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Menachem Avidom; Pioneer Israeli Composer

Menachem Avidom, 87, pioneer composer of the Mediterranean musical style that was popular in Israel for three decades. A cousin of Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, Avidom wrote nine symphonies and three operas, as well as concertos and string and brass quartets. He pioneered a musical style interweaving Mediterranean rhythms, melodies and instruments with traditional Western technique. Avidom won the 1961 Israel Prize. He was general secretary of the Israel Philharmonic from 1945 to 1952 and was director of Acum, Israel’s national society for the performing arts, from 1955 to 1980. He was also chairman of the Israeli Composers’ League from 1955 to 1970 and in 1984 was named the group’s honorary president for life. A native of Stanislav, Poland, Avidom immigrated to Palestine in 1925. On Aug. 5 in Jerusalem.


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