B i o g r a p h y
Yitzhak Yedid is an award-winning composer, pianist and pedagogue. His interest lies in composing concert music for virtuosi players and his composition folio contains over 50 orchestral, chamber, solo and vocal works. Yedid's music has won several international awards, most recently, the prestigious Canadian Azrieli Music Prize, valued at over $200,000 CAD
Yedid was born in Jerusalem, Israel and since 2008 he call Australia home. He studied piano and composition in Jerusalem (Rubin Academy), Boston MA (New England Conservatory), and Melbourne (Monash University) where he gained a PhD degree in 2013. His expertise as a composer is in the integration of non-European musical elements, including improvisation, with Western practice. His compositions explore new forms of integrating classical Arabic music, Arabic-influenced Jewish music and contemporary Western art music.
Yedid is a Sidney Myer Creative Fellow (for 2018-19). The Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships provide a grant of $160,000 over two years for individual artists who are selected by a committee as meeting two criteria: exceptional courage and outstanding talent.
His other awards include the top two prizes in Israel for classical performers and composers: the Prime Minister’s Prize for Composers (2007) and the Landau Prize for Performing Arts (2009). In 2008 Yedid was awarded a commission composition prize for his solo harp piece at the 17th International Harp contest. This composition has since had numerous performances worldwide. Yedid was also awarded a composer-in-residence position at the Judith Wright Centre (Brisbane, 2010) and at the Western Australian Academy of Performing arts (2008).
In Australian Yedid has been awarded composition grants from The Australian Council for the Arts, Arts Queensland and the West Australian Department of Culture.
Inspired by literature, philosophy, art and landscapes, Yedid’s compositions form a narrative of pictures, textures and colours. His music incorporates a wide spectrum of contemporary and ancient styles and creates a unique integration between improvisation, Arabic genres and contemporary Western classical music. A confluence between the Maqamat (the Arabic music modal system), heterophonic textures of Arabic genres and compositional approaches of jazz and contemporary Western classical music have been created to produce an original sound.
Musicologist Dr Ronit Seter wrote:
Yitzhak Yedid, an Israeli-born Australian composer, amalgamates in his music his ancestral Syrian- and Iraqian-Jewish cantillation, Israeli East-West encounters, European and American avant-garde compositional techniques mixed with free jazz ones, and selected Australian influences, all infused with his insights as a concert pianist and improviser to create an experimental, highly expressive yet alluring modern style. Yedid’s music is therefore multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and consequently, transnational. (2019)
John David (Australia Music Centre) wrote:
Yitzhak Yedid is a significant composer of considerable capacity, whose works often deal with themes of inter and cross culturality. His status as an artist has been recognised by many awards, prizes and commissions, both in Australia, and internationally. (Davis ’19)
Ake Holmquist (Norra Skåne, Sweden) wrote that “Yedid integrates specific stylistic influences into a personal created unity. The manner in which he describes folkloristic influences and melancholic specific themes can remind of Béla Bartók; improvisatory float of hovering à la Keith Jarret”..
Yitzhak Yedid has performed at the Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Jordan Hall in Boston. He has performed his compositions with many ensembles in festivals and venues across Europe, Canada, the USA, Asia and Africa. His music has received hundreds of reviews in the international media.
Twelve albums of Yedid’s music have been released by prestigious international publishers and distributers including Challenge Records International, Sony, Naxos, -btl-, Muse, MCI and Kaleidos, and numerous reviews have been published in the international music media. His latest album was an award nominee for Most Original Australian Jazz Album in the 2013 Australian Jazz Bell Awards.
Dr Yitzhak Yedid has been based in Australia teaching and mentoring university music students since 2008. Currently, Yedid lecturers at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.
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