Israel mourns a popular piccolist

Israel mourns a popular piccolist


norman lebrecht

November 04, 2013

Yechiam Peled, principal piccolo of the Israel Opera Orchestra, died today aged 67. Equally versatile on flute and piccolo, crossing all genres of music, his proudest hour was as solo accompanist to the soprano Victoria de Los Angeles. A warm-hearted man he never lost a wry sense of humour. Here’s the last joke he posted on his facebook page: What’s the difference between a musician and a family pizza? A family pizza feeds four.

The composer Oded Zahavi offers us the following tribute:


yechiam peled


From the 1970s, Israeli popular music embraced a rich acoustic sound as its aesthetic, and the need for a good flautist become essential. Such an artist had to combine Middle-Eastern folkloric timbres with great bel-canto instincts and for many years the flute of Yechiam Peled embodied these ideals. Peled, one of the most admired and versatile flautists in Israel (both in the recording studio and onstage), died today at the age of 67. He also served as a member of the Israeli Opera Orchestra and as head of that orchestra’s Players Union, led the orchestra through some tough labor negotiations. We will miss this talented and unique crossover musician.


  • Dave T says:

    Israel must be the only country where the words ‘popular’ and ‘piccolist’ could be found together.


  • Jo Boddington says:

    Wonderful expressive playing.