Ben-Haim, Paul, 1897-1984
Paul Ben-Haim, born 1 October 1897 in Munich, Germany (as Paul Frankenburger), died 20 January 1984, Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Among his works:
Israeli composer and conductor, one of the leading founders of Israeli art music. In 1920 Ben-Haim graduated from the Munich Academy of Music as conductor, composer and pianist, and then was assistant to Bruno Walter at the Munich Opera. In 1924 he became Kapellmeister of the Augsburg Opera. He composed in Germany orchestral and chamber works and lieder. In 1933 Ben-Haim immigrated to Palestine and settled in Tel-Aviv. He dedicated himself to composition and to teaching at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and at the Music Teachers Training Collage in Tel-Aviv. His notable students include the composers Ben-Zion Orgad, Ami Maayani and Noam Sheriff. Ben-Haim composed orchestral, chamber and solo music for voice and instruments. He became interested in modern Hebrew poetry, writing a series of Hebrew lieder to poems by prominent poets such as Bialik, Sh. Shlom, Lea Goldberg and Rahel. From 1939 until 1955 he collaborated with the singer Bracha Zephira as pianist and arranger of her traditional songs. Through their partnership he became familiar with the tunes, vocal production and intonations of traditional Middle Eastern music, features he borrowed for use in his own works. Brought to prominence through commissions and frequent performances of his works by artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Menahem Pressler, Leonard Bernstein, Jascha Heifetz, Uzi Wiesel and others, Ben-Haim became internationally known soon after 1945.
· Concerto Grosso for string orchestra (1931)
· The oratorio
Variations on a Hebrew melody for piano trio (1939)
Symphonies no. 1 (1940) and no. 2 (1945)
Fanfare to Israel for orchestra (1950)
Sonata in G for violin solo (1951)
Piano sonata (1954)
To the Chief Musician
(Lam'natzei'ach mizmor) for orchestra (1957)
Symphonic Metamorphosis on a Bach Chorale (1968)
Ben-Haim won the Israel Prize in 1957 for the orchestral work
The Sweet Psalmist of Israel (Ne'im Zmirot Israel) (1953) and Engel Prize (1941 and 1953).
Paul Ben-Haim, his life and works,
Jerusalem, Israeli Music Publication, 1990
Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol.3 2nd ed. , U.S.A. 2007
Grove Music Online, Oxford University Press, 2007-2008