Noam Sheriff, Israel Prize winner 2011

Noam Sheriff, one of Israel’s most versatile and world renowned musicians, was born in Tel Aviv in 1935.

He studied composition and conducting in Tel Aviv (Paul Ben-Chaim), Berlin (Boris Blacher) and Salzburg (Igor Markevitch) and philosophy at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Noam Sheriff

Noam Sheriff

Since the 1957 premiere of his work  Festival Prelude  by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein at the opening of the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, his works have been regularly performed in Israel and all over the world.

In Noam Sheriff’s music one finds an original solution to the fusion of East and West, of musical elements from ancient Mediterranean cultures and from the West. Among his most significant works are the three scale vocal compositions that form a trilogy. Mechaye Hamethim (Revival of the Dead) which was premiered in Amsterdam by the IPO in 1987, based on the Jewish East-European traditional music as well as on the ancient oriental Jewish themes of the Samaritans. Sephardic Passion, which was premiered in Toledo, Spain, by the IPO, Zubin Mehta and Placido Domingo in 1992, is based on the music of the Sephardic Jewry. Psalms of Jerusalem was premiered in 1995 in Jerusalem to open the 3000 year celebrations of that city with its four choirs around the hall singing in Hebrew and Latin.

His newest vocal work, Genesis, was commissioned and premiered by the Israel Philharmonic and Maestro Zubin Mehta at the festive concerts of Israel’s 50th Independence day. His Mechaye Hamethim  was performed by the IPO under Mehta in a unique concert  at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Jerusalem, marking Israel’s Jubilee.

Noam Sheriff regularly conducts both his compositions and other works of the orchestral repertoire all over the world. Between 1989 and 1995 he was the Music Director of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Le-Zion which, under his leadership, achieved success unprecedented in Israeli Musical history.

Since 1963 Noam Sheriff has been teaching composition and conducting. He has  taught at such institutes as the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Universities as well as the Musikhochschule in Cologne and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Over the years he has directed many music festivals in Israel as well as various television and radio programs.

Since 1990 Noam Sheriff has been professor of composition and conducting at the Tel Aviv University's Rubin Academy of Music and, in the years 1998-2000 its Director.

Since January 2002 he has been the Music Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra, which, in its first season under his leadership (2002-3), won the praise of the critics and audiences.

In April 2004 he was nominated Music Director of the New Haifa Symphony Orchestra.

Noam Sheriff was the winner of the “Acum” prize, and in the year 2003, the prestigious EMET PRIZE, the highest prize awarded in Israel for excellence in culture and the sciences. He was recently nominated as one of the 50 most influential figures in Israeli music.

Noam Sheriff was recently elected as a full member of the Technion's (Israel Institute of technology) board of governors. He was appointed Dean of the music faculty at the ONO Academic College in 2012.

In July 2012 his Choral symphony "Mechaye Hametim" (Revival of the Dead) had its Salzburg festival debut with unprecedented success due to which it will have its New-York debut in Carnegie hall, 25 October 2012.

Noam Sheriff's works are published by IMI and by C.F. Peters Edition, Frankfurt.