Haim (Heinz) Alexander

Israeli composer, pianist and teacher

Haim Alexander (b. Berlin, 1915, immigrated in 1936, lives in Jerusalem), like Ehrlich, is also sometimes considered as one of the first generation, but indeed he acquired formative musical education in Jerusalem, notably with Irma and Stefan Wolpe, then with Hanoch Jacoby. His pieces from that early period were, however, romantic. He began gaining notice since the sixties, after studies in Freiburg (1962-4). He wrote in the Mediterranean style – modal chromaticism –  as in his lively six Israeli Dances (1950), and after the “musical shock” (his own term) he received in Darmstadt (since 1958), he wrote in both styles – the one more “national,” the other rather “cosmopolitan” – sometimes integrating them as in his Patterns (piano, 1973), commissioned for the Rubinstein Competition. He published a book about improvisation, Improvisation am Klavier (Schott). Among his major works are Sound Figures (piano, 1965), Concerto for piano (1982), and Songs of Love and Expectation (voice and piano or chamber orchestra, 1984).