Aharon Harlap

Born: 
1941
Place of Birth: 
Ontario, Canada

Aharon Harlap is one of Israel’s most prominent composers and conductors. Born in Canada, he began his musical career as a pianist, and in 1964 immigrated to Israel. Widely known as an orchestral, operatic, and choral conductor, Harlap has appeared as guest conductor in Canada, the U.S., Europe, and South Africa. In Israel he has appeared as guest conductor with the Israel Philharmonic, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Sinfonette Beer Sheva, the Kibbutzim Chamber Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. A prize-winning composer, Harlap has a fruitful connection to the poetry of Yaakov Barzilai, a Holocaust survivor originally from Hungary. His three song cycles employing Barzilai’s poems include Pictures from the Private Collection of God, My father will no longer bless the bread, and Letters Weeping in Fire (MOR gave this last work its U.S. premiere at Benaroya Hall on November 8, 2006). Harlap’s opera Wings, based on the writings of Gibran Khalil Gibran, received its 2005 world premier performance by the Israel Chamber Orchestra. His viola concerto dedicated to the international violist Rivka Golani received its premier performance in May 2007 with the Dohnanyi Orchestra, Budapest. Harlap is a Senior Lecturer in Conducting at the Jerusalem Academy of Music, where he also heads the Opera Department. He has been music director and conductor of the Kfar Saba Chamber Choir since 1997.