Yehoshua Lakner

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Yehoshua Lakner was born on 24th April 1924 in Bratislava (now Slovakia). The diversity of his musical compositions can be seen in connection with his biography. In 1941 he emigrated to Palestine (now Israel). He studied with Oedoen Pártos and Alexander Uriah Boskovitch, who taught a more or less modern style of composition with oriental elements, which was to give the young State of Israel a musical identity. Their influence, as well as that of jazz and the emancipation of percussion instruments at that time, can be heard in Lakner's early works, which he composed during the period he taught at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music after 1950. His "Toccata for Orchestra" received the Engel Prize of the City of Tel Aviv in 1958. The Singspiel (musical comedy) "Spiel der Zeit," composed for the anniversary of Kibbutz Merchawia in 1961, blends the elements of serious contemporary music and folk music with pedagogical objectives. After study sojourns with Aaron Copland at the Tanglewood Center (Massachusetts), Lakner began to become more interested in the strict arrangement of serial electronic music, as practiced in the Studio for Electronic Music of the NWDR in Cologne, in particular by Karlheinz Stockhausen. In 1963, Lakner moved to Switzerland due to the serious illness of his son. In Zurich he composed stage music for the Theater an der Winkelwiese, which was considered strikingly modern. He also taught at the Conservatory and Academy of Music in Zurich. Beginning in 1987 he developed a form of computer music, which he called "Audio-Visual Time-Structures (AVTS).


June 2016, Mathias Spohr

(translated by Renée von Paschen)