MAAYANI, AMI (1936– ), Israeli composer and conductor. Born in Tel Aviv, Maayani studied composition with Paul *Ben-Haim at the Academy of Music in Jerusalem, and then graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Technion in Haifa. He wrote a monumental 1,000-page Hebrew monograph on Wagner. Maayani taught theory and composition at the Academy of Music, Tel Aviv University, and at the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem. From 1993 until his retirement in 2003 he was head of the Academy in Tel Aviv. During this time he collaborated with architect Yoram Raz in designing the very successful auditorium for the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. Mayani won the akum Prize (1974), the international competiton "Holocaust and Rebirth," and the iba Prize for the 25th Anniversary of Israel.
Maayani's prolific output reflects his special penchant for idiomatic and brilliant instrumental writing. It includes concertos for harp (1960, 1966); concerto for violin (1987); concerto for cello (1967); Qumran, a symphonic metaphor (1971); three symphonies and other orchestral and chamber works; and Yiddishe Lieder for voice and orchestra (1973). Maayani's strong individualistic personality creates a unique synthesis of elements of Arabic music with traditional Western modality and harmony.
L. Harbater-Silver, "Ami Maayani and the Yiddish Art Song (Part 2)," in: Musica Judaica, 9:1 (1986–87), 64; R. Fleisher, Twenty Israeli Composers (1997), 151–62.
[Uri (Erich) Toeplitz and
Yohanan Boehm /
Jehoash Hirshberg (2nd ed.)]