Mark Kopytman

Israeli composer

Mark Kopytman (b. Kamenets-Podolsk, Ukraine, 1929, immigrated in 1972, lived in Jerusalem), a doctor in medicine (1952) and a PhD in composition (Moscow Conservatory, 1958), he taught at the Leningrad Conservatory before emigrating to Israel, where he has taught at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem since 1973. He established a generation of composers: several of his many students have become well known composers and have chaired their own composition programs in universities in Israel and the USA. Among them are Yinam Leef, Haim Permont, Ari Ben-Shabtai (Israel), and Jonathan Berger, Osvaldo Golijov, and Jorge Liderman (USA). After his immigration he became interested in heterophony, following local East-West syntheses he heard. His unique interpretation of heterophony, integrated in a style indirectly linked to avant garde works of his peers from Moscow – Schnittke, Gubaidulina, Denisov – is evident in his works. Heterophony is also the main theme of his master classes in Europe and the USA. Kopytman has written over 70 works, notably: Casa Mare (suite from the opera, 1966/1980), October Sun (1974), Kaddish (orchestra, 1981), Memory (voice and orchestra, 1982), Eight Pages (voice, 1989), Alliterations (for the Rubinstein Piano Competition, 1993) and the series Cantus I-VII (symphonic and chamber works, 1980-2000).

"October Sun," by Mark Kopytman. Text: Yehuda Amichai. Alto: Mira Zakai.