Yitzhak Yedid has been announced as the winner of the 2020 Azrieli Foundation Prize for Jewish Music. His winning composition, Kiddushim Ve’ Killulim (Blessings and Curses), was unanimously declared the best new major work of Jewish music by the judges of the Canadian prize. Yedid received a total prize package valued at over $200,000 CAD, which includes a cash award of $50,000 CAD; a world premiere performance of his work by Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne; two subsequent international performances; and a recording released on the Analekta label
YITZHAK YEDID: CONCERTO FOR PIANO AND STRINGS (2016)
Michael Kieran Harvet (piano), Graeme Jennings (Conductor)
With Divertimenti Ensemble
NEW WORK: YITZHAK YEDID: ANGLES' REVOLT
CHACONNE FOR PIANO SOLO commissioned by Lev Vlasenko Piano Competition
NEW WORK: YITZHAK YEDID: Chad Gadya
for clarinet, violin, cello & piano commissioned by Stradbroke Chamber Music Festival
New articale for the Jerusalem Post
NEW WORK: YITZHAK YEDID: PIANO CONCERTO
commissioned by Michael Kieran Harvey and the Tel Aviv Soloists
In Israel, I grew up acutely aware of the tensions caused by the animosity between Palestinians and Israelis. Of profound significance were the sensory images of the shocking terror attack that occurred in a mall in central Jerusalem on December 3, 2001. The destruction and suffering caused by the two suicide bombers was devastating and continues to haunt me to this day. This attack killed eleven innocent boys including my relative 19-year-old Moshe Yedid-Levy. However, in my music, my intention is not to refer directly to experiences such as this but rather to look at Arabic and Jewish matters from a human perspective and in conjunction with philosophical and religious concerns. I am a strong believer in the power of music to bring about understanding, change and reform in societies, and perhaps also between nations. It is my wish to convey the idea of cultural pluralism.
My music presents a philosophy that I believe should also apply in our day-to-day interactions between individuals and between nations and religions. We should acknowledge the past (our tradition and our history) accepting that, no matter what, we are not able to change that which has already occurred but we can try to understand why it occurred. We must also cognizant of the fact that we are the ones who are creating the “new tradition” and that to this we are able to make changes. My music reflects my passion to create progress and change in composition and in performance of Western classical music; it is a product of what I believe is a natural process of integration over time. I was born in Jerusalem to a family that migrated to Israel from Syria and Iraq early in the 2oth century. At home, we harboured a deep desire to preserve our musical heritage of hundreds of years. However my formal music education was in Western classical music and I have studied and played the piano. I have an intimate connection to my past, to my historical traditions and culture, and to my musical traditions as well as to Western music. Out of these influences, I was able to compose and to propose new compositional approaches to Western classical music.
Rabbi Hillel the Elder, the renowned Jewish sage and the principal of the Sanhedrin, an ancient Jewish court of sages, used to say:
“If I am not for myself who will be for me? Yet, if I am for myself only, what am I? And if not now, when?" (Avot 1:14).
This quotation from Rabbi Hillel the Elder about the duty of a person to not only be concerned for himself but also to worry and contribute to society reflects my feeling about composing. I believe that one should strive to develop a personal voice and be an individual, not solely for oneself, but also for others, as individuality is a necessary step in any contribution to broader society.
NEW WORK: Kiddushim ve' Killulim
commissioned by NK Orchesrtra & Christian Lindberg
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