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Eliezra Eig-Zakov (Contralto)

Born: September 8, 1937, Jerusalem, Israel

The Israeli contralto singer, Eliezra (Lucy) Eig-Zakov, is the daughter of the pioneer Israeli botanist, professor Alexander Eig; and one of the country's central figures in education, Ittah Eig-Faktorit.

Since her early twenties, Eliezra (Lucy) has been both a musician, specializing in concert ante singing, Lieder and baroque music; and a writer and translator, whose work includes critically acclaimed first translations into Hebrew by Emily Dickinson and W.B. Yeats. She has just published a new translation of Dylan Thomas. Eliezra has a bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Hebrew literature, English literature and Bible studies.

The contralto singer received a scholarship from the Saker family to study under Roy Henderson in London. After returning to Israel, she received a special scholarship from the Sharet foundation to train with Rachel Adonaylo, who became her mentor. Her musical training includes studying and performing with Noam Scheriff, Yechezkel Brown, Jonah Etlinger, Josef Tal and Eldad Neumark (a continuing education program in Lieder performance) and Robert Southerland in London.

Eliezra was discovered by Sigi Stadermann, the manager of the Abu-Gosh Festival, who was looking for an alto singer for the series of concerts he was planning. Sigi Stadermann attended a musical soirée held by Haray Golomb's amateur and professional musicians group, where Eliezra performed the alto part in a duet from Bach's 4th cantata (BWV 4). Sigi Stadermann then cast Eliezra as the alto soloist in the coming years of the Original Abu-Gosh Festival. She was a regular soloist at the festival from 1963 to 1967 and in 1971).

Eliezra has often performed in the Tel-Aviv museum (in both the old and the new halls). She was the alto soloist in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's first performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah oratorio with Israeli soloists. Eliezra has performed with the Israeli Chamber Ensemble and with the Haifa Philharmonic Orchestra and took part in ensembles of both ancient and baroque music. She has also performed and continues to perform on the Israeli "Kol Hamuzika" radio channel.

Since the 1980's, Eliezra has been the voice of many of Noa Blass' compositions. Eliezra has performed in many of the Israeli composer's premieres, including a 1988 performance in the Israeli Festival of Blass' Seven Ancient Egyptian Hymns for alto and piano. In 1991, Blass was invited by the American Composers Union to perform this piece as a representative of Israeli music, and the two gave concerts in New-York and Washington. One of their recent projects includes a musical cycle of five poems by Emily Dickinson, taken from the collection translated by Eliezra. This piece has been performed in a series of Emily Dickinson soirées and was featured on "Kol Hamuzika". The successful collaboration between the singer and the composer still continues and Eliezra is currently performing and distributing Blass' music.

Eliezra (Lucy) Eig-Zakov is married and the mother of two. Lives in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Source: Programme notes to Abu-Gosh – Kiryath-Yearim (1971); Michal Sokolovski (March 2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2001) & Michal Sokolovski (March 2004)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

Conductor

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Works

Sigi Stadermann

Alto

BWV 248 (excerpts)

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