Yitzhak Yedid is an award-winning composer and improvising pianist with a folio of over 50 orchestral, chamber, solo, and vocal works. He is currently a 2017 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow and a past recipient of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Prize for Composers (2007) and of the Landau Prize for Performing Arts (2009). Yedid has been a composer-in-residence at the Judith Wright Centre (Brisbane, 2010) and at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (2008). His works have won several international awards, most recent among them the 2020 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music.
Yedid was born in Israel and, since 2007, has called Australia home. He studied piano at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, continued his schooling at the New England Conservatory, and earned a Ph.D. in composition from Monash University. His interests as a composer focus on the integration of non-European musical elements, including improvisation, with Western practice. More specifically, his compositions explore the nexus of classical Arabic music, Arabic-influenced Jewish music, and contemporary Western art music. Inspired by literature, philosophy, art, and landscape, Yedid’s compositions form narratives told in pictures, textures, and colours. His music incorporates a wide spectrum of contemporary and ancient styles to create a unique voice that reflects his Syrian and Iraqi Jewish background. This music exhibits an “eclectic, multicultural and very personal style that amalgamates ancestral Syrian- and Iraqian-Jewish cantillation, Israeli East-West encounters, European and American avant-garde compositional techniques mixed with free jazz and selected Australian influences, all infused with insights of a concert pianist and improviser to create an experimental, highly expressive yet alluring modern style.” While Yedid’s music is multiethnic, multicultural, and consequently transnational in its approach, it is also well integrated and marked by a unique creative unity. Yitzhak Yedid has performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, and with many ensembles in festivals and venues across Europe, Canada, the US, Asia, and Africa, and numerous reviews of his work have been published in the international music media. In addition to his career as a composer and performer, Yedid has been teaching and mentoring music students since 2008. He currently lectures in composition and piano at the Queensland Conservatorium of Griffth University in Brisbane.
Photo credit: James Gross