An Israel Prize in Sweet Harmony Thursday, March 10, 2011
Conductor and former TAU Prof. Noam Sheriff wins Israel's top award
Prof. Noam Sheriff, Professor Emeritus in conducting and composition at Tel Aviv University, will receive the 2011 Israel Prize, Israel's most distinguished national honor, at a state ceremony in Jerusalem this May. The prize is awarded by the Israeli Ministry of Education.
Prof. Sheriff's award brings the university's total to 72 since the 1953 inception of the award, including Prof. Yosef Shiloh and Prof. Michal Schwartz, who are among this year's other recipients.
Prof. Sheriff will receive the prize in the presence of Israeli President Shimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a host of other government dignitaries. Award recipients, who must be Israeli citizens, can be individuals or groups that have demonstrated excellence or broken ground in a certain field. The Israel Award is given each year on the eve of the Israeli Day of Independence.
"Prof. Sheriff is an internationally recognized composer and performer of outstanding ability," noted the prize committee upon the announcement of the award. "His work has left an indelible mark on Israel's music culture. He is a multi-talented teacher and educator, and his students are among the top musicians in Israel and the world."
Making beautiful music at Tel Aviv University
Prof. Sheriff was a professor at Tel Aviv University from 1991 to 2004, and he served as the head of the university's Samuel Rubin Academy of Music from 1998-2000. Currently, Prof. Sheriff serves as the musical director of the New Haifa Symphony Orchestra.
Considered a wunderkind, Sheriff began conducting the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra at the age of 17. While attending Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he founded and conducted that school's symphony orchestra.
Prof. Sheriff has won numerous awards, including the ACUM Prize for his performance of Israeli works. Among his own more famous compositions are "Revival of the Dead" (Mechaye Hameitim), "Sacrifice" (Akeda), "Psalms of Jerusalem" and "Sephardic Passion."