He is a violist and conductor born in Targa-Mures, Romania
who lived in Israel
from the time he was young.
He studied conducting and viola at the Tel-Aviv
Conservatory of Music and while still attending high school in 1964 he gave
his debut as a conductor with the National Youth Orchestra of Israel. In 1964 he went on to take further
studies at Tel-Aviv University’s
Ruben School of Music and remained there until 1968.
This debut led to him becoming the Assistant Conductor
of the National Youth Orchestra of Israel and staying with them until
1970. During these years he
also became a member of the Israel Philharmonic for a period from 1967 to
In 1968 he relocated to the United
States after being awarded a Damrosch conducting scholarship at New
York’s Juilliard School of Music at the
recommendation of Leonard Bernstein to study with Jean Morel. He also won viola competitions at
events in Geneva and Munich
and conducting competitions in Hungary
he was finding work performing and conducting when he was given the
positions of Principal Violist with the American Symphony Orchestra led by
Leopold Stokowski and Assistant Conductor of the
New York Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Moving to Canada
as the 1970s approached he joined the Montreal Symphony in 1970 as
Assistant Princiapal Violist under the leadership
of Raphael Fruhbeck du
Burgos and Charles Dutoit. After performing with them for ten
years he was given the position of their Associate Conductor. In 1972 he was Music Director of the
Canadian Symphony, staying for two years until 1974. He went on to become the Music
Director for the Contemporary Directions Ensemble and the University Philharmonia at the University
of Michigan in 1974 and was
with them until 1976. Also in
1976 he became a naturalised Canadian citizen.
Moving on in the 1980s he joined the Edmonton Symphony
Orchestra in 1981 as their Music Director and remained in that position for
thirteen years until 1995 when he was succeeded by Grzegorz
In 1988 he became the Principal Conductor of Orchestra London,
Canada and remained in that position until 1994.
In 1991 he joined the Israel Sinfonietta as their
Artistic Adviser, staying with them until 1999, and in 1994 he went Japan
to join the Kansai Philharmonic where he was their Principal Conductor from
1994 to 2000.
Moving to Toronto in the mid 1990s he has performed
with the National Ballet of Canada on many occasions as a guest conductor
where he has led the orchestra in numerous productions. He has also led many other
international orchestras in over 20 different countries as a guest
In 2011 he took on the position of the Principal
Conductor and Artistic Director with the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra.
Appearing on numerous television and radio
broadcasts, he has also made many recordings that include Gyorgy Lang: Concerto Ebraico with
the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin
Britten: Canadian Carnival, Canadian
and Russian Overtures, Great Orchestral Marches, Great Tenor Arias and Orchestral Suites of the British Isles
by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Spring
Romance by Dan Gibson, Shostakovich:
Chamber Symphonies, Op.83a and 110a and Richard Strauss: Horn Concertos Nos 1 & 2 by the Israel Sinfonietta
and Horn Concertos by Marie-Luise
Neunecker and Mr. Rigoletto: My Life
in Music by Louis Quillico.
In the field of musical education he was on the
faculty of McGill Unniversity and conducted their symphony orchestra from
1976 to 1981, he was music director of
Rice University Orchestra in Houston from 1986 to 1988 and recently
he has worked at the Royal Conservatory Orchestra as their Resident
Conductor and the Director of The Glenn Gould School of Orchestra
In 2009 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the
University of Western Ontario.
Edmonton Symphony Orchestra recordings
Colas Breugnon Overture (Dmitri Kabalevsky)
and Russian Overtures)
Conductor: Uri Mayer