Sudden-death conductor was eminent Holocaust authority

Sudden-death conductor was eminent Holocaust authority


norman lebrecht

January 30, 2015

Yisrael Yinon, who died mid-concert in Switzerland last night, was a leading researcher into composers who were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust. He was the first to record the symphonic works of Viktor Ullmann. He went on to rediscover Hans Krasa, Pavel Haas and Erwin Schulhoff, performing some of their works for Decca’s Entartete Musik series.

I was present at his recording of the most important of these retrievals, an opera by Haas called The Charlatan, restaged in Prague in 1991 and filled with a totally unexpected lightness. Yinon addressed this music with a sense of holy mission. He was not deflected from his purpose or, at times, the easiest of colleagues. But the resultant record speaks for itself.

haas sarlatan



His death, at 59, is a terrible tragedy, the loss of a decent man and an excellent musician.

Born in Israel, he studied with Mendi Rodan and Noam Sheriff before basing his career in Germany.

yisrael yinon2


  • Victor says:

    Don’t forget his Rathaus Symphonies and Pierrot in the same Entartete Musik series… plus more symphonies on CPO… Great albums all in by themselves – wonderful music… the Holocaust connection, just make it sadder that we lost those voices and the Maestro Yinon won’t be around to champion them.

    RIP Maestro Israel Yinon

  • Anonymoose says:

    I worked with Israel, and found him to be the loveliest and most encouraging of colleagues. A sad ending.

  • Pamela Brown says:

    With all due respect, I have to wonder why he would willingly conduct anything of R. Strauss’…

    • Michael W. Bormes says:

      Because as with all true artists he maintained an open mind which apparently you do not possess.

  • R. James Tobin says:

    1. Perhaps for the same reasons Barenboim has conducted Wagner in Israel.

    2. Perhaps because he protected his Jewish daughter-in law.