A native of Holland, Yotam Haber is a citizen of Israel and the United States. After attending Indiana University, where he studied with Eugene O’Brien and Claude Baker, he completed a doctorate in composition at Cornell University in 2004, studying with Roberto Sierra and Steven Stucky. He spent 2000 in Bologna, Italy, for the course Composing Techniques with the Use of Live Electronics, a master class taught by Alvise Vidolin (Luigi Nono’s sound engineer) and the composer Adriano Guarnieri. He received a 2002 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Award for his chamber orchestra work In Sleep a King and another in 2004 for his double clarinet quintet, Blur. In 2004, he also won the second bi-annual ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prize for the wind ensemble work Espresso, which was performed at Carnegie Hall by Rutgers Wind Ensemble, directed by William Berz, and recorded for release in the fall of 2005.
Haber has been a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center (studying with George Benjamin and Osvaldo Golijov) and the Aspen Music Festival (studying with Chris Rouse and Nicholas Maw) and has been in residence at the Aaron Copland House, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Bogliasco. He was a 2005 Guggenheim Fellow and a 2007-2008 Rome Prize Fellow in Music at the American Academy in Rome, where he researched the music of Rome’s Jewish community. Other European projects include collaborations with Bulgarian-American artist Daniel Bozhkov in Berlin on the 30th anniversary of the first German in space; with Dutch artist Maria Barnas in Holland for a Stendhal Syndrome project; and with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor in Switzerland on two chamber music works.
Haber’s music has been performed in prestigious halls throughout Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Holland and across the United States. Recent concerts featuring his work include the Flux Quartet performance of Torus at New York City’s Bargemusic and the Knights Ensemble premiere of A Wine-Dark Sea at the Brooklyn Lyceum, commissioned by Music At The Anthology (MATA) and hailed by New Yorker magazine critic Alex Ross as “deeply haunting.”
Haber is currently working on film scores for an independent surreal thriller set in New York and a documentary about the Jews of Rome during World War II. Haber has also received a 2009 Meet the Composer commission for a large-scale work for the Knights Ensemble in New York. This summer, after a residency at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center, Haber will direct the premier installation of Tablemusic, a festival of modern music and cuisine, as part of the 2010 Spoleto Festival season. Earlier in 2010, he was appointed Artistic Director of the MATA Festival of Contemporary Music. He lives in New York City.
Yotam Haber appears in the following:
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Espresso was the first work I wrote in New York City. It was written in a tiny studio just big enough for an upright piano, a chair, a desk, and an espresso machine—the bare necessities for a composer (Beethoven drank 17 cups a day). This dark, short, concentrated shot of a piece is concerned with the development of a flitting, whirring motive first played by a pair of clarinets and then expanding in both directions, always in instrumental pairs. A climax is reached, and after a brass interruption, a set of colorful, mercurial variations follow. The work ends with a calm coda of weightless whispers—an aftertaste, faintly recalling flavors just experienced.