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About Mira Zakai

Contralto, Mira Zakai

“Si parla, si canta” is overjoyed to welcome Mira Zakai to its faculty for the first time this year. She will be in residence during weeks five and six.

Mira Zakai is known world-wide for her many appearances with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israeli Opera, the Berlin Philharmonic (conducted by Claudio Abbado, Georg Solti, Yehudi Menuhin), the New York Philharmonic (Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf), the orchestras of Chicago, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Zürich, Vienna, Montreal, Toronto, and Washington, under the batons of prominent conductors such as Rafael Kubelík, Georg Solti, Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Daniel Barenboim, Claudio Abbado, Luciano Berio, Colin Davis, Eduardo Mata, Christoph Eschenbach, Carlo Maria Giulini, and many more.

Sir Yehudi Menuhin chose her to be the only soloist in a special concert for Pope John Paul II - an event that took place at Castel Gandolfo - to sing J.S. Bach's aria "Have mercy oh God" [Erbarme dich mein Gott] with him playing the violin obligato part. This concert was telecast world-wide. An acclaimed recitalist – Zakai has performed in many European and American cities as well as in her own country. Her Lieder Recitals took her to New York [Alice Tully Hall], to Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Moskow, St. Petersburg, Brussels, Antwerp, Montreal, and Glasgow, where she also made her international opera debut with the Royal Scottish Opera, alternating performances with Dame Janet Baker as Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. Her diverse repertoire encompasses roles ranging from Prince Orlovsky to Ulrica and Erda.

Professor Mira Zakai teaches voice, Lied, and oratorio repertoire at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. For her special contribution to Israeli music she received the Composers and Playwrights association award [ACUM]. In 1990 Zakai won the Arts and Culture Council prize for the best performance of Israeli compositions. In honour of Israel's 50th anniversary she received a special award for her dedication, contribution, inspiration and performance of Israeli contemporary music from the minister of culture and education.

Mira Zakai's many recordings include Gustav Mahler's Resurrection Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Georg Solti [which won a "Grammy" award]. Boris Gudonov and War and Peace with Rostropovitch. Moses und Aaron with Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Midnight Vigil [M. Seter] with Bertini and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as many solo recitals - Israeli Songs, Ladino songs, a collection of songs by poets who perished in the Holocaust, composed by Norbert Glansberg (the famous chansonière), a recital of songs by Schumann, Ravel, and Arthur Honegger, as well as a recital of G. Mahler, Anton Webern, Alban Berg songs with the pianist Jonathan Zak.

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