Eli Tamar’s compositions have been recognized for their high emotional intensity and personal expression. His multi-cultural background has been a contributing factor in his ability to explore and synthesize different elements of styles while transcending spiritual barriers between various musical, literary, and religious traditions. Described by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as “stark at times and explosively expressive”, while projecting “a convincing ambiance of deep human sorrow”, his music seeks to reach to the core of the human feelings, often vacillating between the extremes of gloominess and spiritual exaltation.
Born in Leningrad, Russia, Eli Tamar grew up in Israel, where he studied music theory, composition and piano at Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. Among his teachers were Andre Haidu, Itzhak Sadai and Adam Stratievsky. Upon graduating with M.M. he came to the United State at the invitation of the University of Pittsburghto pursue Ph.D. in composition, which he earned in 2000.
His compositions were featured in such venues as “De Boni Arte” Foundation series of sacred music and “Великие Имена Исскуства” [Great Names in Art] Charitable Foundation in Russia, Prokofiev Museum and Jurgensen Chamber Hall in Moscow, Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, Prizm concerts in New York, U-3 New Music Festival, Music on the Edge series, Yad Labanim Museum in Tel Aviv, Art Museum in Ramat-Gan, Tel-Hai International Composers Symposium, Aspen Composers conference, Pittsburgh Concert Society, College Music Society conferences, among others.
Tamar composed for Duquesne Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Ensemble, Russian “XX Century” chamber ensemble, Alia Musica, Givataim and Chrysalalis Duos, Jerusalem Chamber Music Group, and Tel Aviv Young String Quartet. He collaborated with such artists as flutists Alberto Almarza and Lindsey Goodman, violinists Roger Zahab, Mark Daniel van Biemen and Genaro Medina, cellists Felix Wang and Misha Quint, as well as pianists Walter Morales and Robert Frankenberry.
Among his dedicatees in the sphere of vocal music are Yekaterina Scherbachenko, soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia (winner of Cardiff “Singer of the World”); Pavel Bykov and Svetlana Polianskia, soloists of Moscow State Philharmonia; Bulgarian-American bass ; Guenko Guyechev, and soprano Charlene Canty. His current project includes several works based on prayers and sacred texts from the Judeo-Christian traditions in variety of original languages for Metropolitan Opera soloist, countertenor Andrey Nemzer.
In 2011 he composed the music and designed the entire sound for “Leningrad” – an independent film based on the award winning novel “Leningrad” by the Russian writer, Igor Vishnevetsky. The film focuses on the events that took place in the besieged city of Leningrad during World War II. The film is being created in cooperation with the St. Petersburg Studio of Documentary Films, and with participation of soloists from the Bolshoi Theatre, the Helicon Opera, and Moscow’s “XXth Century” music ensemble. In March 2014 the film received its world premiere at the International Film Festival “Spirit of Fire” at Khanty- Mansiysk (Russia), earning a critics’ award. In September 2014 it was featured in “Moskovskaya Primiera” film festival in Moscow, and in July 2014 won the Grand Prix at the Yeysk Film Festival.
Tamar has received composition grants and fellowships from the Israeli Ministry of Culture, America Israel Cultural Foundation, Mizrachi Foundation, Tel Aviv University, and The University of Pittsburgh. His work has been broadcast on American WQED.FM and on «Радио Россия» [Russian National Public Radio].Dr. Tamar had taught as professor of Musicianship Studies for 9 years at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University.As a piano instructor, he served on the faculty at City Music Center (a nationally accredited comprehensive music program for children) at Duquesne University. Prior to that, Dr. Tamar taught piano classes and presented the course The Art of Creative Listening at the College of General Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.Dr. Tamar was honored with Teaching Excellence Commendation from the University of Pittsburgh, Who’s Who among American Teachers and Educators (2007), and chosen as an Elected Member of the Pi Kappa Lambda- American Music honor society (2011).While in his teens, he devoted his time to middle and long distance running. He was a ten-time winner of the Israeli National Junior Championships in track and field in distances ranging between 1500-5000m, Israeli national junior record holder for over 15 years. At 19 he was privileged to represent Israel in IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Lisbon, Portugal.Eli Tamar’s CD debut was released in April 2016 by NAVONA records (distributed by Naxos America).Eli Tamar lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and two children.
countertenor – Andrey Nemzer
organist – Nicholas Will
Charlene Canty – soprano
Nicholas Will – organ