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Deep in the Blue - 1967

“Deep in the blue” for soprano & chamber Orchestra, 1967.

This piece was written in a summer composer conference in Pennington College, Vermont.

I wrote 6 short pieces, one of them completely graphic, (an influence of N.Y. free spirit and John Cage way of writing) but only 2 pieces were recorded and broadcasted in the U.S. I enclose the graphic page for a piece called SYNAESTHESIA as a homage to Alfred Bester book "The stars, my destination" which describesthis psychedelic phenomena. For the 2 recorded pieces I had a great soprano: International singer and performer Antonia Lavane

Masa'ot - 1969

"Masa'ot" (Journeys). First commission from Israeli Festival (composers workshop). Israeli broadcasting service (IBS) orch. Vocal - Zimra Ornat. Conducted by Maestro Noam Sheriff, 1969. The Israel Festival was very kind, allowing the League of Composers to pick 5 composers and commission 5 new works for an orchestra, and I was the youngest - fresh from Julliard school. My 1st symphonic piece starts with a starter gun shot, supplied by my colleague Eitan Avizur,  and the text is a surrealistic collage, some times spoken by orchestra members.

Job - 1975

"Job" - A short opera based on the nook of Job, Libretto by Oded Beery, commissioned by the Israeli Festival, conducted by Izsak Steiner with the Tel Aviv chamber ensemble. The modernized plot occurs in a police station with the Devil, sung by soprano Adi Etzion, is the station chief. Job friends, who are the policemen, accuse Job in a minor traffic misdemeanor. The part of Job was performed by the great baritone VILI HAPARNAS  who  took part in many modern music events. The plot is political: The devil, if losing the bet with God, will stop world war 3. one of Job friends is socialist and the Devil, in the last aria, follows them in the tradition of "Damn Yankees" (those were the good old days) by mentioning his great moments - Guernica, the 2 world wars and the Holocaust.

Playback - 1976

“Playback” was constructed with the help of IBS and composer Joan Franks Williams who headed the contemporary music dpt. and produced a live broadcasted series called “Music in a New Dimension” (MND). the piece for chamber Ensemble, narrator and chorus was simultaneously broadcasted from 3 cities, having the chorus in Haifa, narrator in Jerusalem and ensemble on stage in Tel-aviv, with signs of a 12 tone series conducted by me with a stop watch and metronome. The text included quotations of Arnold Schoenberg , parts of his publishing contracts and old memories.

Luna Rossa - 1977

"Luna Rossa", a work for large ensemble, soprano and tape In an MND theatrical concert, quotes in recorded and live performance about 10 moonlight subject songs in 4 languages, as well as a recording of the Apollo 11 lift-off. Soloist: ADI ETZION, accompanied by two mandolins. The name of the piece came from a great international 50's hit, translated to Hebrew and sung by Lilith Nagar.

Ad Asher - 1977

"Ad Asher" (until) - IBA and conductor Lucas Foss commission for a "psalm" concert. I set to music ecclesiastes chapter 12 which describes the quickening ageing process till death. The piece was dedicated to the memory of my father, who died in 1976. Soloist - Adi  Ezion. The recording of the concert was released on an album called "Israeli vocal and instrumental music" (Folkays FTS37466).

Quintet for Harp & Strings - 1979

"Quintet for harp and strings" represented Israel in the "Italy Prize" radio contest and had several different aspects than my former work. The 2nd Movement was a reggae groove, the solo bass was partly sang by composer Gideon Lewinson and the third part called "Elegy" was sang (adlibitum) by me while conducting.

Intonarumori - 1981

"INTONARUMORI" (Italian word for "noise instruments") was performed in an MND concert dedicated to early 20th century Vanguard currents, by 11 musicians seated as a piano keyboard. The narrator - future director Avi Mograbi, reads parts of the Italian futurist painter and composer/ inventor Luigi Russolo's manifests. With the help of a motorcycle, compressor, vacuum cleaner and other domestic machines, we try to demonstrate the futurist idea of modern music.

Mecholot - 1984
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"The afternoon bird dances" is a text of poet Natan Alterman. Part of the score is graphic, thus allowing the children to improvise with small instruments. The piece was written for "Pa'amonim" choir led by Eilat Younger. Later the famous "Ankor" children choir made the piece their "flagship" act and played it numerous time in Israel and abroad, winning several prizes. On their 1st album, "The Ankor Choir" it is the 1st piece.

Sof Ha'ona - 3 - 1984
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After accompanying a lighting performance in the ISRAEL FESTIVAL (same year) We decided to keep on rehearsing (mainly in my studio) and had dates in Tel Aviv museum, Haifa jazz festival and various clubs. We lasted about 2 years, and while producing no disc, we recorded a lot of material.  Our style was quite vanguard and every member contributed his own materials. After separation we all continued to produce new materials in different styles.

Avaz - 1989

"Avaz" -

"Avaz" for mixed chorus, chamber Ensemble and optional tape (which doubles the instruments) was conducted by Zivia Sharet. "Music Now" felt that choir works rarely appear in Israeli modern concerts and we dedicated some concerts to vocal, using vocalists from the opera choir. My 1st contribution was "AVAZ". The lyrics were gibberish and the name came from a wrong use of the computer software which gave the current name to whtever was on the screen (in my case , music for Ibsen's "The Wild duck" - in Hebrew "AVAZ HAPERE"). The rhythmically wild  piece was well accepted, and was performed quite a lot. A special occasion occurred in the Tower of David in old Jerusalem, when the Israli Festival called for outdoor performances. My contribution was 3 evenings called "Avaz in the tower of David" featured several works of my MSN works, and joined by jazz man Harold Rubin. a technical world premiere was the use of Midi to control the lighting - done by lighting designer Judy Kupferman (Later on most of the lighting systems include midi connection). The same program, with more pieces and more players was performed outside the "Haifa Flm Festival" twice a year later.  

Triple-Double - 1992


"Triple- Double" means (in basketball) scoring double digits in 3 categories .The piece was commissioned by prof. Amnon Volman  for an evening at North Western Univ. USA - where he was heading the composition dep. The pieces that were played were written by zorn, Rwezky, Vollman and myself.  My work was written for 3 couples: 2 strings, two keyboards and 2 percussion players. The performers belonged to the Californian famous group - ‘Ear Unit’, which, as I found too late, could play many more instruments.

Free Va'anunu - 1998


After 10 years and 30 concerts MSN decided, at the exact date, 12/12, to use the same instrumentation for the coming concert. I used a political text again: A short poem by Aaron Shabtay named "Release Mordechy Vaanunu" (the "atom spy").Like the first piece the poet was recorded (on voice mail) and heard in the piece for tape, 3 singers ,harp, bass, piano, tenor saxophone and percussion .Conductor- Leonti  Wolf.

Haregashot - 2003
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Commissioned by pianist Michal Tal I set to music 3 of her father ,poet Israel Pinkas, under the name "The most gentle feelings" for piano, clarinet ,violin and singer sivan rotem. The piece was recorded and played live at Kol Israel series –Atnachta.

Stage Hands - 2018
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"STAGE HANDS" - for chamber orchestra and 3-4 stage hands - Dedicated to all stage hands around the world and especially for the veteran Ilan Amidror (started his job in 1968) whom I saw numerous times .

A stage hand is also the liberarian, who knows the score and its instruments, knows the orchestra’s members and their private habits. Like a designer he sets the right  way of moving the heavy instruments in the shortest course. In the electronic age he is responsible for microphone and amplifier setting - sometime strange and irrational demands.

A stage hand is not too popular among the audience. He (or she) enters the stage in the short intermission between piece, signifying that the fun is over. Coming too soon may shorten the applause and insult the soloists; coming too late will upset everybody. Once the concert is over he has the ungrateful and tedious job of clearing the stage.

There will be no concert without them - but they are transperent for us.

In this piece they will take clear, active part, quite in focus.

Other than that, this is a one-movement, atonal symphonic poem, with some amusing solo parts. I did not write a symphonic piece since 1993 and though I clearly hear this work in a computer version - it is not the same. There are no stage hands in a computer.

Rage - 2019

"RAGE" -

The name of this work and its motto are both taken from Dylan Thomas' poem Do Not Go Gentle Onto That Good Night, in which Dylan writes 'Rage, rage against the dying of the light'. I have composed this poem for violin and electronics two years ago, and since then I could not stop thinking about the son, pleading with his father to continue fighting a futile war.

The work contains quotes and adaptations taken from previous works of mine: Goose, for choir (1989) and the Jerusalem Piyyut Ha'EI Haira Ure'e within the first movement; and KoI Hanehalim, from the Mami Rock Opera (1986, with Ehud Banai) as well as music which I write for a production of Shakespeare's Hamlet (Habima, 1986).

Rage is not a Symphonic Poem but rather three different "moods'', symbolizing also strong musical links to other genre choices in my past (mainly during the 1980's, a decade in which I had my breakthrough). These choices, I hope, would give me strength towards the struggle implied within the work's motto.

Phoenix - 2020

“PHOENIX” was written in 2019, commissioned by the 21th century ensemble as a gesture for my 80th birthday - 20/10/2020. The work, that lasts 10 minutes, is written for a sextet- a string section (violin, viola, cello) and a ”jazz” section (rumpet, saxophone, piano) and has two movements. This was supposed to be a piece for 6 instruments that will last for 6 minutes. But the dual concept of 2 different sections needed 2 parts, and more time for solos. The seconds part is more invigorating and faster, but it is based mainly on motives from the end of the first part.

The inspiration for the choice of instrument came from Stephan Wolpe: Quartet for trumpet, saxophone, piano and percussion (1959). I always admired his fighting spirit, sense of humor and game of tonalities. I heard it as a student in N.Y in a concert dedicated to his work (1967) in a hall full of young admirers . Wolpe was one of the composers that found the Jerusalem Academy of Music (1934) in which I studied 27 years later.

There is no connection between the 2 works, but I tried to preserve his optimistic spirit and positive belief in the healing power of music. This work relates to the other late 2 symphonic pieces: ”Rage” for the Jerusalem symphony orchestra (2019) and ”Stage Hands” for Tel Aviv Chamber Ensemble (2018). The music can be quiet entertaining sometimes - but there is always a different message behind.

Harpsicord Fantasy - 1968

HARPSICHORD FANTASY (1968), performed by Zipora Wiztoom.

 I wrote this work after returning from Juilliard school. A former student who specialized and owned a harpsichord offered me to write a solo piece. I learned a lot from her about the special features of the instrument and the way to write dynamics, colors, etc… Later, she became an important editor in the Israeli Voice of Music. This work was dedicated to my son, Guido, who was born at this time - 13.2.1968.

November - 2013

"november" - for cello and tape was written for a joined concert with composer Arik Shapira called "the Last Mohicans" and performed by the "Meitar" ensemble.

Trio for flute, guitar and viola - 1964
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This is my first composition, written under the guidance of my beloved teacher, professor YZHAK SADAY, who encouraged me to study composition with him at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, 1961, when I could hardly read notes. He is even now my greatest inspiration. Seeing my tendencies toward impressionism and modern jazz he offered this unusual choice of instruments. Though the piece obeys the code of three part {allegro-andante-allegro}, the instrumentation is sparse with few tutti parts (the viola does not play in the 2nd part, the guitar comes late in the 1st part).

The piece was recorded, published and played in Europe, which gave me the strength to go on writing.

The Mountain - 1982

THE MOUNTAIN - tuba solo. Performed by tuba virtuoso Adi (shmuel) Hershko, 1982, outside the T.A museum near a statue of Henri Moor called "The Mountain".

These were the times when composers like Kagel, Berio, Globokar were focused on the way to used an instrument in an unexpected way. Helped by performers like Gazzeloni (flute), Sparnay (bass clarinet), Globokar  (trombone) encouraged composers to write solo pieces. Adi Hershko can play a melody and sing another tune in the same time. I asked him to wear shoes that can make a tapping noise so he became a One Man Band.

Nothing Works As Planned - 2006

NOTHING WORKS AS PLANNED – 2006 - T.A  Museum - for violin, contrabassoon and electronics. Performers: Gilad Hildesheim - violin, Barbara Ann Schmutzler - contrabassoon.

The name of the piece (which became the name of the concert and later, the name of the record by "Interval Records") is taken from the book "good as gold" by Joseph Heller. Dr Gold wrote an article in that name, and the president offered him a job, saying: "that’s what I am saying all the time". The concert, which repeated itself in Boston, had video pieces as well. Prof. Amnon Volman, Arik Shapira, Neil Leonard and Kiki Keren Hose were some of the composers who took part in the complicated adventure.

Three Zen Songs - 1
Three Zen Songs - 2
Three Zen Songs - 3

THREE ZEN SONGS - 1968 - Student concert in Julliard Auditorium, For flute, alto flute, soprano and mezzo soprano.

3 songs in Japanese by zen poet Takahashi.

I wrote these songs under the Guidence of  Luciano Berio, my teacher in that time. He wanted  me to write a simple, clear melody and disapproved of  my "wild" graphics (he was right…). The Julliard performers were completely professional.

4 pieces for Piano and Narration - 1969

4 pieces for piano and narrator - 1969. Pianist-benny oren. Narrator-Rachel Ravid.

This work was performed in the Rubin Academy hall as a part of teachers works. The text has some Zen quotes and has an ironic attitude

Toward its own form. But the last words ( for a moment… you have been quiet ) bring a different atmosphere. I never write lyrics, and prefer the mutual fire that is created between different people (except in this work).

May 01 - 1990

MAI 01: My second son,  Yonatan, was born May 3rd, 1989  but the due date was 1st of may and this piece markes his birth. This was one of the first seasons of "Music Now" group, and we had a relatively large set: 5 brass, 5 strings and piano. The conductor, LIOR SHAMBADAL, who is famous as a composer as well, did a perfect job of balancing the 2 different groups of completely different character. After a minute and a half, 2 trumpets start an ostinato that sounds like an old phone rings. The association is the beginning of the film "Once Upon a time in America"(1984) when Robert de Nero lets the phone ring for 3 minutes until he picks it up. the piece was also named after international worker’s day.

Kolornoa - 1989


People who saw "avaz" recommended us to Pnina Blair, artistic director of the festival (founded 1983). WE added musicians (bass and keyboards) and did a big multi media show in the garden near the cinimatek for 3 consecutive nights.  we explored new techniques - like using small lights around the trees which can react to very fast changes that can applied only with midi light computer.

"Laruts Merchak Layla" - 1991

"LARUZ MERCHAK LAYLA" - 1991. a concert of "Music now" group dedicated to poets-inspired music. I set 3 of Amir Gilboa poems , with ETI BEN ZAKEN  and string trio. The text has violent elements as well as the music - making it a difficult piece to perform.

"Lior'ot Hakalu Hamaym" - 1982

"LIROT HAKALU HAMYIM" ,1982. Poem by Meir Vizeltir . Written  for soprano, clarinet, cello and piano, performed at the library auditorium. That poem was really poem-a-clef. I did not take into consideration private information,  but I  paid attention to the use of the sonnet form,  but in a different division of verses.

Straan - 1993

STRAAN - 1993 - The Raanana Symphonet. Conductor - YERUHAM SCHAROVSKY, musical director.

A nice gesture of "MUSIC NOW" was commissions to write symphonic works  ,after a long time of writing chamber music only. The name is a word- play on the orchestra's name. The piece is a bit aggressive because of the frustration of having no chance to write for large units.

60 seconds - 2021

60 seconds for cembalo - 2021

In the  year 2019 I got a call from pianist and cembalist  HAGAY YODAN asked me, and many other composers, to write a piece 1 minute long. The result should be a huge collection of Israeli music .Limitations sometimes bring a lot of fruit, but for me it was a great hazard, since my works are much longer, and the last time I wrote for cembalo was 1969 lasted more than 6  minutes. If I was a Japanese poet, I would have written a 17 syllables modest Haiku but since I am a temperamental Israeli I tried to extract the confused and gabbled we live in as an irrational collage with a  bit of piece of mind in the end. Hagay put a lot of energy and power, and surprised me with the variety of dynamics he got from an instrument which is supposed to sound without piano or forte .and so I got the best performance ever of my keyboard pieces. 

Megilat Ha'atsma'oot - 1988

MEGILAT HAAZMAUT - 1988  conductor -Uri Segal . As a part of the celebrations of 40th year birthday of Israel.

The Israel Festival asked me to write in music the declaration of independence as read by the first prime minister - David Ben Gurion. To the Israeli broadcasting service we added the police band which was full of excellent musicians, the Israeli opera choir led by Avner Itay and the ANKOR children choir led by ARNON MEROZ.  The solo part which included imitation old recordings of DBG was sung by JAY SHIR .  

I treated the original reading of DBG electronically on tape, adding my ironic  comments  about the promises and Principles which we are from committed to. The  police band intervened whenever a "delicate" subject  , like freedom of speech and faith was mentioned.

The Lyric Quartet Backwards - 2021
MUSHHROOMS - Unknown Artist

Photo: Goni Riskin

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