Canadian string quartet. It was formed in 1965 at the summer school of Les Jeunesses Musicales de Québec at Mount Orford by Andrew Dawes (bHigh River, AB, 7 Feb 1940), Kenneth Perkins, Terence Helmer and Marcel St-Cyr. The four were coached by Lorand Fenyves of the University of Toronto, former leader of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, with whom Dawes and Perkins had studied in Geneva. In 1968 the ensemble was given a residency at the university. Regarded as the leading quartet in Canada, it toured extensively in Europe and North America, playing the Classical and Romantic repertory as well as such contemporary works as those of George Crumb and Leon Kirchner. In 1972 it gave the première of Jacques Hetu's Quartet and in November 1974 it shared first prize in the EBU competition in Stockholm. In 1980 Denis Brott took over the cello chair and this formation of the quartet recorded a celebrated Beethoven cycle. Robert Levine became the viola player in 1986, to be succeeded the following year by Sophie Renshaw, and Desmond Hoebig replaced Brott in 1988. The ensemble was dissolved in 1992 but in 1995–6 Dawes made a comeback to fill in as leader of the Tokyo Quartet.
(b Gelsenkirchen, 21 Aug 1926). Israeli composer and teacher of German origin. In 1933 he moved to Palestine, where he studied the violin with P. Kimari (1934–42) and R. Bergman (1942–7), and composition with Ben-Haim (1941–6) and Tal, graduating from the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem, in 1947. He went to the USA in 1949 to study with Copland at Tanglewood and to attend Kurt Sachs’s lectures at New York University. In 1950 his symphony Ha-sui Yisra’el (‘The Beauty of Israel’) was introduced by the Israel PO under Bernstein, and in 1950 his biblical cantata Sipur ha-meraglim (‘The Story of the Spies’) won him the International Koussevitzky Competition, enabling him to continue his studies at Tanglewood, where the work was first performed in 1952. He also studied under Fine, Shapero and Levi at Brandeis University (1960–61), receiving the MFA in musicology. In Israel he has worked as supervisor (1956–74) and chief supervisor (1975–88) of music education for the Ministry of Education and Culture, besides appearing widely as a lecturer on Israeli and contemporary music. In 1997 Orgad won the Israel Prize in music, the highest national award.
A defining aspect of Orgad’s music is its roots in the Hebrew language. Patterns of intonation and metrical values typical of biblical and modern Hebrew are expressed in extended modal tonalities, maqām and chromaticism, while the melos and melismas originating from the rich Eastern and Western traditions of chanted biblical tropes are also present. These are discussed in his article ‘The Musical Potential of the Hebrew Language and its Manifestation in Art Music’ (1978). Personal maqāmat are recognizable in early works, such as Out of the Dust (1956) and Monologue (1957), as well as in the seven Filigree works (1989–97). Since Mizmorim (‘Songs of Thanksgiving and Praise’) (1966–8) he has exploited simultaneity as a means of construction, employing diverse sound groupings, different texts in one or more languages, and varied spatial dispositions. His passion Ha-gzerot ha-yeshanot (‘The Old Decrees’) (1970) and the orchestral Ballade (1971) are further examples, while tonal gesture has become an additional element since Reshuyot in 1978. Orgad has used the term ‘tonescapes’ to indicate an intentional relation to ‘spiritual sites’, with Jerusalem the most common, from Hazon Yesha‘yahu (‘Isaiah’s Vision’) (1953) to Shtay Petikhot (‘Two Openings’) (1995), as well as Galilee in the seven Filigree works and Terezin in Makom Ishi (‘A Personal Place’) (1995). In Makom Ishi, Hityahadut shniyah [Individuations no.2] (1990) and Ha-gzerot ha-yeshanot, the use of German and Yiddish songs merges the ‘site’ into the simultaneous texture. Orgad has stressed the significance of collaboration with performers and how they are latent partners in his creative process. Many of his musical characteristics are also expressed in his three books of poetry, his translation of 40 of Paul Celan’s late poems (1987) and his prose works.
Choral and orch: Sipur ha-meraglim [The Story of the Spies] (Bible: Numbers), 1951; Hazon Yesha‘yahu [Isaiah’s Vision], 1953; Ha-gzerot ha-yeshanot [The Old Decrees] (Passion MS from Darmstadt, 1096), S, Mez, T, Bar, vv, chbr orch, 1970; Sipuro shel halil [Story of a Pipe] (after S.Y. Agnon), S, Mez, Bar, vv, orch, 1972; Yisurei ge’ulah [Sufferings for Redemption] (S. Ibn Gabirol), Mez, female vv, orch, 1974; And this is the Blessing, 1993
Solo vocal and orch: Tfilah (Prayer), Bar, chbr orch, 1948; Ha-sui Yisra’el [The Beauty of Israel] (Bible: II Samuel), sym., Bar, orch, 1949; Mizmorim [Songs of Thanksgiving and Praise] (Bible, trad.), S, A, T, B, chbr orch, 1966–8; Shirim ba-boqer ba-boqer [Songs of an Early Morning] (A. Gilboa), (Mez, Bar)/Mez, chbr orch, 1968; Iltam Zumra [A Hymn to the Goddess] (Sumerian, Akkadian texts), Mez, Bar, chbr orch, 1989
Unacc. choral: Eikhah nissa [How Shall We Bear], SATB, 1947; Adonai adoneinu [O Lord, our Lord], motet, male vv, 1952; Nesi’at Kapayim [Blessing of the Priests], cant, 3 SATB, 1976; Songs of the Choshen Valley, 8 songs, SATB, 1981
Solo vocal with insts: Min he-‘afar [Out of the Dust] (E. Ur), Mez, fl, bn, va, vc, 1956; Death Came to the Wooden Horse Michael (N. Zach), 2 S/Mez, 9 insts, 1968, rev. 1977; Sha‘ar sha’ar [Gate], v, vn, va, vc, pf, 1977; Maqom Ishi [A Personal Place], Mez, fl, cl, bn, hn, tpt, perc, 2 vn, va, db, 1995