Hajdu, André

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HAJDU, ANDRÉ (1932– ), Israeli composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist. Born in Budapest, Hajdu studied composition and ethnomusicology with Kódaly at the Franz Liszt Academy. He spent two years among Hungarian gypsies collecting their songs. After the failure of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 he escaped to Paris, where he studied with *Milhaud and Messiaen. In the 1950s, Hajdu became acquainted with avant-garde music at the Darmstadt festivals, but preferred to compose in more traditional styles. In 1966, he immigrated to Israel, where he conducted research into hasidic music and taught composition at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, and later in the Department of Musicology at Bar-Ilan University, where he became a professor. In 2000 Hajdu was awarded the Israel Prize for his achievements in composition.

Hajdu composed in all major genres, including orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. His output includes many educational works, such as The Milky Way (1975–76), Merry Feet (1977), and The Book of Challenges (1991–99). Hajdu's style is pluralistic, and combines various tonal, modal, and post-tonal influences, with frequent use of humor and wit. This pluralism reflects Hajdu's personality, which he himself describes as full of contradictions, and his diverse background, as a religious Jew who grew up in an assimilated family.

Many of Hajdu's works are based on Jewish themes or texts, e.g, Mishnayot ("The Floating Tower"; 56 songs and choral pieces, 1971–73); Teru'at Melekh (for clarinet and strings, 1974) composed for Giora *Feldman; The Prophet of Truth and the Prophet of Deceit (for narrator and string orchestra, 1977); Jonas ("biblical opera," 1985–87); Dreams of Spain (cantata, 1991); Kohelet (for cello solo with three cellos, 1994). Among his other works are Ludus Paschalis (miniature opera, 1970), Stories about Mischievous Children (orchestra, 1976), Instants suspendus (for violin, 1978), On Light and Depth (for chamber orchestra, 1983–84), and B.A.C.H.D.I.E.S. (for instrumental ensemble, 2000). Hajdu published with M. Zakai, Dialogue (1999); and an essay: "Le théâtre intérieur: Eléments de mise en scène dans ma musique," in Perspectives (2003).


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[Yossi Goldenberg (2nd ed.)]