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JMI Online: Azrieli Music Prize in Israel 2021

Wednesday 22nd June | 7:30 pm 9:00 pm

Screening information: This programme will be available to watch at the location above (where the picture is positioned) on the date of the event.

The Azrieli Foundation was pleased to partner with the Israel Contemporary Players for the Israel premieres of award-winning works by 2020 Azrieli Music Prize (AMP) laureates: Keiko Devaux (The Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music), Yotam Haber (The Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music) and Yitzhak Yedid (The Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music).

Israel Contemporary Players
Conductor: Zsolt Nagy
Soloist: Noa Frenkel (voice)

Yitzhak Yedid: Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed
Keiko Devaux: Arras
Yotam Haber: Estro Poetico Armonico III

Recorded at Tel-Aviv: Assia Hall, Tel Aviv Museum of Art: Dec. 11, 20:30

The first AMP-winning work on the program, Yitzhak Yedid’s Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed, was inspired by the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – a holy yet conflicted place, sacred to Muslims and Jews alike. Yedid writes, “The work, in two parts, consists of 24 connected musical scenes that bridge compositional approaches originating from two opposing musical traditions: on the one hand from Arabic art music and Mizrahi piyyutim (Arabic- influenced, Jewish liturgical songs) and on the other from European traditions, avant-garde music and improvisation.”

Yotam Haber’s Estro Poetico-armonico III for voice and chamber orchestra – the third work in a series – continues the composer’s long exploration into the music of Rome’s Jewish community, as discovered through the archival recordings of ethnomusicologist Leo Levi. Haber employs these recordings of traditional cantillation and liturgical texts in conjunction with – or in opposition to – texts by four modern Israeli poets (Ory Bernstein, Eli Eliahu, Israel Bar Kohav and Aharon Shabtai) that reflect upon aspects of modern Israeli life while also grappling with its history.

The final work on the program, Keiko Devaux’s Arras – meaning a richly woven tapestry – contains a kaleidoscope of influences from across generations, cultures and musical genres as found within Devaux’s, and her families’, sonic histories. Devaux draws inspiration from a range of material representing the professions of both sides of her family tree (the sound of wind through fields symbolizing agriculture, and that of a mechanical loom apropos of weaving), the natural environments in which they lived (including patterns of animal behaviours such as those of starlings and fireflies), as well as the musical traditions both religious (plainsong and Buddhist chant) and vernacular (chanson française and Japanese-American popular) through which these families expressed their identities. The result is in an evocative, constantly shifting and captivating musical experience

This concert served as part of the prize package each 2020 AMP laureate receives – valued at $200,000 CAD – which also includes the recent album release (Oct. 1, 2021) New Jewish Music Vol. 3 – Azrieli Music Prizes. Other components of the prize package include a cash award of $50,000 CAD; a gala world premiere; and an international performance in New York City this past October 16, 2021.

Established in 2014, the biennial Azrieli Music Prizes seek to fulfill the Azrieli Foundation’s pursuit of its belief in music as a vital human endeavour that allows humankind to express its creativity; to expand its worldview; and to foster positive cultural exchanges.

Keiko Devaux

Keiko Devaux, 2020 Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music Winner 

Keiko Devaux is a Montréal-based composer who writes for ensembles, dance and film. Her compositions focus on musical ‘translations’ of experience through the interpretation of extra-musical form and patterns.She holds a Master’s in Instrumental Composition from the University of Montréal and is currently completing a Doctorate in Composition under the direction of Ana Sokolović and Pierre Michaud. She has been awarded several distinctions, including the 2022 Prix Opus Composer of the year Award, the 2019 Jan V. Matejcek Award from the SOCAN Foundation and the audience and jury prizes of the 2017 Accès Arkea Competition.

She was the 2016-18 composer in residence with Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and is currently a Carrefour composer-in-residence with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Artist website www.keikodevaux.com

Yotam Haber

Yotam Haber, 2020 Azrieli Commission for Jewish Music Winner

Yotam Haber was born in Holland and grew up in Israel, Nigeria and Milwaukee. He is the recipient of many prestigious prizes, residencies and commissions, and is widely performed by the leading new music groups around the world. Haber is Associate Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory and Artistic Director Emeritus of MATA, the non-profit organization founded by Philip Glass that, since 1996, has been dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works by young composers from around the world.

Artist website www.yotamhaber.com

Yitzhak Yedid

Yitzhak Yedid, 2020 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music Winner

The multi award-winning Yitzhak Yedid melds the music of his ancestral Syrian and Iraqi Jewish background with Western art music. His musical style is eclectic, multicultural and very personal, blending jazz and Jewish cantorial music with classic European and avant-garde techniques. His added experience as an improvising concert pianist allows him to create a highly expressive, eclectic and alluring new Jewish music. Yedid studied piano at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, continued his schooling at the New England Conservatory and earned a Ph.D. from Monash University. He currently lectures in composition and piano at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in Brisbane. Most recently, Yedid was named a 2021 Prelude Composer in Residence at Gallop House in Australia.

Artist’s website www.yedidmusic.com

Montreal - Be'er Sheva - New York

 Jun. 19, 2022
Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Montreal, Canada
Dorman – Nigunim (Violin Concerto No. 2)
More info

Jul. 16, 2022
Sinfonietta Beer Sheva, Israel 
Dorman – Nigunim (Violin Concerto No. 2)
More info

Jul. 26, 2022
The Naumburg Orchestral Concerts – Central Park, NYC, USA (pictured)
Dorman – Nigunim (Violin Concerto No. 2)
More info