Alexander Argov

browse music by Alexander Argov published by IMI

Born in Moscow, Russia in 1914 as Alexander Abramovich. He was the son of a pianist and exhibited a talent for music from an early age. Upon moving to Eretz Yisrael in 1934, Argov first worked in a bank and resigned music to an avocation, and only later was able to pursue it professionally. He wrote lyrics for private celebrations on kibbutzim and moshavim, and composed for the Palmach and IDF troupes, where he wrote one of his most famous songs, Friendship. His career as a lyricist expanded to writing songs for many plays and films, as well as for several popular singing groups. He has also set many poems to music, including works of Leah Goldberg and Yehuda Amichai. Argov's music exhibits Russian, and to a lesser extent, French influences, yet is dominated by Hebrew rhythms and character. There is also an emphasis in his songs on harmony. He contributed significantly to Israeli music over many decades, writing more than 800 songs. He has collaborated with other artists, including Chaim Hefer, with whom he wrote over one hundred songs, and Matti Caspi, two of whose albums contain lyrics written exclusively by Argov. Argov's work in Israeli folk music was recognized publicly in 1988 when he received the Israel Prize. He died in Tel Aviv in 1996.