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105th Anniversary of the Birth of Alexander Uriah Boskovich

 Alexander Uriah Boskovich (1907-1964)

Alexander BoskovichAlexander Uriah Boskovich was an Israeli composer, conductor, pianist, teacher, and music critic. He was born on August 16, 1907, in Kolozsvár, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today part of Romania, and immigrated to Israel in 1936, settling in Tel-Aviv.
Boskovich’s encounter with Jewish music, in all its ethnic variations, with Arabic music, and with the music of other ethnicities, as well as his encounter with the Eretz-Israel landscapes and Hebrew language, influenced him greatly was thus expressed in his work. Boskovich aspired to create original artistic Hebrew music, “Mediterranean” as he put it, which would draw its inspiration and musical subject matter from the music of the region and from local cultures, Jewish and non-Jewish. Moreover, Boskovich felt his role as composer served the national collective.
Boskovich composed in a variety of musical genres: orchestral, chamber, piano, vocal, as well as music for the theater, ballet, cinema, and songs. The famous song “Dudu”, which Boskovich composed in 1948 to the lyrics of Haim Hefer, became one of the songs most associated with the War of Independence. In addition to his compositional work, Boskovich wrote books, articles, and newspaper critiques on the subjects of music, culture, and philosophy.
Alexander Uriah Boskovich passed away on November 5, 1964, in Tel-Aviv.
Boskovich’s archive (MUS 037) was donated to the Music Department’s archive at the National Library by his widow, Miriam Boskovich. The archive contains manuscripts of scores, books, articles, sketches, educational material about composition, harmony, and music theory, concert programs, posters, newspaper clippings, letters, personal documents, photographs, and more.

Alexander Boskovich recordings available at the Music Department's Sound Archive website

  • Alexander U. Boskovich, Kolozsvár, early 1930s (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F 21-3)
  • Alexander Boskovich conducting the Goldmark Symphonic Orchestra, Kolozsvár, 1935-36 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F 21-5)
  • Boskovich (with guitar) and his students, Herzel Shmueli (on the right) and Shemi Weismann, 1946 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F 21-8)
  • "Lehaka Zvait Aleph" (Army Band A) singing "Dudu", Nabi-Yusha', 1948 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F 21-9)
  • Alexander Boskovich, 1952-53 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F21-10)
  • Boskovich (seated at the piano) with composition students at the Israeli Academy of Music in Tel-Aviv. Standing, from right to left: Aryeh Levanon, Itzchak Sadai, Ilan Zilberstein-Savyon, 1955 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F21-11)
  • Boskovich (on the left) receiving first prize in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra competition for his work "Shir Ha'maalot", from Minister Pinchas Rosen, 1960 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F 21-12)
  • (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / F 21-18)
    The international "East and West" conference at the "King David" Hotel in Jerusalem. From right to left: the composer Mordechai Seter, Alexander Boskovich, Hungarian composer and ethnomusicologist Zultan Kudai, composer Menachem Avidom, 1963
  • "Dudu", manuscript for vocals and piano, lyrics by Haim Hefer (Feiner), 1948. (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / A66)
  • "Semitic Suite", copy of manuscript for orchestra, 1950, first page (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / A193)
  • "The Problems with Original Israeli Music", manuscript, 1950s, part B, page 3 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / C4)
  • "The Problems with Original Israeli Music", manuscript, 1950s, part B, page 8 (Catalogue no. MUS 037 / C4)