Orgad, Ben-Zion

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Orgad, Ben-Zion

Orgad, Ben-Zion, German-born Israeli composer; b. Gelsenkirchen, Aug. 21, 1926. He went to Palestine in 1933 and studied with Ben- Haim (1942–47), and also took courses at the Rubin Academy of Music (graduated, 1947). He later studied with Copland at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood (summers, 1949, 1951,1961) and with Fine and Shapero at Brandeis Univ. (M.F.A. in musicologi 1962). From 1950 to 1988 he worked for the Israeli Ministry of Education and Culture. In 1997 he received the Israel Prize in Music.


orch.:Building the King’s Stage (1957); Music for Horn and Orch. (1960; rev. 1988); Kaleidoscope (1961); Movement on A (1965); First Watch for Strings (1969); Melodic Dialogues on 3 Scrolls (1969); Ballad (1971); Second Watch for Chamber Orch. (1973; rev. for Orch., 1982); Dialogues on the First Scroll for Chamber Orch. (1975); A Vigil in Jerusalem: Third Watch (1978); Song of Praise (1979); Individuations I, concertante for Clarinet and Chamber Orch. (1981; rev. 1984) and II, concertante for Violin, Cello, and Chamber Orch. (1990); She’arim for Brass Orch. (1986); Filigrees V, concertante for Chamber Orch. (1993) and VI for Strings (1993); Toccata in Galilean Maqam: Choregraphic Tonescapes (Tel Aviv, Nov. 24, 1994); Toccata in a Galilean Maqam (Choreographie Tonescape) (1994); Ad profundos (1998). chamber:Ballad for Violin (1947); Monolog for Viola (1957); Septet for Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass (1959); Duo for Violin and Cello (1960); String Trio (1961); Tak’sim for Harp (1962); Landscapes for Wind Quintet (1969); Songs without Words for Flute, Piano, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (1970); Filigrees I for Clarinet and String Quartet (1989–90), II for Oboe or English Horn and String Quartet (1990), III for Bassoon and String Quartet (1992), and IV, septet for Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass (1993); Melosalgia for 2 Trumpets (1993); Siphonic Movement for Wind Quintet, Brass Quintet, 2 String Quintets, and Percussion (1999). piano:Toccata (1946); 2 Preludes in Impressionistic Mood (1960); 7 Variations on C (1961); Reshuyoth (1978); Mártir (1994); Tone Alleys (1999). vocal:Leave Out My Name, song cycle for Mezzo-soprano and Flute (1947); The Beauty of Israel, sym. for Baritone and Orch. (1949); Isaiah’s Vision, biblical cantata for Chorus and Orch. (1952); The Story of the Spies, biblical cantata for Chorus, Narrator ad libitum, and Orch. (1952); Out of the Desert, quintet for Mezzo-soprano or Contralto, Flute, Bassoon, Viola, and Cello (1956); Mizmorim, cantata for Soloists and Chamber Orch. (1966–68); (4) Songs of an Early Morning for Mezzo-soprano, Baritone, and Chamber Orch. (1968); Death Came to the Wooden Horse Michael, ballad for 2 Mezzo- sopranos and Chamber Ensemble (1968; rev. 1977); The Old Decrees, Passion in 5 Testimonies for Soloists, Chorus, and Chamber Orch. (1970; rev. 1987; Cologne, Nov. 3, 1990); Story of a Pipe for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1971); Sufferings for Redemption, cantata for Mezzo-soprano, Women’s Chorus, and Chamber Orch. (1974); Songs Out of Hoshen Valley for Chorus (1981); Sh’ar Larashut for Chorus (1988); And This is the Blessing, cantata for Soloists, Chorus, Trumpet, and Piano (1993); A Personal Place for Alto and 12 Players (1995); Voices for Narrator and Clarinet or Cello (1999).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire