Israel’s foremost composer has died

Israel’s foremost composer has died


norman lebrecht

August 25, 2018

I am distressed to report the sudden death today of Noam Sheriff. We were friends for more than 25 years and shared untold amounts of laughter, dreams and creative conversation. Noam was 83.

Noam Sheriff was the first native-born composer to have a work performed by the Israel Philharmonic and the first to make an impact abroad.

His oratorio Resurrection was performed at the Salzburg Festival. Pasion Sepharadi was premiered by Placido Domingo.

Noam founded and conducted the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon lezion and was the teacher of two generations of Israeli composers.

His own teachers were Paul Ben Haim and Boris Blacher, both steeped in the German tradition.

I will write more later. The news right now is too raw.

UPDATES: The maestro who made time…. for a boy with cerebral palsy.


  • Jacky says:

    Baruh Daiian ha Emet.
    By a strange coincidence, our celebrated today Lenny conducted in October 1957 a short work by Noam Sharif during the inaugural concert in Heichal HaTarbut.

  • Beinisch says:

    Noam was a wonderful musician and a great composer.
    For us,his friends his death is a big big loss.
    His music will be with us forever.

  • Hermann the German says:

    By the way, the German composer´s Name is Boris Blacher.

  • Andreas B. says:

    I was fortunate to have met Noam and his wife Ella this year, premiering works of both.

    although we only talked briefly twice, this hugely charismatic man left a lasting impression on me.

    from Germany I send condolences to Ella, his family and friends.


  • Martin Anderson says:

    I talked to Noam occasionally about releasing some of his music on Toccata Classics but, sadly, neither of us got our shoulders behind the idea. I didn’t know him as well as you, Norman, but I will miss him, too.

  • Tristan Willems says:

    I am saddened by the news of Noam’s passing. He was very kind to me and offered wonderful advise and a sympathetic ear when needed. To speak of his abilities is unnecessary – he was a titan in all he endevoured. I am sure that others, like myself, will feel the void he has left. !תנוח על משכבך בשלום