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.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, he grew up in Israel in a bi-lingual home where he was introduced to Russian literature and music from early age. Coming to the U.S. added another cultural home. Today the composer’s oeuvre offers hints of diverse stylistic influences yet defies standard definitions of artistic and cultural identity.
Since 2011 Tamar composed primarily sacred music based on Christian and Jewish liturgical and religious-poetic texts. In 2020 his setting of The Lord’s Prayer was commissioned by Trio “Melody” for concert series “Music of Our Time” and premiered at the Rachmaninov Hall at Moscow Conservatory, Russia.
Three of Tamar’s major compositions on the texts by St. Francis of Assisi were featured on the CD “Laudato Si” on Navona Records in 2016.
His sacred works were presented in such venues as St Paul’s Knightsbridge, London, UK (Elysian Singers); Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (“De Boni Arte” Foundation series of sacred music), Andrey Rublev Museum, Moscow, and St. Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh.
Among his dedicatees in the sphere of vocal music are counter-tenor Andrey Nemzer (Metropolitan Opera soloist), soprano Yekaterina Scherbachenko (Bolshoi Theatre soloist), Pavel Bykov and Svetlana Polianskaia (Moscow State Philharmonia soloists), Trio “Melody” from Moscow, Bulgarian-American bass Guenko Guechev and American soprano Charlene Canty.Tamar composed for Edgewood Symphony Orchestra, Duquesne Symphony Orchestra and Contemporary Ensemble, Russian “XX Century” chamber ensemble, Chrysalis Duo, Jerusalem Chamber Music Group, and Tel Aviv Young String Quartet. He collaborated with such artists as flutists Alberto Almarza and Lindsey Goodman, violinists Genaro Medina and Mark Daniel van Biemen, cellists Felix Wang and Misha Quint, as well as pianists Walter Morales and Robert Frankenberry.In 2020 his “Lacrymae” for violin solo was featured in Altoona Symphony Orchestra Musician Spotlight Series.
The composer’s instrumental music was presented at 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. In 2011 Eli Tamar co-produced American-Russian award-winning independent film “Leningrad”, for which he composed the entire soundtrack and music. The film commemorated the events that took place during the siege of the city of Leningrad during WWII, and was created in cooperation with the St. Petersburg Studio of Documentary Films, soloists from the Bolshoi Theatre, the Helicon Opera, and Moscow’s “XXth Century” music ensemble. It received Russian Guild of Film Critics’ award at the International Film Festival “Spirit of Fire” at Khanty- Mansiysk (Russia) in 2014 and won the Grand Prix at the Yeysk Film Festival.
Dr. Tamar served for nine years on the faculty of Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University. He holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Pittsburgh, and M.M. from the Buchmann-Mehta School of music at the Tel-Aviv University.In his teens he ran competitively middle and long distances. A ten-time winner of the Israeli National Junior Championships and record holder in track and field, he was privileged to represent Israel in IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Lisbon, Portugal.
Eli Tamar lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.
countertenor – Andrey Nemzer
organist – Nicholas Will
Charlene Canty – soprano
Nicholas Will – organ