Works performed by Earplay:

Yizkor (In Memoriam)

Born in 1953, Yinam Leef grew up in a cultural melting pot, where East meets West, old and new coexist, and local and universal aesthetics are apparent at a change of a glance. While firmly rooted in Western musical tradition, Leef has combined in his music certain elements which are particular to Middle-Eastern sound-environment: melodic fragments, rhythmic or temporal aspects of music, or the relation to time and form. Thus in his works complex harmonies may live side by side next to long pedal tones, and irregular, jazzy rhythms next to timeless melismas.

Leef studied composition with Mark Kopytman at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy, Richard Wernick, George Crumb and George Rochberg at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his doctorate, and with Luciano Berio at Tanglewood. He was a Composition Fellow at the Composers Conference in Johnson, Vermont (1980) and the Yale Composers Seminar at Norfolk (1981), and was the recipient of the America Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarships, CBS Foundation Fellowship, the Margaret Lee Crofts Fellowship at Tanglewood (1982), and a Residence Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony (1984).

His song cycle The Invisible Carmel, set to texts by Zelda, won the Halstead Prize, and he is twice the recipient of the Hilda K. Nitzsche Prize in Music for his Symphony No. 1 and Cannanite Fantasy No. 1 for piano. His choral work Sounds, Shadows... received the Israel Composers League Prize, and his haunting vocal work A Place of Fire received a Citation of Honor from the City of Haifa. His Violin Concerto won the 1992 ACUM Prize for Publication Encouragement and in 1993 he received the Prime-Minister Prize for Israeli Composers.

[from program for November 12, 2001 concert]