Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Salmon studied composition with Richard Strauss at the Berlin Academy of the Arts, and later worked as a repetiteur at the Berlin Staatsoper, singer at the Hamburg Opera, and conductor in Baden. He immigrated to Palestine in 1933, and was the first musical director of the Palestine Broadcasting Service (later Kol Israel), from 1936-1958, later becoming the director of Kol Israel's transcription-exchange service until 1962. Salmon also taught at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.
His works include orchestral and chamber music, operas, cantatas, piano music, and songs. Many of them belong to the Mediterranean style that attempted to blend the Western-European style with near-Eastern, Mediterranean, and Jewish folklore. Salmon often used themes related to Judaism in his compositions, such as his opera for puppets, David ve-Goliath. He received the Engel Prize in 1951.
Bayer, Bathja. "Salmon, Karel." Encyclopaedia Judaica; "Salmon Karel," IMI; William Y. Elias. "Salmon, Karel." The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, archive of Karel Salmon in the NLI.