BEN-SHABETAI, ARI


BEN-SHABETAI, ARI
BEN-SHABETAI, ARI (1954– ), Israeli composer. Born in Jerusalem, Ben-Shabetai studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London, England and graduated cum laude in composition and theory of music; with mark kopytman at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance (1983); and with George Crumb and Richard Wernick at the University of Pennsylvania, U.S. (1984–87), where he received a Ph.D. in music composition. Ben-Shabetai has won many awards and prizes. His Sinfonia Cromatica won first prize in the 1994 Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Composition Competition and was included   in the program of its tour to Germany, France, Italy, and the U.S. with zubin mehta conducting. Magreffa for symphony orchestra was commissioned in 1995 by lorin maazel for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and performed both in Pittsburgh and Jerusalem. In 1990 Ben-Shabetai was awarded the AKUM Composition Prize for Yehezkel (Concerto for Cello and Orchestra). In 1996 he received the Prime Minister's Prize for composers. His Elegy For Anna Frank won the Israel Sinfonietta Prize (1982) and his Three Romances for piano the AKUM Prize (1991). Influenced by contemporary music of the 1980s and 1990s and Oriental music, Ben-Shabetai can be categorized as one of the earliest composers of the postmodern style. His individual style incorporates influences of heterophony, post-impressionistic harmony, and minimalism as well as modern rock and jazz music (Blues and White for piano, Deus Ex Machina for electric violin and DJ). From 1987 he was a professor at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He also served as chairman of the Israel Composers League for four years, during which period he founded the Israeli Music Center publishing house and produced the Anthology of Israeli Piano Music published by this organization. His chamber opera Aya No Tsuzumi (The Damasc Drum), composed to a gibberish libretto and based on the Noh Theater play was commissioned by and premiered at the Tel Aviv Biennale 2004). (Dushan Mihalek (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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