From the Book
50 For The Future:
The Kronos Learning
“From the Book is based on the litany Avinu Malkenu from a Jewish liturgical melody from the Piedmont region of Italy. This work continues my cycle of pieces that take their launch point from archival recordings and transcriptions of music from the Italian Jewish community, from Shema (2000), Death will Come and she shall have your eyes (2008), New Ghetto Music(2011), Different Voices together (2011), to, most recently, New Ghetto Songs (2014–2016) written for ensemble and the Neapolitan trip-hop singer Raiz.”
Yotam Haber discusses his musical background, his relationship with Kronos, the piece he wrote for Fifty for the Future, and more.
His music hailed by New Yorker critic Alex Ross as “deeply haunting,” by the Los Angeles Times as one of five classical musicians “2014 Faces To Watch,” and chosen as one of the “30 composers under 40” by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Project 440, Yotam Haber was born in Holland and grew up in Israel, Nigeria, and Milwaukee. He is the recipient of a 2017 Koussevitsky Commission, a 2013 Fromm Music Foundation commission, a 2013 NYFA award, the 2007 Rome Prize and a 2005 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. He has received grants and fellowships from the MAP Fund (2016), New Music USA (2011, the New York Foundation for the Arts (2013), the Jerome Foundation (2008, the Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation (2011), Yaddo, Bogliasco, MacDowell Colony, the Hermitage, ASCAP, and the Copland House.
In 2015, Haber’s first monographic album of chamber music, Torus, was hailed by New York’s WQXR as “a snapshot of a soul in flux – moving from life to the afterlife, from Israel to New Orleans – a composer looking for a sound and finding something powerful along the way.”
Recent commissions include works for Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor; an evening-length oratorio for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, CalARTS@REDCAT/Disney Hall (Los Angeles); New York-based Contemporaneous, Gabriel Kahane, and Alarm Will Sound; the 2015 New York Philharmonic CONTACT! Series; the Venice Biennale; Bang on a Can Summer Festival; Neuvocalsolisten Stuttgart and ensemble l’arsenale; FLUX Quartet, JACK Quartet, Cantori New York, the Tel Aviv-based Meitar Ensemble, and the Berlin-based Quartet New Generation.
Current projects include New Water Music, an interactive work (2017) for the Louisiana Philharmonic and community musicians to be performed from boats and barges along the waterways of New Orleans and a chamber opera, The Voice Imitator, with librettist Royce Vavrek for the 92Y (2020).
Haber is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of New Orleans and Artistic Director Emeritus of MATA, the non-profit organization founded by Philip Glass that has, since 1996, been dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works by young composers from around the world. His music is published by RAI Trade.
When we first played through From the Book, we weren't sure where phrases were going or how to access the meaning of it, the deepness in it. But we knew it contained something great and that we needed to find it, so we listened carefully, examined the phrasing, and finally something started to emerge. In a way, you have to approach every piece that way. We searched until we unlocked the piece, and now it has become one of my favorites to perform."