Bertini, Gary

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BERTINI, GARY (1927–2005), Russian-born Israeli conductor and composer. After training in Israel and Italy, he studied in the Paris Conservatoire and at the Sorbonne. Among his teachers were Boulanger and Messiaen. In 1954 he returned to Israel and taught conducting in Tel Aviv at the Music Teachers' College, and later at the Rubin Academy, where he was appointed professor in 1975. He played an important role in the development of Israeli music. He founded and directed many of Israel's leading musical institutions such as the Rinat Choir (1955), the Israel Chamber Orchestra (1964–75), the Musical Evenings for Contemporary Music (1962–65), the Liturgical Festival (1978), and the Israel Festival. He was musical director of the Symphony Orchestra of Jerusalem (1978–86) and artistic and musical director of the New Israel Opera in Tel Aviv (1994–97). Bertini regularly conducted the major orchestras of the world and held appointments as conductor, musical advisor, and director with leading orchestras, among them the Scottish National Orchestra (1971–78), the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1981–83), the Cologne rso (1983–91), the Frankfurt Opera (1987–90), and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. He was later appointed musical director of the San Carlo Theater.

Bertini is known for a wide repertory ranging from Josquin des Près to contemporary composers. He is noted for his interpretation of Mahler and French music. He has given the premieres of many works of Israeli composers (such as *Partos, *Ben Haim, *Orgad, *Avni, *Seter, and *Tal) and others. His compositions include incidental scores, works for orchestra, chamber music, songs, and choral arrangements. Bertini is the recipient of the Israel Prize (1978), the Frank Pelleg Prize (1999), and the Grand Prix of the French music critics. He also wrote an essay on Anton Webern.


Grove online; mgg2; Baker's Biographical Dictionary (1997).

[Naama Ramot (2nd ed.)]

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