Ariel Lazarus

Ariel Lazarus Composer, arranger and performer, born in Rehovot, Israel on February 18, 1977. His Sephardic mother is from Gibraltar and his Ashkenazi father is a first-generation Israeli, son of a Holocaust survivor. By the age of 15, he was playing the guitar, writing poetry, painting, and teaching himself to compose. He went on to study at the Hed College of Contemporary Music in Tel Aviv, initially majoring in guitar performance. In the spring of 2002, a concert of his compositions for a 10-player ensemble was given in Tel Aviv. Following that he was offered a scholarship at the Oklahoma City University master in composition program where he studied with American composer, Dr. Edward Knight. Over his stay at the United States, he has performed with his ensemble and other international groups in various venues both in the US and Europe.

In June 2004, Lazarus performed an orchestral suite he wrote for chamber ensemble, classical guitar and cantor as part of the tercentennial celebrations of British Gibraltar. His concert was one of three official musical events of the summer; the other two were Elton John and Suzanne Vega. The suite was dedicated to Lazarus’s grandfather Abraham Beniso, a world-renowned Sephardic cantor from Gibraltar.

In April 2005, Lazarus was commissioned to write a piece for the town of Lübbecke, Germany, in memory of its Holocaust victims and survivors. Among the survivors was his great-grandfather, who was the town’s choir conductor. Lazarus premiered the piece with members of the Lübbecke Symphony Orchestra later that year.

Earlier that year, Lazarus released his first CD, “Keter Malchut: Sephardic Prayers and Songs.” Under his direction, an international ensemble of 11 musicians brought to life the haunting world of sound of the Jewish communities across the Mediterranean

In December 2005 Lazarus conducted the world premier of his first full symphony entitled "Sefarad" with members of the Oklahoma City University symphony orchestra in front of a full auditorium, following that he received the master of music degree from the Oklahoma City University.

In February 2007 Lazarus preformed with the Raanana Symphonet Orchestra (RSO). The program featured selections from the Keter Malchut CD that Lazarus arranged for the symphonic medium along with a new orchestral work: ’Moroccan Dream’ that he composed especially for the occasion.

In January 2008 Lazarus composed original music for the theatre production “Akiva and Rachel”, following that he was commissioned to write a concerto for guitar and wind orchestra that was debut at the Budapest opera house as part of Israel’s 60 years anniversary celebrations in Hungry.

Together with his ensemble Lazarus gives regular concerts in various venues across Israel, including, ”Jaffa’s night’s”, Suzan Dalal, Tzfat Intl. Klezmer Festival etc, while serving as teacher and musical director at the Raanana conservatory.

Ariel is currently working on his PhD in music composition at the Bar-Ilan University in Israel, under the direction of Prof. Betty Olivero and Prof. Gideon Levinson.