Gilead Mishory

Gilead Mishory Pianist and composer, born in 1960 in Jerusalem, lives and teaches in Freiburg, Germany. Mishory began to play piano when he was nine, but only at the age of twenty-one, after leaving the instrument for three years, he decided to dedicate himself exclusively to music. After graduating from the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem (with Michael Boguslavsky) he moved to Germany in 1984. In the same year he won the first prize with special distinction at the first Paul Ben-Haim Competition for performance of New Israeli Music. On the recommendation of Alfred Brendel he received scholarships from the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, the City of Munich and the Austrian government. These enabled him to complete his studies in Munich with Gerhard Oppitz and in Salzburg at the “Mozarteum” with Hans Leygraf. He also studied musicology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.

In 1998 he was appointed professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Dortmund. Since 2000 he serves as senior professor for piano at the renowned University of Music in Freiburg.
Gilead Mishory is the first pianist to have recorded the complete piano works and chamber music with piano by Leoš Janáček. The following CDs with works by Haydn, Brahms, Schubert, Bartók, his own compositions and numerous radio recordings have been enthusiastically reviewed in the press: The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung called him a “magician of sound”; The Neue Zeitschrift für Musik spoke of a “technically perfect poet of the piano” ; the Neue Presse described him as a “pianist with a sense of sound, charm and esprit”; The Westdeutsche Zeitung found in his playing “magic we only know from the old masters”. The press reacted with the same enthusiasm also on Mishory’s recording of the complete “Préludes” by Debussy, published 2014. Klassikinfo Spoke of a “reference-recording”.
Mishory never studied composition as a major subject in any institution. His composition teachers were mainly Haydn, Bartók, Janácek, Wagner and Kopytman.

The cycle “Lider-Togbuch”, after Yiddish poems by Sutzkever, commissioned by the City of Munich, was Mishory's breakthrough as a composer in 1998. Many of his compositions have strong connection to literature and poetry, on the borderline between Jewish/Israeli and German/European cultures: “Hebräische Balladen”, a song-cycle after Else Lasker-Schüler, commissioned by the Culture-Foundation North-Rhine-Westfalia, was premiered in Wuppertal at the end of 2002, as well his “Debka Fallastin” in Paris. In 2005 his piano-cycle “Fugitive Pieces”, after the novel by Anne Michaels, was the center of a special concert of the Südwestrundfunk in Baden-Baden, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. In spring 2006 he completed his string quartet, “Psalm”, inspired by the poet Paul Celan. “Di vayte haymat mayne”, a song-cycle for tenor and orchestra, after poems by Marc Chagall, was premiered in Munich in July 2007. The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” spoke of “grandiose impression”. In 2010 he completed his first opera, “Isaac’s Youth”, connecting theological themes in the biblical story with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many children all over the world play pieces from his Children’s books “My Grandpa and I” and “My Grandma and I”, in which he combines compositional wit and pianistic fun with pedagogical goals.

A first CD with Mishory’s works came out by “NEOS” in 2011 (“Psalm” for cello and piano, “Psalm” quartet after Celan and “Fugitive Pieces” for piano solo). His youngest CD, “To Aeneas”, with his own cycle for piano under the same title, as well as Sonatas by Clementi and Tartini, came out 2017 and has been rewarded with highest compliments of the critics. „To Aeneas” was published in 2018 by “Peer-Music-Classical” (New-York/Hamburg). His piano piece “To the Distant Sister” was printed and first performed within the Project “250 for Beethoven” by the Pianist Susanne Kessel. In 2019 his “Earthly Dances” for woodwind-quintet and percussion was first performed by Ensemble Aventure, which commissioned it.
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