1961), where her teachers included Wayne Barlow, Vittorio Giannini, Ralph Shapey, Stefan Wolpe and, for short courses, Vladimir Ussachevsky and Roman Haubenstock-Ramati. From 1962 to 1971 she directed the concert series ‘New Dimensions in Music’ in Seattle, and she also lectured there, at the new School of Music, on contemporary music. In 1971 she moved to Israel, where she continued her concert-giving activities at the Israel Broadcasting Authority and through her series ‘New Dimensions in Music’ and ‘Israeli Composers Plus One’. In these she programmed specially written music sometimes involving audience participation, a technique that influenced her own compositional style. Several of her works incorporate staging, acting and improvisation, such as her ‘mini comic monodrama’ ...

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

William Y. Elias

[Hersh, Donald Lee ]

(b Cambridge, MA, April 22, 1936). Israeli musicologist of American birth. At Yale University he studied French literature (1953–7); he then studied musicology at the University of California, Berkeley (1957–62, MA 1959), where he took the doctorate under Kerman in 1963 with a dissertation on Verdelot and the early madrigal. In 1963 he settled in Israel, where he lectured at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (1963–6), before being appointed to the musicology department of the Hebrew University (1966); he has also been a regular guest lecturer at the Bar-Ilan University (from 1970) and worked as corresponding reporter in Israel for Current Musicology of Columbia University (from 1968). He has received research grants from the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation for work on mannerism in Renaissance music (1964), from the Hebrew University for work on madrigali cromatici...

Article

Nathan Mishori

[Shlomi]

(b Warsaw, May 19, 1909; d Beit-Alpha, Dec 29, 1995). Israeli composer and teacher of Polish origin . In his youth he studied the piano, theory and solfège in Kuybïshev, Russia (1918–21), and in 1924 in Warsaw joined the Zionist movement Hashomer Hatzair, playing the mandoline, tuba, baritone and clarinet in its folk orchestras. He graduated from the Teachers’ Seminarium in Poznań in 1928, and in 1930, following agricultural studies in Brno, Czechoslovakia, moved to Palestine, helping to establish a kibbutz in 1932. Only after 1940 did he begin to be involved with music again, at first teaching and arranging music at the kibbutz Beit-Alpha. After a period of concentrated study (1947–53), with Tal and Partos at the New Jerusalem Academy of Music, and privately with Boskovich, he devoted himself to composition and teaching at the district conservatory for kibbutzim at Beth-She‘an Valley, where he was director until ...

Article

William Y. Elias

revised by Nathan Mishori

(b Gelsenkirchen, Aug 21, 1926). Israeli composer and teacher of German origin. In 1933 he moved to Palestine, where he studied the violin with P. Kimari (1934–42) and R. Bergman (1942–7), and composition with Ben-Haim (1941–6) and Tal, graduating from the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem, in 1947. He went to the USA in 1949 to study with Copland at Tanglewood and to attend Kurt Sachs’s lectures at New York University. In 1950 his symphony Ha-sui Yisra’el (‘The Beauty of Israel’) was introduced by the Israel PO under Bernstein, and in 1950 his biblical cantata Sipur ha-meraglim (‘The Story of the Spies’) won him the International Koussevitzky Competition, enabling him to continue his studies at Tanglewood, where the work was first performed in 1952. He also studied under Fine, Shapero and Levi at Brandeis University (1960–61), receiving the MFA in musicology. In Israel he has worked as supervisor (...

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

[Shosh ]

(b Cyprus, April 10, 1948). Israeli composer, teacher and stage director . She was born while her parents were in Cyprus en route to Israel. First taught music at the Tel-Aviv Conservatory and Telma Yalin Music High School, she graduated in 1970 from the Tel-Aviv Academy of Music, where her main study was the piano (she was a pupil of Madeleine Aufhauser); she also completed a degree in philosophy. During her period of compulsory military service, from 1970 to 1972, she was responsible for classical music at Galei-Zahal, the radio station of the Israeli Defence Forces, and wrote on music for Bahmane, the IDF’s weekly magazine. From 1973 to 1974 she studied composition with Hans Heimler in Guildford, England.

After Riseman’s return to Israel, her song cycle Eize yom yafe (‘What a Beautiful Day’) for male voice and chamber ensemble was recorded; a further cycle, Nine Haiku Songs, received its première at the Israel Festival in ...

Article

Robyn Holmes, Peter Campbell and Judith Crispin

[Lazarus]

Robyn Holmes and Peter Campbell, revised by Judith Crispin

(b Tianjin, China, Sept 10, 1934). Australian composer, pianist, and musicologist. Born to Russian-Chinese parents, he emigrated to Australia with his family in 1951. He studied the piano at the NSW Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, where his teachers included Winifred Burston (1952–8), and in San Francisco with Egon Petri (1959–61). On his return to Australia, he taught at the Queensland Conservatorium (1961–5) and lectured on contemporary composition at the University of Queensland. In 1965 he assumed the position of Head of Keyboard at the newly founded Canberra School of Music (now part of the Australian National University), where he became Head of Composition and Head of Academic Studies in 1978, and Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Visiting Fellow in 2005.

Sitsky first came to prominence as a composer at the inaugural Australian Composers’ Seminar (Hobart, Tasmania, ...

Article

William Y. Elias

(Wolfgang)

(b Düsseldorf, Nov 27, 1918). Israeli composer and violist. He began to play the violin and to compose at an early age; during the years 1932–5 he wrote several works indebted to Reger, an influence which remained perceptible. In 1933 he studied under Eldering at the Cologne Academy, and in 1934 he settled in Palestine, where his studies were completed under Partos (1940–42). Steinberg joined the Palestine SO (later the Israel PO) as a violist in 1942; he has also appeared as a soloist and frequently as a chamber musician (he was a founder of the New Israel Quartet in 1957). From 1969 to 1972 he lectured on chamber music at the Tel-Aviv Academy. The Viola Sonata (1949) showed a first interest in Schoenbergian 12-note serialism, which came to dominate his work. (CohenWE)

Article

Michal Ben-Zur

(b Tel-Aviv, Jan 9, 1927). Israeli cellist and teacher. He studied at the academies in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, at the Juilliard School in New York and with Pablo Casals. In 1953 he won the Piatigorsky Prize, and he also won prizes in the International Cello Competition in Moscow and the Pablo Casals International Competition in Israel. Wiesel was the first to perform the full cycle of Bach's cello suites in Israel, as well as concertos by Berio, Ligeti and Lutosławski. As dedicatee he has given the first performances and made recordings of concertos and pieces for unaccompanied cello by many Israeli composers. Wiesel was also a founder member of the Tel-Aviv String Quartet (1959–93). He was appointed professor at the music department of Tel-Aviv University in 1965, and has taught many of Israel's leading cellists. He has given masterclasses in cello and chamber music internationally, and has been a jury member in international cello competitions. He specializes in Baroque repertory, and has contributed many articles to ...