Maestro Yoav Talmi is celebrated as one of Israel’s most distinguished conductors on the international scene. He is a frequent guest conductor with major orchestras around the world and holds an Honorary Doctor degree from the Laval University in Canada, Conductor Emeritus of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and the position of Head of Conducting Program at the Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music. Talmi is a recipient of the 2013 Prime Minister’s Prize for Composers, and a graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv and the Juilliard School in New York, where he earned degrees in both composition and conducting with grants from the America Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF).
In addition to his 13 years tenure as Artistic Director of the Quebec Symphony in Canada (1988-2011), Maestro Talmi held positions as Chief Conductor of the Hamurg Symphony (2000-2004), Music Director of the San Diego Symphony (1989-1966), Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic (1979-1980), Music Director of the Arnhem Philharmonic, Netherlands (1974-1980) and Music Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra (1984-1988 and 2013-2014). Talmi was among the founders of the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv and served as its first Music Director from 1985 to 1989.
Maestro Talmi’s long and impressive guest conducting career spans several continents. His European engagements include all the major London orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Symphony Orchestras of Vienna and Prague, the Philharmonic Orchestras of St. Petersburg, Oslo, Stockholm, Warsaw and Israel, the Orchestre National de France, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Rome’s Santa Cecilia, and numerous radio orchestras in Israel, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland and Sweden. He has also made several appearances with the NHK Symphony and the New Philharmonic Orchestras in Japan. In North America, he has appeared with the orchestras of Pittsburgh, Detroit, St. Louis, Houston, Dallas, Indianapolis, Montreal, Vancouver, Rochester and Seattle, as well as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the New York Chamber Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa) and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall.
Yoav Talmi’s summer activities include the Aspen Music Festival, Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Bergen Festival in Norway, Chautauqua Festival (NY), Helsinki Festival, Houston’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Jerusalem Festival, Montreal’s Lanaudière Festival and the Waterloo Festival in New Jersey.
Also a seasoned recording artist, Yoav Talmi has collaborated with Chandos, Decca, EMI, Naxos, Teldec. CBC Records (Toronto), Atma and Analekta (Montreal). His recording of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony with the Oslo Philharmonic won the prestigious “Grand Prix du Disque” in Paris. Mr. Talmi’s recording of Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky with the Israel Chamber Orchestra for Teldec was chosen “Record of the Month” by Germany’s Fono-Forum magazine. The London Penguin Guide gave this same recording its highest rating. His recent recording, French Showpieces with the Quebec Symphony and violinist James Ehnes, was chosen “Record of the Month” by the French media magazine Repertoire, who gave this recording a perfect rating.
Talmi’s Naxos recordings with the San Diego Symphony feature an all-Berlioz cycle that includes the Symphonie Fantastique, the complete overtures, Roméo et Juliette, Harold in Italy, Rêverie et Caprice, excerpts from Les Troyens, and more. He has recorded also as pianist, accompanying his wife, flutist Er’ella Talmi.
He was a recipient of the Koussevitzky Memorial Conducting Prize at the Tanglewood Festival  and the Rupert Conductor’s Competition in London .
In July 2008, Yoav Talmi was awarded the ‘Frank Pelleg’ prize of the Israeli Cultural Ministry, for his high-level artistic achievements through many years of activity and in August 2008 he received the Quebec-City Medal, honoring his special contribution to the city’s 400 anniversary celebrations. in June 2009 Yoav Talmi was named “Officer of the National Order of Quebec”, the most prestigious honor in Quebec and French America. In 2013 he received the Israeli Prime Minister’s Prize for Composers.
Although Yoav Talmi is known today primarily as a conductor, he always finds time for composing, arranging and orchestrating. At age 19 he composed the IDF March (“Zahal Marches”), which won first prize in the Israeli Marches Competition. This Marsh is the official march of the IDF since 1963. His works are printed by several publishing houses, among them: Kalmus and Carl Fischer in the USA, Doberman-Yppan in Canada, Israel Music Institute (IMI) in Tel Aviv and Broekmans & Van Poppel in Amsterdam.
Talmi’s works include, among others, his ‘De Profundis’ for choir & Orchestra, ‘Animi Motus’ for children (or women) choir and orchestra, ‘Elegy for Strings, Timpani & Accordion’ (‘Dachau Reflections’), ‘Music for Flute & String Orchestra’, ‘Suite of Israeli Songs’ for Flute & chamber orchestra (or Piano), ‘Dreams’ (‘Halomot’) for choir a cappella, ‘Three Monologues’ for Flute (or Cello) solo and many other orchestrations, transcriptions and arrangements for orchestra and chamber ensembles. A CD of Talmi’s original and arranged music appeared on Centaur Records, USA.
Yoav and Er’ella Talmi have two children – Gil Talmi, a film-score composer, living and working in Brooklyn, New York and Dana Talmi, a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Social Work and director of Yahel, Israel Service Learning.