Gideon Efrati–Conductor, composer, arranger, pianist and vocalist
Studied musicology, conducting, composition, and artistic singing at Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv; master classes in conducting and oratorio singing in Stuttgart, Germany under Helmuth Rilling; lieder singing under Hans Hutter at Mishkenot Sheananim in Jerusalem; and church organ at West Point Academy, West Point, New York, USA.
Efrati has performed solo parts as a tenor in oratorios by Handel (Messiah); Mendelssohn (Elijah); Haydn (Creation, mass no.11); Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s Magnificat in D; and Cantatas, with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Haifa Orchestra, the Jerusalem Broadcasting Orchestra, and the Camerata Orchestra. He has performed in debuts of 20th-century Israeli music under the auspices of the Jerusalem Festival and in various ensembles.
Efrati is frequently invited to conduct workshops and master classes on Jewish and Israeli folk music in Germany. He is engaged in recording, preserving, and arranging melodies from diverse cultures that have yet to be transcribed, thereby saving them for posterity. He also composes and arranges musical programs for children, youth, and adults in Israel and abroad.
A poignant new score was released in March 2009 for a new adaptation of The Wise Men of Chelm that includes original music and new arrangements of the Yiddish songs "Yankele", "Oifen Weg Steite Boim", and "Letter to the Rabbi".
Efrati composes for the theater as well. His scores include the music for "On the Open Road" by Stephen Tassich; "Twilight of the Gods" by Jonathan Tolins; "The Beauty Queen Of Leenane" by Martin McDonagh; and "Heavy Rain" by Gaddy Inbar.
Efrati’s great love for setting to music the works of poets, has led him to ongoing cooperative efforts thereon. In addition to classic Israeli poets Natan Alterman, Leah Goldberg, Shaul Tchernikovsky, Haim Nachman Bialik, Yehuda Amichai, Nurit Zarchi, and others, this work has yielded many compositions in varying styles, including incorporating the poems of Catalan poet Joan Margarit that Efrati has recorded for Margarit and other artists.
Efrati has recorded a new album, Songs of the Soul, the first in a series the aim of which is to arrange and stage varied and interesting ethnic music from around the world while preserving its authenticity.
Efrati sees his artistic work in outlying areas as a mission, and to that end has formed in such areas artistic ensembles that share in incorporating this vision into the performing arts. These ensembles include:
- Ranot Vocal Ensemble of the Southern Arava
- Pitzi-Canto [Kids’ Canto] Chorus
- Ramat haNegev Singers
- Kolit Ein Gedi & Tamar Trio of the Dead Sea
Efrati also arranges for Wishful Singing, a leading European a cappella ensemble. In addition, he engages in artistic cooperation with various events in Europe for which he creates concerts wherein the textual content draws from the Old Testament, as well as musical material of ethnic Jewish communities.