Ben-Haim (real name, Frankenburger), Paul

views updated

Ben-Haim (real name, Frankenburger), Paul

Ben-Haim (real name, Frankenburger), Paul, eminent German-born Israeli composer and teacher; b. Munich, July 5, 1897; d. Tel Aviv, Jan. 14, 1984. He studied piano, composition (with Klose), and conducting at the Munich Academy of Arts (1915–20). He was asst. conductor to Walter and Knappertsbursch (1920–24) before serving as conductor n Augsburg (1924–31). With the advent of the Nazi regime in 1933, he emigrated to Tel Aviv and changed his surname to the Hebrew Ben-Haim. He was director of the Jerusalem Academy of Music (1949–54). In 1957 he was awarded the Israel State Prize. An automobile accident in 1972 brought a premature end to his creative work. Although his output followed generally along late Romantic lines, he also was influenced by the indigenous music of the Middle East, particularly of his adopted homeland. He was especially successful as a composer of vocal works.


ORCH: Concerto Grosso (1931); Pan, symphonic poem (1931); 2 syms.: No. 1 (1940; Tel Aviv, June 5, 1941) and No. 2 (1945; Tel Aviv, Feb. 2, 1948); Evocation for Violin and Orch. (1942); Concerto for Strings (1947); Piano Concerto (1949; Tel Aviv, Feb. 1, 1950); Fanfare to Israel (1950; also for Band); From Israel (1951); The Sweet Psalmist of Israel (1953; Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 1956); To the Chief Musician (1958); Violin Concerto (1960; Tel Aviv, March 20, 1962); Dance and Invocation (1960; Tel Aviv, Feb. 2, 1961); Capriccio for Piano and Orch. (Tel Aviv., Sept. 25, 1960); Cello Concerto (1962; Limburg, Dec. 14, 1967); The Eternal Theme (1965; Tel Aviv, Feb. 12, 1966); Divertimento for Flute and Chamber Orch. (1971–72). CHAMBER: String Trio (1927); String Quartet (1937); Clarinet Quintet (1941); Serenade for Flute and String Trio (1952); Sonata for Solo Violin (1953); 3 Pieces for Cello (1973); piano pieces, including a Sonata (1953). VOCAL: Yoram, oratorio (1931); Liturgical Cantata for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. or Organ (1950); A Book of Verses for Chorus (1958); Vision of a Prophet, cantata for Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (1959); Lift up Your Heads, motet for Soprano and 8 Instruments (1961); 3 Psalms for Solo Voices, Chorus, and Orch. (1962); A Hymn to the Desert for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1963); Myrtle Blossoms from Eden for Soprano or Tenor, Alto or Baritone, and Piano or Chamber Orch. (1966); Kabbalai Shabbat (Friday Evening Service) for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus, and Organ or 9 Instruments (1967); 6 Sephardic Songs for Chorus (1971).

Bibliography J. Hirschberg, P. B.-H. (Tel Aviv, 1983; Eng. tr., 1990); H. Guttmann, The Music of B.-H: A Performance Guide (Metuchen, N.J., 1992).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire