Avidom (real name, Kalkstein), Menahem

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Avidom (real name, Kalkstein), Menahem

Avidom (real name, Kalkstein), Menahem, prominent Polish-born Israeli composer and administrator; b. Stanislawow, Jan. 6, 1908; d. Herzliya, Aug. 5, 1995. He emigrated to Palestine in 1925. After taking courses in art and science at the American Univ. in Beirut (B.A., 1928), he went to Paris to study with Rabaud at the Cons. (1928–31). Following a sojourn in Alexandria, Egypt (1931–35), he settled in Tel Aviv as a teacher. From 1945 to 1952 he was secretary–general of the Israel Phil. He was director–general of ACUM (Soc. of Authors, Composers, and Music Publishers) of Israel from 1955 to 1980. From 1958 to 1972 he also was chairman of the Israel Composers League, of which he was elected honorary chairman for life in 1982. In 1961 he received the Israel State Prize for his opera Alexandra. In 1982 ACUM awarded him its prize for his life’s work. In his extensive output, Avidom ranged widely stylistically. While he utilized folk modalities of the Middle East, he also embraced dodecaphony.


DRAMATIC: Alexandra, opera (1952; Tel Aviv, Aug. 15, 1959); In Every Generation, opera (1955); The Crook, comic opera (1966–67; Tel Aviv, April 22, 1967); The Farewell, radiophonie opera (1969; broadcast Nov. 1971); The Pearl and the Coral, ballet (1972); The Emperor’s New Clothes, comic opera (1976); Yodfat’s Cave, musical drama (1977); The Cave ofjotapata, dramatic scene (1977); The End of King Og, children’s opera (1979); The First Sin, satirical opera (1980). ORCH.: Polyphonic Suite for Strings (1938); 10 syms.: No. 1, A Folk Symphony (1946), No. 2, David (1948; Tel Aviv, Dec. 1, 1949), No. 3, Mediterranean Sinfonietta (1951), No. 4 (1955), No. 5, The Song of Eilät, for Voice and Orch. (1956–57), No. 6 (1960), No. 7, Philharmonic (1961), No. 8, Festival Sinfonietta (Jerusalem, July 27, 1966), No. 9, Symphonie variée, for Chamber Orch. (1968), and No. 10, Sinfonia brevis (1980); Concerto for Flute and Strings (1946); Music for Strings (1949); Violin Concertino (1953); Jubilee Suite (1959); Triptyque symphonique (1966); Spring, overture (1972); Movements for Strings (1979; also for String Quartet); Ballet Suite for Youth for Chamber Orch. (1985); Prelude for Youth Orch. (1989). CHAMBER: 2 woodwind quartets (1937, 1984); 3 string quartets (1953, 1960, 1991); Enigma for 5 Winds, Piano, and Percussion (1962); Brass Quartet (1963); Monothema, sonatina for String Quartet (1982); Woodwind Quintet (1983); Sonata for Solo Viola (1984); Bachiana (B.A.CH) for Brass Quintet (1985); Trialaogue, trio–passacaglia for Piano, Viola, and Cello (1985); Trio for Oboe, Piano, and Cello (1986); Triptyque for Flute, Horn, and Piano (1988); Clarinet Sonata (1988); A Tre for Piano, Viola, and Clarinet (1990); Pour la Clarinette (1994). Piano: 2 sonatinas (1939, 1945); 12 Changing Preludes (1965); 6 Inventions on the Name of Artur Rubinstein (1973); Piece on the Name of SCHOEn–BerG (1974); Once Upon a Time..., 5 tales (1977); Duo Sonatina for Piano, 4 Hands (1982); Triptique (1984); 6 epigrams (1985–87). VOCAL: 5 Psalms for Mezzo–soprano or Alto, 2 Clarinets, and Percussion ad libitum (1976); 12 Hills, cantata (1976); Beyond, cantata for Voice and Instruments (1977); Peace Upon All, cantata for Baritone and Chamber Orch. (1994); choruses; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Avidom (real name, Kalkstein), Menahem

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