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Alexander Uriah Boskovich

 Boskovich, Alexander Uriah, 1907-1964

Alexander Uriah BoskovichAlexander Uriah Boskovich, born 16 August, 1907, Kolozsvár, Hungary (later Cluj-Napoca, Romania), died 5 November, 1964, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Composer, conductor, pianist and music critic, Boskovich fulfilled a major role in the first generation of Israeli artistic music and coined the term ‘Mediterranean music’. He studied piano with Hevesi Piroska and then in Vienna, in 1924, with Victor Ebenstein. In 1927 he took advanced piano classes in Paris with Lazar Levi, and studied composition with Paul Dukas, Alfred Cortot and Nadia Boulanger, and this shaped his predilection for French music, especially Debussy and Milhaud. From early age Boskovich, who came from a Hasidic family with roots in the Moravian town Boskovich, was interested in Jewish culture. Back in Cluj, in 1930, he founded a Jewish amateur orchestra named after Karl Goldmark, the Austrian-Jewish composer, and became one of the conductors of the State Opera. In the 1930's he got in contact with Jewish communities of the Carapathian mountains, and integrated many of their songs within his "Jewish Folksongs Suite" (1937), later to become "The Golden Chain". In 1938 Boskovich was invited by the Palestine Symphony Orchestra to serve as its conductor, and having accepted this offer, decided to settle in Tel-Aviv. The encounter with the landscape of the country and with the music of the region – including the music of the different Jewish communities, as well as Arabic music and the music of other ethnical groups – and with the Hebrew language, deeply influenced Boskovich, and found expression in both his musical work and writings. Boskovich was one of the founders of the Israel Academy of Music in Tel-Aviv (in 1944), where he taught theory and composition. He also taught at Tel-Aviv University. In 1956 he became music critic of the influential daily Ha’aretz and became known for his many articles on music, art and culture in Israel. In the early 1940's he composed songs for the Yemenite singer Bracha Zephira and made arrangements of Arabic instrumental music originally played by Iraqi Jews for the dancer Yardenah Cohen. In the 1960's he adopted Serialism. Boskovich composed orchestral, chamber and piano music as well as vocal music for choir, songs and music for the theatre.

Among his works:
  ·  Sharsheret ha'Zahav (The Golden Chain) for orchestra (1937)
  ·  Cocerto for Oboe and Orchestra (1942)
  ·  Suita Shemit (Semitic Suite) for piano (1945)
  ·  Shir haMa’alot for orchestra (1960)
  ·  Bat Yisrael (Daughter of Israel) cantata for tenor solo and orchestra, 
      text: H.N.Bialik and "Song of
Songs" (1960)
  ·  The songs Dudu, text: Haim Hefer (1948) and Hitulim (Two Sarcasms),
      text: Yehuda Ben Shlomo El-
Harizi (1949)

Boskovich won the Huberman Prize (1944), Engel Prize (1946 and 1954), Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Prize (1960), Henrieta Szold Prize (1961)
and MILO Prize (1964)

References:
  ·  Alice Tischler,
      A Descriptive Bibliography of Art Music by Israeli Composers,
      Harmonie Park Press,
Michigan, 1988
  ·  Jehoash Hirshberg and Herzl Shmueli,
      Alexander Uriya Boskovich, His Life, his Work and his
Thought,
      Carmel Publishing House, Jerusalem, 1995 (in Hebrew)
  ·   Grove Music Online, Oxford University Press, 2007-2008

Archive Details

Creator
Boskovich, Alexander Uriah, 1907-1964
Title
Alexander Uriah Boskovich
Call No.
Repository
Music Center
Extent
2.5 meters
Languages
Hebrew, English, Romanian, Hungarian, French
Source of Acquisition
Donated by his widow Miriam Boskovich during the years 1980-2008
Processing history
Catalogued by Claude Abravanel

Shelf No.
Music Center Archieves
Scopeiandicontent
Life and Work of the Composer
Organiztioniofithe Collection
Section
Units
Content
A
225
Music Manuscripts
B
8
Sketches
C
31
Books and Articles written by Boskovich
D
8
Music Reviews written by Boskovich
E
321
Correspondence
F
21
Documents
G
50
Analytic and Teaching Material
H
24
Books and Articles on Boskovich
I
43
Programs
J
14
Posters
K
61
Newspaper Clippings
L
7
Obituary Articles
M
107
Correspondence with Mrs. Miriam Boskovich
N
6
Varia

Conditionsigoverning acces
s:
In Music Center
Conditionsigoverning
reproductioniand copyrightistatus:
 
Authorized by the Music Center
Preferredicitation:
MUS 037, Music Center, National Library of Israel, Jerusalem
NLI_ImageGallery
NliImageGallery
  • A.U.Boskovich, Cluj, the 1930's (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F21-3)
  • A.U.Boskovich, conducting the Goldmark Symphony Orchestra, Cluj, 1935-36 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F21-5)
  • A.U.Boskovich (with guitar) and his students Herzel Shmueli (on the right) and Shemmi Weissman, 1946 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F21-8)
  • "Lahaka Tzvaiit Alef" sing the song "Dudu", Nebi Yosha (near Jerusalem), 1948 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F21-9)
  • A. U. Boskovich, 1952-53 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F21-10)
  • A.U.Boskovich with composition students in the Tel-Aviv Music Academy. Right to left : Arie Levanon, Yizhak Sadai and Ilan Zilberstine-Savion, 1955 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F21-11)
  • A. U. Boskovich (on the left) receiving the first prize in the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra competition from Minister Pynhas Rosen for his composition "Shir Hamaalot" ("Song of Ascents"), 1960 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F21-12)
  • East and West Conference at King David Hotel in Jerusalem. Right to left : composers Mordecai Seter and A.U. Boskovich, Hungerian composer and ethnomosicologist Zoltan Kodaly and composer Menahem Avidom, 1963 (Cataloge no. MUS 037 / F21-18)
  • "Dudu", music manuscript for voice and piano, text by Haim Hefer (Feiner), 1948 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / A66)
  • "Semitic Suite", photostat of music manuscript for orchestra, 1950, first page (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / A193)
  • "Be'ayot ha-musica ha-mekorit ha'israelit" ("Problems of the genuine Israeli music"), handwriting manuscript (in Hebrew), the 1950's, second part, page no. 3 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / C4)
  • "Be'ayot ha-musica ha-mekorit ha'israelit" ("Problems of the genuine Israeli music"), handwriting manuscript (in Hebrew), the 1950's , second part, page no. 8 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / C4)