Haim Alexander

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Haim Alexander born 9 August 1915 (as Heinz Alexander) in Berlin, Germany. Died 18 March 2012, in Jerusalem. Israeli composer, pianist and teacher. His studies at the Stern Conservatory were halted in 1936 as a result of the Nazi persecution, and in the same year he emigrated to Palestine. There he studied composition with Stefan Wolpe and piano with Irma Wolpe-Schoenberg and Ilona Vince-Kraus. As a student he made his living as a café jazz pianist in Jersualem and established himself as an excellent improviser. Alexander was one of the founders of the Academy of Music in Jerusalem (later the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance) and until his retirement he was a professor there. Alexander taught piano, harpsichord, theory, composition and improvisation. He also taught at the musicology departments of Tel-Aviv University, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, at the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze, Geneva, and at New York University. In the 1950\'s Alexander attended avant-garde seminars in Darmstadt. In 1971 he undertook a large-scale project of transcribing traditional songs kept at the National Sound Archives, many of which he later arranged for various ensembles. Alexander experienced the tension between the ideological pressure to create a new national style with a nebulous Middle Eastern and folklike orientation and the internal pressure to retain and absorb the great European heritage and the urge to keep abreast of current Western music. His works include orchestral, chamber and piano music, choral works and songs for voice and chamber ensembles.