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Dr Yitzhak Yedid is an Israeli-Australian classical composer and improvising pianist. Yedid’s interest lies in composing and performing concert music. His composition folio contains orchestral, chamber and vocal music.
Yedid studied composition and piano 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 classical music. Yedid is an expert in Arabic music and Maqamat (the modal system of classical Arabic music).
Yedid’s awards include the top two prizes in Israel for composers and performers: the Prime Minister’s Prize for Composers (‘07) and the Landau Prize for Performing Arts (‘09). He also won first composition prize at the International Oud Festival for his work Oud Bass Piano Trio and the first composition prize at the 17th International Harp Contest for his solo harp work Out to Infinity. Yedid was awarded The Judith Wright Artist in Residence grant (‘09) and was a composer in residence at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2008.
Yedid writes, “Looking for new compositional approaches and challenging musical conventions through the synthesis of a wide spectrum of contemporary and ancient styles is what motivated my work. Intellectual conflicts such as the confrontation with philosophical matters and religious and political aspects have always been of interest. I have been influenced in particular by Béla Bartók and Arnold Schoenberg to develop a personal vision as a composer and by Cecil Taylor and Paul Bley to develop a distinctive voice as an improvising pianist”. These words are consonant with critics’ comments about his music: John Shand (Sydney Morning Herald, ‘14) wrote “a vividly expansive composition”; Noam Ben-Zeav (Haaretz, ‘13) wrote “Yedid’s music is an authentic expression of new music which incorporates a wide spectrum of contemporary and ancient styles”; Ake Holmquist (NorraSkåne, Sweden) wrote “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”.
Yedid’s works were played in some significant new music festival in Europe, Israel, Australia, US and Canada. He performs as a soloist, and collaborates with musicians from diverse backgrounds, in festivals and venues across Europe, Canada, the USA [including the Carnegie Hall (New York), Jordan Hall (Boston) and Benaroya Hall (Seattle)], Asia, and Africa. Over 30 of Yedid's commissioned works have been premiered since 2005.
Yedid music is published by IMI and represented in Australia by the Australian Music Centre. To date, twelve CDs of his compositions have been released by prestigious international publishers and distributers including Challenge Records International, -between the lines-, Naxos, Muse, MCI and Kaleidos.
Dr Yitzhak Yedid lecturers at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.