Vienna, Sep 2001 (Tet of Tishrei): 10th Anniversary of Myth of the Cave
By Yitzhak Yedid:
It was twelve years ago in Vienna, one of the most beautiful and musical cities in Europe, and a day before my 30th birthday (which happens to fall on Yom Kippur) that I performed a concert that completely changed the direction of my career. I became a composer with an interest to research new waves of compositional approaches to integrate Jewish music and Jewish ideas into Western classical music including improvisation.
American pianist Ran Blake, who a few years before was my teacher at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, encouraged me to send a copy of my debut solo piano album Full Moon Fantasy to Franz Koglmann – an Austrian composer/trumpet player and a prominent European music figure. Koglmann liked the album and decided to introduce my music to the European scene. He invited me to perform Tachanun (He: תחנון) at the Wiener Music Galerie, a three-day festival he directed at the time for over a decade at the concert house in Vienna. I performed with two fantastic Israeli musicians – double bassist Ora Boasson-Horev and percussionist Vlad Nedelin.
A few minutes after we finished our performance at the festival, a young man came backstage to greet me. Later on I found out that he was the founder and CEO of a private bank in Frankfurt, a rich man, advocate of (good) music and very sporty (he drove his Maserati from Frankfurt to Vienna). He said that my performance was the best in the festival and the best that he had heard in a long time and so he would like to commission me to compose a new work for Between the Lines (a record label his bank sponsored, Koglmann its artistic director). He said “You will hear from me” and we exchanged email addresses. Well, six months passed and I did not hear from him. One day, perhaps thanks to some sort of an inner feeling, I checked my Junk-Email before letting it be automatically deleted and there I found his message waiting for my response. It was, up to this day, the best musical offer that I have ever received – an invitation to compose and perform a new work and then to record an album in Frankfurt with any performers in the globe that I would chose, together with a generous commission fee. I of course immediately replied and accepted the offer with two hands.
It took me almost a year to compose Myth of the Cave in 2003-4 and I chose to perform it with virtuosi Canadian clarinetist François Houle and double bassist Ora Boasson Horev from Jerusalem. In retrospect I believe that this was the point that my career as a composer actually started – one commission and one performance led to another and it all started to role. Now-days, I have released 12 albums of my own original work, I am based in Brisbane (who could believe that?) and I lecture piano at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.
The exciting news is that in February 2014 at the 10th Anniversary of Myth of the Cave I will perform the work in Sydney (Feb 5. VJ’s – North Shore Temple Emanuel), Brisbane (Feb 8. Brisbane Jazz Club) and Melbourne (Feb 10. Melbourne Recital Centre), with myself on the piano, François Houle on the clarinet and Sam Pankhurst on the bass.
So, please, do not forget to check your Junk Email and come to watch the live concert of Myth of the Cave.
SYDNEY: Wed 5 Feb – 7.30pm:
VJ’s (North Shore Temple Emanuel) – 28 Chatswood Avenue, Chatswood
BRISBANE: Sat 8 Feb – 8pm:
Brisbane Jazz Club – 1 Anne St Kangaroo Point.
MELBOURNE: Mon 10 Feb – 6pm:
Melbourne Recital Centre, The Salon – 31 Sturt St Southbank
www.melbournerecital.com.au tickets: Standard $38 – Concession $28