The Aviv Competitions were founded by America-Israel Cultural Foundation and provide vital support and exposure to top-tier musicians to help propel their careers to the next level. Early career musicians perform before panels of distinguished professional judges in their field, critics, and audiences, providing them with invaluable exposure and access to leading members of the industry, media, and the general public. The Aviv Competitions are a springboard for the development of the contestants’ careers. Winners in each category receive a $6,000 prize, as well as Performance Prizes, Professional Mentoring Support, and a Recording Prize.
This year, 29 musicians between the ages of 21-33 will compete in the following categories: piano | cello | brass | voice
The Aviv Competitions 2022 will be held between 27 December 2022 to 4 January 2023 (candidates should be available for this entire period) in cooperation with the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Studio Annette, and are supported by the Ministry of Culture and Sport.
The First stage – Competitions in Brass, Piano and Voice, will be held between 27-29 December 2022 at “Studio Annette” of the Felicija Blumenthal Music Center.
The entrance to the First stage is FREE of charge, but the number of seats is limited. Please, assure your entry by registering for each category of the Competitions you would like to watch by clicking the button below:
The Second stage – the Finals in all categories, and the First stage in Cello, will take place on 2 & 4 January 2023 at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, at the “Recanati Auditorium”.
At the end of the Finals, on January 4, 2023, there will be a Winners’ Ceremony in all categories of the Competitions, including the Prizes for The Outstanding Performance of the Israeli Instrumental and Vocal Pieces. There is an entrance fee applied to the Final stage.
2022 Competitions Prizes
The Goldie R. Feldman Piano Prize, provided by the Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation, in the amount of $6,000 – Tom Zalmanov
The Rachel and Dov Gottesman Family Cello Prize, in the amount of $6,000 – Assif Binness
The Lillian Shapiro and Lester Beryl Radlo Brass Prize, donated by their grandson, David Eliezer Lieberman, in the amount of $6,000 – Elai Grisaru Drori, trombone
The Michal Oren Voice Prize, in the amount of $6,000 – Rona Shrira, contralto
The Rafi Guralnik Prize for Outstanding Performance of the Israeli Instrumental Piece, donated by the Guralnik family, in the amount of ₪7,500 – Elai Grisaru Drori, trombone
The Mira Zakai Prize for Outstanding Performance of the Israeli Vocal Piece, donated by the Zakai family, in the amount of ₪7,500 – Tamara Navoth, mezzo-soprano
Goldie Ruth Feldman (1928 – 2022) was born in the small town of Ozorow, Poland. In 1935, her family immigrated to Canada. They struggled to get by, but nonetheless lived a rich life, surrounded by relatives and a thriving Jewish community. Goldie married at a young age, and while her husband built the family business, Goldie devoted herself to her growing family while simultaneously pursuing outside interests: pottery, studying Hebrew, and volunteering for charitable causes. She had a natural appreciation of music and ensured that her five children received a musical education. Their home was always filled with music, especially live piano. Later in life, Goldie took piano lessons herself, fulfilling a life-long dream.
Goldie never forgot the poverty of her early life and once in a position to help others, was immensely generous to numerous charities. In recognition of her generosity and in honor of her memory, the Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation is proud to provide the Goldie R. Feldman Aviv Prize for Piano, one of the most prestigious music prizes awarded in Israel. Goldie’s legacy will continue by helping further the dreams of Israel’s most outstanding young pianists.
Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation
Rachel and (the late) Dov Gottesman are highly respected leaders in the Israeli cultural life. Astute collectors of Israeli and International art, Rachel and Dov Gottesman have been in the vanguard of philanthropic support for the creative arts in Israel, devoting themselves to the encouragement of Israeli artists and cultural projects.
After serving for six years as Chairman of the Board of the Israel Museum, in 2001 Dov Gottesman was elected as President of the Museum.
Rachel and Dov Gottesman became closely involved with the Aviv Competitions in 2003 and since then they have been loyal followers and supporters of the Competitions and the competitors.
My grandparents, Lillian Shapiro and Lester Radlo were renaissance people, active members of the American Jewish community, founders of Temple Shalom (Newton MA), proud Zionists with a copy of the 1948 Declaration of Independence in their home, and leaders in many civic organizations.
My great-grandmother, Annie Ginsberg Shapiro, believed a house was not a home without a piano and bought my grandparents a baby grand which we all played. The family went to concerts, theatre, lectures and museums, and demonstrated vociferously for civil rights, progressive ideas and the separation of church and state. An early memory of my mother’s is standing on a street corner with my grandmother handing out leaflets for Adlai Stevenson’s Presidential campaign in 1951.
My grandfather played the saxophone and clarinet, and my grandmother sang with the Radcliffe Choral Society under the baton of Serge Koussevitzky. I am the proud inheritor of my grandmother’s bugle which she used to wake up summer campers with a blast of reveille, as well as the memory-keeper of my mother’s stories as a French horn and tuba player in her school orchestra and marching band. My artistic legacy is as a documentary film editor and tutoring and chanting Torah.
With deep appreciation for the support, AICF has provided to nurture Israeli artistic and cultural excellence, the Lieberman Family Fund supports the 2022 Brass Prize; we look forward to its winner becoming an inspiration for all Israelis, and yet another musical ambassador for Israel around the world.
Michael Oren studied piano and voice, and later musicology at the Musicology Department of the Tel Aviv University. She subsequently completed a Master’s degree in Jewish history. Michal sang with the Philharmonic Choir and in the Choir of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.
Throughout most of her life, Michal has been active in the world of music. At the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, she served as Assistant to the Music Director, and took part in the planning of the orchestra’s concert season and chamber concerts, in preparing materials for the Orchestra’s printed programs, in operatic productions and in the production of special events such as the Huberman Week, the Jubilee Celebrations and the Rubinstein Week.
In the context of her post, she also handled the absorption of young players into the Philharmonic Orchestra, and was instrumental in the discovery of young talents and in their admission into music ensembles and organizations in Israel and abroad.
After her departure from the Philharmonic, she oversaw fundraising at the Israeli Opera.
During the last years of her life, Michal managed public relations at the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, IBA, and also represented various musicians. At the same time, she completed her studies in complementary medicine and worked as a therapist in this field.
After Michal’s sudden death at age 52, her family decided to donate the First Prize in the Aviv Singing Competitions in her name, thus commemorating her love for humanity and her special treatment of young people on the one hand, and her love for music on the other.
Osnat Oren Kugler
Rafi Guralnik (1948-1990) spent most of his childhood in Beit Hakerem, Jerusalem. He played the piano from a very young age and developed a brilliant technique, which enabled him to acquire a vast repertoire of virtuoso works considered challenging even for professional pianists.
He served in the IDF as a combat engineering officer and during the Six-Day War served in Sinai. Following the army service, Rafi began his studies at Tel Aviv University, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He employed his engineering skills as Assistant Director General of several factories of the Israeli Koor Company, yet at the same time, he continued to dedicate his time and energy to his greatest love – the piano.
Rafi married Esti and was a devoted father to his three daughters: Dafi, Anat and Nurit. The family’s home was a center for all their friends, and Rafi was renowned for his witty sense of humor and for his love of people.
Rafi’s sudden death, at the age of only 42, left his family and many friends with a tragic sense of loss. Rafi’s two great loves were the piano and human beings, therefore his family decided that the right way to commemorate his memory would be a prize for a talented young musician at the beginning of his way.
The Guralnik family established a special trust, giving The Rafi Guralnik Prize for The Outstanding Performance of the Israeli Instrumental Piece.
Mira Zakai (1942-2019) was an international alto singer with a unique voice and an extraordinary musical personality who was recognized and admired in Israel and around the world. Among the landmarks of her career are a masterful performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Georg Solti, which won the prestigious Grammy Award, and a special concert held for Pope John Paul II to which she was invited by the violinist Yehudi Menuhin. She and Menuhim performed together the aria Erbarme dich from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.
Alongside her extensive international career, she devoted much of her time and energy to performing Israeli works and creating a dialogue with composers. She believed in the importance of promoting new Israeli works and performed over eighty pieces that were composed especially for her.
She made sure to pass on this legacy to generations of students who had the privilege of studying with her at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University. For her contribution to Israeli music, the Minister of Education and Culture gave her a special recognition award at Israel’s fiftieth-anniversary celebrations, and in 2013 she was awarded the Frank Pelag Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ministry of Culture and Sports for her contribution to musical life in Israel.
She initiated and donated this prize for the outstanding performance of an Israeli vocal work during her lifetime and dedicated it to the memory of her parents, Eva and Georg Koigen. Her family is happy to honor her request and continue to award this prize in her memory.
Pianist Amir Ron (b. 2001) regularly performs as soloist and chamber musician in venues across Israel, Europe, and the US. Solo appearances with orchestras include concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, and Chopin in Israel and Italy. An active chamber musician, Amir is a Ravinia Steans Music Institute fellow for 2022, and he regularly performs with chamber partners.
He currently studies at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music as a student of Asaf Zohar and Arie Vardi and previously studied with Sara Tal at the Givatayim Conservatory. Amir is a Graduate of the JMC programs, among them the prestigious summer course for pianists led by renowned pianist and head of JMC, Murray Perahia. In 2019, Amir finished his studies at Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts with distinguished excellency and has served as an “outstanding Musician” in the IDF. Amir is a prizewinner of numerous competitions and recipient of the Ronen, America-Israel Cultural Foundation, and BMSM scholarships with distinguished excellence.
Pianist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2014-2022
Alona Milner (b. 1996) is an Israeli pianist who performs chamber and solo concerts in Israel and abroad. In summer 2022 she gave a concert at the Israeli embassy in Paris and participated at the Aspen Music Festival and School as a recipient of the Polonsky Foundation Grant.
Recent competition successes include at the Kol Hamusica Young Artist Competition (Prize for performance of an Israeli work and Fourth Prize, 2021); Second prize at the Katz Piano Competition (2020); Prize for the required composition at the Clairmont Competition (2020). She performed on the Arthur Rubinstein Virtual Recitals (2020) and her project “La Valse” received a prize and was chosen to perform in Villecroze and Draguignan, France, in July 2023.
She was a grant recipient and graduated Cum Lauda from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music under the guidance of Tomer Lev. Alona has been supported by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation since 2014.
Pianist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2014-2022
Pianist Dani Dvorkin is a prizewinner of the Piano Forever, Voice of Music Young Artists, Kalmi, Dina Turgeman Chamber Music, and Sharon Tavor-Pintz Concerto Competitions. She has taken part in the Tel-Hai International Master Classes, where she was awarded the Marina Bondarenko Memorial Prize, and later won the First and Audience Favorite Prizes of the Yasha Bistritzky Concerto Competition. Dani has performed with orchestras in Jerusalem, Haifa, and abroad.
Dani is a recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and “Secrets of Culture” Foundation scholarships. She served in the IDF as an “Outstanding Musician” and currently takes part in the Nazarian Chamber Music Program in Jerusalem.
Dani studied at the Jerusalem Academy Conservatory with Svetlana Grinstein and later with Asaf Zohar at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music. Currently Dani studies at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance with Ron Regev. She studied composition with Irena Svetova and won the V. Gavrilin Young Composers Competition in Russia.
Pianist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2020-2022
Israeli pianist Jonathan Senik made his symphony orchestra debut at age eight and has collaborated with conductors including Vag Papian, David Loebel, and Lahav Shani. He has worked with pianists Daniil Trifonov, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Boris Berman, and many others, and performed at the Arthur Rubinstein Virtual PianoFest and the Oxford Piano Festival.
Jonathan won top prizes in all of Israel’s competitions as well as two concerto competitions at two institutions, in Tel Aviv and Boston, with piano concertos by Brahms and Rachmaninoff. He currently studies with Alexander Korsantia at the New England Conservatory. He studied with Mark Shaviner for five years, was mentored by Tomer Lev, and he has taken lessons with Murray Perahia at the Jerusalem Music Center over the past few years.
Jonathan has received merit scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Ronen Foundation, and Bistritzky Foundation.
Pianist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2014-2016, 2018-2022
Pianist Malachi Rozenbaum recently won First Prize in the national piano competition “Piano Forever 2021” in Ashdod, and the first prize in the “Kalmi’” piano competition of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Malachi performs regularly in concerts and festivals around the country.
He is a recipient of America-Israel Cultural Foundation excellence grants since 2018 and the Nazarian Program of Excellence in Chamber Music Scholarship since 2018. Malachi received The President of the Academy Prize for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Malachi is currently studying for his M. Mus degree at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in the class of Eitan Globerson, and previous teachers include Lusia Kitzis, Dror Semmel, and Alexander Tamir. He graduated from the IASA high school (Israel Arts and Science Academy) in Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Conservatory of Music and Dance and served in the IDF as an Outstanding Musician.
Pianist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2018-2022
Pianist Nabeel Hayek has won numerous top prizes at national and international competitions, and performs recitals regularly, including broadcasts on the Israeli radio station “Kan Voice of Music” and a recital in Hong Kong. He has performed for the Arthur Rubinstein International Music Society and as a soloist with major orchestras in Israel.
Nabeel served as a junior jury member at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition 2021 and was among 15 international young pianists to be invited by the Lieven Piano Foundation to participate in masterclass festival in Vienna.
Nabeel is a current student of Arie Vardi and Asaf Zohar at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music and previously studied with Ron Trachtman in Nazareth. He is regularly coached by Maestro Murray Perahia.
He has been a recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation excellence grants since 2014 and Zefunot Tarbut scholarships since 2015.
Pianist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2014-2022
Tom Zalmanov (b. 1999) performs extensively in Israel and abroad and has given concerts in New York, Chicago, Moscow, Tbilisi, Amsterdam, Dresden, Milan, Bangkok, London, and more. He has participated in the Oxford Piano Festival and the Ravinia and Four Seasons Chamber Music Festivals.
He is the First Prize winner of competitions including the Young Artist Competition, Jerusalem; Pnina Saltzman Competition, Kfar Saba; Clairmont Competition, Tel Aviv; Arianna Katz Competition, Tel Aviv and Piano Forever Competition, Ashdod. He is a recipient of America-Israel Cultural Foundation excellence grants since 2006 and received scholarships from Tzfunot Tarbut Foundation.
As a graduate of the Jerusalem Music Centre, he often studies with maestro Murray Perahia, and has participated in masterclasses with Menachem Pressler, Emanuel Ax, and Angela Hewitt. Today he is working towards his Master’s degree with Emanuel Krasovsky at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music.
Pianist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2006-2010, 2012-2022
Born in 1997, Cellist Assif Binness performs as an academist with the Staatsoper Unter Den Linden Berlin and also plays regularly as assistant principal cellist in the Divan Orchestra and as a chamber musician with the Divan Ensemble. Assif is a First Prize Winner of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music’s (BMSM) strings and chamber music competition and Second Prize Winner at the 2018 Paul Ben-Haim Competition.
He participated in the David Goldman Excellence Program of the Jerusalem Music Centre and was the principal cellist of the Thelma Yellin Symphony Orchestra (with whom he also performed as a soloist), the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the BMSM Orchestra.
Assif was a student in Hillel Zori’s class at the BMSM and recently completed his undergraduate studies in Frans Helmerson’s class at the Barenboim-Said Academy. He began his cello studies at age 5 at the Givatayim Conservatory under the guidance of Shmuel Magen and went on to graduate from Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts.
Assif is a recipient of merit scholarships from the Givatayim Conservatory and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. Assif served in the army as an outstanding musician.
Cellist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2013-2019, 2021
Emily Siegreich has performed at the Jerusalem Music Centre, the Eden Tamir Music Center, and as a soloist with the Tel Aviv Soloists and the Thelma Yellin Symphony Orchestra. She won First Prize in the strings competition of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music (BMSM). She participated in the Perlman Music Program and the David Goldman Program, as well as in festivals including ISA, Verao Classico, Keshet Eilon, and Musethica Days.
Emily completed her Bachelor’s degree at the BMSM in the class of Hillel Zori and is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Düsseldorf with Pieter Wispelwey. Her previous teachers include Zvi Plesser and Luba Rabin. She has taken part in masterclasses with Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Ralph Kirshbaum, Felix Nemirovsky, David Geringas, and many more.
Emily is a grant recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Ronen Foundation. Emily plays on a bow kindly on loan to her by AICF.
Cellist, AICF Grant Recepient in 203-2018, 2021-2022
Cellist Izak Nuri (b. 2000) has performed recitals and in chamber music festivals in the US, Spain, Vienna, and Salzburg. He is a winner of Second Prize and a Special Prize at the 12th International Cello Competition Antonio Janigro; First Prize at the 21st International Competition “Grand Prize Virtuoso;” and a prizewinner at the Jerusalem Academy of Music’s “Grits Competition.”
A graduate of the Jerusalem Music Centre, Izak participated in projects and courses on behalf of JMC including the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, The David Goldman Program for Outstanding Young Musicians, and the Huberman Project (in collaboration with the Heifetz International Music Institute).
Izak has participated in masterclasses with leading cellists from Israel and abroad, including with Gary Hoffman, Jens Peter Maintz, Richard Aaron, and Peter Wiley.
A former student of Shmuel Magen and Zvi Plesser, Izak is currently working towards his Bachelor’s degree at the Barenboim-Said Academy with Frans Helmerson. He is a graduate of the “Hassadna” conservatory and a grantee of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and IMA Foundation.
Cellist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2019-2022
Israeli trumpeter Arik Amitay (b. 1994) has appeared as soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Ra’anana Symphonette, and Haifa Symphony Orchestra in which he also played principal trumpet from 2018-2022.
Arik is a graduate of the Conservatoire de Rueil Malmaison and University of Nanterre, France, where he studied ethnomusicology and performance with Eric Aubier. He previously studied with Tamir Akta at the Ra’anana Music Center and is a graduate of the Thelma Yellin National High School for the Arts.
A recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships since 2008, he is also the First Prize Winner of the 2016 Israeli National Wind Competition and the 2017 Lion’s club of Israel Trumpet Competition. In 2015 Arik completed his military service with the Israel Defense Force Orchestra.
Trumpeter, AICF Grant Recepient in 2008-2020
Tony Rotenberg has performed as a soloist in concert projects with Chen Zimbalista and the Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva (2020), Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (2019), and recordings of the musical “The Wild Party” with Johnathan Perelman (2022).
He is a prizewinner of International Festival-Contest “Music of the World” (2018, Israel), the National Wind Competition (2022, Kfar Saba), and a recipient of the Rokem Foundation (2020). He is a recipient of America-Israel Cultural Foundation grants and a participant of numerous festivals all over Israel and abroad.
Tony was born in Jerusalem in 2001 to a musical family and began his studies on the violin at age 6. A few years later, he joined the trumpet class of Yevgeny Kleiman at the Jerusalem Academy High School of Music and Dance. He is serving in the IDF Orchestra since 2020 as a lead trumpeter and studies with Eran Remy.
Trumpeter, AICF Grant Recepient in 2019-2020
Born in Israel in 1991, Noam Greenfeld currently holds the position of bass trombone in the Israeli Symphony Orchestra. He was previously second trombone in the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and has played frequently with the Philharmonia Zurich Orchestra, Berliner Camerata, and in orchestras around Israel.
Greenfeld won Second Prize at the IPV Solo Competition for bass trombone in Germany, Second Prize at the Riddes National Concours in Switzerland, and First Prize in the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music (BMSM) Chamber Music Competition.
Noam studied trombone at the BMSM, HEM in Geneva, and in ZHdK in Zurich, and he began his musical education on piano and euphonium. Noam enlisted in the IDF as an Outstanding Musician. He is a recipient of America-Israel Cultural Foundation grants from 2008-2015 as well as a finalist in the 2018 Aviv Competition.
Trombonist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2008-2017
Elai Grisaru Drori has performed as a soloist with the Israel Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ariel Zuckermann and with the IDF wind band conducted by captain Rom Shamir. He is a freelance musician in Israel with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and with many orchestras in Germany.
In summer 2022, Elai participated in the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, where he played alongside musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony, under the batons of Ken-David Masur and Lahav Shani. In September 2022 Elai participated in the ARD international music competition in Munich.
He is currently studying for his Bachelor’s degree in music performance at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany, with Professor Jonas Bylund and Tomer Maschkowski. Elai has been supported by America-Israel Cultural Foundation since 2015 on both baritone and trombone.
Elai Grisaru Drori
Trombonist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2015-2022
Trombonist Kesem Ninio has played as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Haifa Symphony Orchestra. He has worked as a substitute player in Israel’s top orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic, and has played at summer festivals, competitions, masterclasses, and seminars around the world, including in the United States, Canada, Georgia (as a part of the Tsinandali Festival with the Pan-Caucasian Orchestra), Hungary, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Brazil, France, and Germany.
Kesem had the opportunity to play in masterclasses with the world’s top trombone players including Joe Alessi, Christian Lindberg, Stefan Schultz, and the trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich. Kesem has received support from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation since 2015 and received a scholarship to study at the Freiburg Hochschule in Germany. He played with the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for two years.
Kesem completed his Bachelor’s degree at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv in 2020 and his Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 2022. Kesem has studies with Micha Davis, Nir Erez, Ariel Sasson, Haim Avitsur, Fabrice Millischer and David Finlayson.
Trombonist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2015-2022
Trumpeter Ran Encaoua has played concerts as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and has been a member of the trumpet section of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra since 2014. He has participated in masterclasses in Israel and abroad with Jeroen Berwaerts, Reinhold Friedrich, and Christian Stanstrup in Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland.
Ran holds a Bachelor`s degree from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv and a Master`s degree from the Karlsruhe School of Music in Germany. He began playing at the age of 10 in the city of Lod and graduated from the Thelma Yellin School of the Arts. His teachers include Yigal Meltzer, Ram Oren, Eran Remy, and Reinhold Friedrich. He is a grant recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation since 2009. When he is not playing the trumpet, Ran works as a barista in various cafes in Israel and abroad.
Trumpeter, AICF Grant Recepient in 2008-2018
Israeli trombonist Tomer Schwartz, age 21, won First Prize in the Kfar Saba Wind Instrument Musicians Competition in February 2022. He currently works as a freelancer in Israeli orchestras, including with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tomer participated in Jerusalem Music Centre programs including the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Arabic-Jewish Orchestra under conductor Taiseer Elias.
He is a student at the Academy for Music in Hanover under the guidance of Jonas Bylund and studied at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music from 2020-2022. Past teachers include Tal Ben Rei, Alon Stoler, Nir Erez, Menachem Grudzinski, Leonid Kobalenko, and he has taken lessons with Nitzan Haroz and Micha Davis. He has also studied piano, composition, and singing.
Tomer is a grantee of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation since 2017.
Trombonist, AICF Grant Recepient in 2017-2022
Israeli mezzo-soprano Gal Kohav is a member of the Israeli Opera’s Meitar Opera Studio, where her repertoire includes Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Mozart) as well as Cenerentola in La Cenerentola (Rossini), Hansel in Hansel und Gretel (Humperdinck), Papagena in Die Zauberflöte (Mozart), and Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress (Stravinsky). In the 22/23 season of the Israeli Opera, Gal will sing the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (Puccini). Past roles include Ramiro in La finta giardiniera (Mozart), the title role in Amadigi (Handel), Opera Box Ghost in The Ghosts of Versailles (Corigliano) and Constance Fletcher in The Mother of Us All (Thompson). She received the Keren Ronen scholarship and won several singing competitions in the USA. She graduated from the University of California Los Angeles Music Conservatory and the University of Maryland Opera Studio.
Born in 1995, David Goldberg is an Israeli tenor. David made his debut as Rodolfo in La Bohème (Puccini) with Jerusalem Lyric Opera & Festival in 2021 and sang his first Cavaradossi in Tosca (Puccini) under the baton of Paolo Spadaro at the same festival in 2022. Upcoming roles in 2023 include Turiddu in Cavalleria rusticana and Don José in Carmen (Bizet)
David is the First Prize Winner of the 2022 Corsica Lirica Competition and 2022 Jerusalem International Opera Competition 2022. He received his B.A. in vocal performance from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in 2020. His teachers include Kristian Benedikt, Bibiana Goldenthal, Jeffrey Francis, Zvi Semel, and Sofia Mazar.
Tenor, AICF Grant Recepient in 2020-2022
Born in Argentina 1993, mezzo-soprano Yarden Kiperman is a member of the Israeli Opera’s Meitar Opera Studio and has performed numerous operatic roles including Sesto from Giulio Cesare (Handel), Marcellina from Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart), Zweite Dame from Die Zauberflöte (Mozart) Baba from The Medium (Menotti) and Die Knusper Hexe from Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck).
Yarden is the First Prize Winner of the 2018 vocal competition at the Buchmann Mehta School of Music and participated in the “Festival der Jungen Stimmen Internationale Opernwerkstatt” under the guidance of Verna Keller in the same year. She was chosen for the semi-finals in Tenor Viñas competition in January 2022.
Yarden received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University under the supervision and guidance of Tamar Rachum. She is a recipient of America Israel Cultural Foundation grants from 2018-21, as well as from the Ronen and Leon Nacht Foundations.
Mezzo-soprano, AICF Grant Recepient in 2018-2021
Mezzo soprano Limor Gaash performs operatic and Spanish repertoire in recitals and concerts. Her operatic repertoire includes Baba in (Menotti), Miss Todd in The Old Lady and the Thief (Menotti), Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart), 3rd lady in Die Zauberflöte (Mozart), Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos (R. Strauss) and more.
In 2020, Limor received a Bachelor degree in Music from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music (BMSM) at Tel-Aviv University, where she served as a representative of the Student Union. She is the recipient of consecutive BMSM Excellence Scholarships.
Currently studying with Elinor Sohn, past teachers include Dana Glaser and Anat Efraty at the Buchmann-Mehta School and Orit Nahari at the Ness Ziona Conservatory. Her musical studies began with classical guitar at the age of 11.
Israeli-British-American baritone Noam Heinz Lowenstein is a graduate of the Israeli Opera’s Meitar Opera Studio, with recent performances there in the title role of Don Giovanni and as Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, as well El Dancaïro in Bizet’s Carmen with the Israeli Opera. 2022-23 season highlights include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Masetto in Don Giovanni with the Israeli Opera and the title role in the world premiere of Theodor (Cnaan), about Israel’s founding father Herzl.
Additional performances include Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with Israeli Opera soloists and the Beer Sheva Sinfonietta, Younger Brother in Dead Man Walking with the Israeli Opera, and multiple roles from Bernstein’s Candide with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop.
A graduate of Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, where he studied with Efrat Ben Nun, Noam’s awards include First Prize in the Buchmann-Mehta School’s Vocal Competition, scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Tel Aviv University, and the Ronen, Leon Nacht, and Dr. Elie and Esther Foundations. Noam served in the Israel Defense Forces as an “Outstanding Musician” during 2016-19.
Baritone, AICF Grant Recepient in 2016-2022
Israeli-born soprano Noam Pnini fell in love with opera performance at the age of 16 when she first appeared as Belinda in Dido and Aeneas at Thelma Yellin High school for the Arts. Further operatic experiences include Tytania (Midsummer Night’s Dream), Nannetta (Falstaff), Semele (Semele), Drusilla (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Constance (Dialogues des Carmélites), Télaïre (Castor et Pollux), and Genovieffa (Sour Angelica).
Noam is a committed advocate for contemporary music and has collaborated with several composers in the writing process and performance of new works. In June 2022 she won the Tracey Chadwell Memorial Award for her performance of Five Eliot Landscapes by Thomas Adès, in a concert held at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Noam is a recent graduate from the Artist Masters Programme at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, where her studies were generously supported by the Guildhall School, America-Israel Cultural Foundation, Ronen Foundation, Buchmann-Mehta Foundation, and the Buchman-Heyman Foundation. Noam moved to London after completing her military service in the IDF where she was acknowledged as an “Outstanding Musician.”
Soprano, AICF Grant Recepient in 2018-2019, 2021-2022
Award winner of multiple international competitions, soprano Nofar Yacobi has performed with Volksoper Wien, Toronto Koerner Hall, Komische Oper Berlin (in an Israeli Opera co-production), Glenn Gould studio CBC, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and Teatro Comunale di Bologna (a co-production with Teatro Massimo di Palermo and Teatro La Fenice). She recorded the Hebrew version of Beauty and the Beast (2017) for Disney Pictures. Nofar is an alumna of the Israeli Opera Meitar Studio Program, the Calgary Opera Emerging Artist Program, and the Rebanks Fellowship in Toronto. She studied at Tel Aviv University’s Buchmann-Mehta School of Music and received the Eli Leon, the Sir Jack Lyons Charitable Trust, and Azrieli Foundation sponsorships. She is a recipient of an AICF grant (2012-13).
Nofar created the Musical Solidarity Project, which connected hundreds of musicians from 65 countries worldwide during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. She began piano studies at the age of 5 and joined the “Kolot Hazamir” choir at age 12.
Soprano, AICF Grant Recepient in 2012-2013
Israeli soprano Netta Flomen has performed the role of Despina from Cosi fan Tutte (Mozart), and soon will take on the role of First Lady from Die Zauberflöte (Mozart) with The Haifa Symphony Orchestra under conductor Yoel Levy. She performed as a soloist with the Gary Bertini Choir in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Faure’s Requiem, and Lotti’s Missa sapieante.
Netta is a B.A graduate from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University. She participated in Olaf Bär’s Master Class (2022) in Dresden; is the 2021 First Prize Winner of the Vocal Competition at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music; and a grant recipient from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (2022) and the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music (2018-2022).
Soprano, AICF Grant Recepient in 2022
Ukranian-born mezzo-soprano Katya Semenisty has performed the roles of Dorabella in Così fan tutte, 2nd Lady in The Magic Flute, Cherubino and Marcelina in Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart) and Tisbe in La Cenerentola (Rossini). Concert performances include Mozart’s Requiem, Schumann’s Requiem fur Mignon, and in concerts honoring singers Janet Baker, Kathleen Ferrier, and the composer Rachmaninoff at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.
Katya was the First Prize Winner in the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance’s Concerto Competition and is a recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation grant (2022-2023).
Katya received her Bachelor’s degree from Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance under the instruction of Marina Levitt and Ido Ariel. She is currently working towards her Master’s degree at August Everding Theaterakademie in Munich, Germany. Katya has been exploring and developing her passion for music for over 15 years–she started studying violin at age seven and began her voice training at age 15.
Mezzo-soprano, AICF Grant Recepient in 2022
Contralto Rona Shrira will perform this season at the Israeli Opera: La voix de la mère in Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Offenbach), The Old Gypsy Aleko (Rachmaninoff), Mamma Lucia (Cover) in Cavalleria rusticana (Mascagni), Marie in Theodor, (Jonathan Cnaan), Suzuki (Cover) in Madame Butterfly (Puccini) and Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte (Mozart).
Rona is a former member of the Israeli Opera’s Meitar Opera Studio and has Rona performed in international concerts, competitions and workshops including Finalist at Vincero (Italy, 2022), IYDV program by Dolora Zajick (USA, 2022), “Sigriswill- Internationale OpernWerkstatt” (Switzerland, 2016), and Internationale Opernwerkstatt Waiblingen (Germany, 2019).
Rona is a student of Prof. Tamar Rachum-Roth, and is a graduate of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music (2013-17) in voice and musicology. She is also a fellow of the Ronen Foundation (since 2021).
A multi-genre singer specializing in Yemenite, Persian, Ladino, and classical singing, Shani Oshri recently made the world premiere recording of “Shards of Memories” composed by Naama Pearl-Tzadok. The work describes the life course of a woman in Yemen and includes melodies from the Diwan and female Yemenite songs passed down through oral tradition. In addition, Shani recently released her debut album, in collaboration with composer and guitarist Daniel Akiva, which includes rare psalms together with new music written by Akiva.
Her operatic repertoire includes the Fire from L’enfant et les sortilèges (Ravel), Queen of the Night from Die Zauberflote and Susanna from The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart), Cleopatra from Giulio Cesare (Handel), and Monica from The Medium (Menotti).
Shani is a B.A. graduate of the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University and a grant recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and Ronen Foundation, as well as a recipient of the “Young Artist Encouragement” scholarship from the Netanya Municipality and an excellence scholarship from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music.
Soprano, AICF Grant Recepient in 2019-2020
Tamara Navot, mezzo-soprano, is a member of the Cecilia Ensemble and a soloist at the Israeli Opera. She was previously a member of the Israeli Opera’s Meitar Opera Studio and has performed as a soloist with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Raanana Symphonette, Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra, Upper Galilee Orchestra, and at festivals in Israel including the Abu Ghosh Festival, the Liturgical Music Festival in Nazareth, the Felicja Blumenthal Festival, and the Israeli Music Festival. Her operatic repertoire includes lead roles in L’enfant et les Sortilèges (Ravel), Calisto (Cavalli), Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck), Mercedes (Carmen), Annio at the La clemenza di Tito (Mozart) and more.
Tamara is a scholarship recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation as well as the Leon Nacht, Eli Leon, Ronen , IVAI Buchholtz, and the Mickey Ofrat Foundations. She began her studies at the Ramat Hasharon Conservatory and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and a Master’s degree from the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.
Mezzo-soprano, AICF Grant Recepient in 2014-2016, 2019
Raz Binyamini Victor Derevianko Yaron Gottfried Miri Yampolsky Einav Yarden
Noa Frenkel Gal James Yael Kareth Lior Navok Yoav Talmi
Avigail Arnheim – Chair Iris Reff Ronen – Executive Director, AICF Jessica Hadler – Competitions Manager, AICF Israel Tibi Cziger – Artistic Adviser Tali Hermetz – Music department Manager, Tel Aviv Museum of Art Sharon Shwartz – Music department, Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Production: AICF Israel team (Evelina Zayats, Shahar Regev, Ophir Lotan) Social Media: “Modus” Public Relations: “Dolphin” Graphic Design: “The League”