The distinguished members of the Artistic Committees were all carefully chosen for their fine reputation in various fields of art, based on knowledge and experience. They are involved in diverse aspects of the Israeli cultural scene on a daily basis. Most of them are also active in the international cultural arena, and are willing to share their experience and contacts with IcExcellence, for the benefit of the chosen artists. Each committee is reviewed periodically, to allow for different schools of thought.
Yaron Gottfried - a conductor, composer and pianist -one of Israel´s most versatile and outstanding musicians. A chosen artist of IcExcellence in 2003-2008. A music director of the Israel Kibbutz Orchestra, that under his creative artistic leadership, the orchestra has become one of the leading professional orchestras in Israel. Yaron studied composition and orchestral conducting with Prof. Noam Sheriff in Tel-Aviv, and in 1993 graduated the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem studying with Prof. Mendi Rodan. A winner of many awards and prizes, among them: residency at the prestigious MacDowell Colony, first prize at the conducting competition held by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and first prize in the jazz composition competition, held by the international Red Sea jazz Festival.
Mendi Rodan - Professor of Conducting and Head of the Orchestral Department at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. Former Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, Associate Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Conductor Laureate of the Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva. Founded the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra. Serves regularly as juror in international competitions for both composition and conducting. Maestro Rodan is serving as Chairman of the Department of Conducting and Orchestras at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester University, New York.
Michal Smoira Cohn - Musicologist. Born in Tel-aviv 1926. Graduated from the Music Accademy Jerusalem and the higher Seminar of Musicology, Uppsala Sweden. Former Head of Music Israel Broadcasting Authority; Head of the Jerusalem Accademy of Music and Dance; Head of music, Ministry of Education and Culture, Public Coucil for Art and Culture. Music Critic daily Paper "Haaretz". Among her books: "Historical introduction into Music"; "meanings in Music"; "A personal reppertoire". Due to be published: "Music- Message and Mission" (Dvir publishig House) and "Gary Bertini and the Israeli musical scene" ( Achusat Bait publishing hause).
Asher Fisch - Conductor. The Music Director of the Israeli Opera. Maestro Fisch conducts regularly at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper and the opera houses of Berlin, Paris, Munich, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Dresden, Hamburg, Leipzig and others. His operatic repertoire ranges from Mozart to Berg.
Tzvi Avni - Composer. Laureate of the Israel Prize (2001).His works include orchestral pieces, chamber music, vocal and choral music, music for ballet, theater and art films, and several electronic works. Studied with Paul Ben-Haim and Mordecai Seter in Israel, and with Aaron Copland and Lukas Foss in Tanglewood. Since 1971 he has been a professor of theory and composition at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance where he was head of that department as well as founder and head of the Electronic Music Studio. Among his awards are the Culture Prize of the Saarland (1998) the Israel Prime Minister Prize for life achievement (1998) and the Acum Prize for life achievements (1986).
Idith Zvi - Solo pianist and chamber music player. Recorded and toured in Israel, Europe and the USA, and performed in major international music festivals, such as the Marlboro and Tanglewood Festivals in the US, and the South Bank Festival in London. Established the Upper Galilee Chamber Music Days - a unique chamber music festival, and served as its Artistic Director for 10 years. During 1995-2000 she was the Director General of the Israel Chamber Orchestra. Since March 2003 Ms. Zvi has been the Director General of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition. She is also a senior radio producer at the "Voice of Music" - Israel´s classical music radio channel.
Hagai Shaham - Pursues an international career as solo violinist and chamber music player. First Prize Winner of the Munich Competition. His recordings for Hyperion, Decca, Chandos and Biddulph have won great critical acclaim. Mr. Shaham teaches at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance.
Mira Zakai - Professor of Voice at the Tel Aviv Rubin Academy of Music. "Grammy" award winner for her recording of Mahler´s 2nd symphony with Solti and the Chicago symphony orchestra. She was honored with a special prize for lifelong contribution to Israeli music by the Ministry of Education and Culture, on Israel´s 50th anniversary. (Committee member 2002-03)
Amikam Kimelman - Jazz saxophone player, composer and arranger. General and Academic Director of the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. Musical Director and Conductor of the Tel Aviv Jazz Big Band.
Dan Gottfried - Jazz pianist and educator. Founder of the Faculty of Jazz Studies at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance, founder and Artistic Director of The Red Sea Jazz Festival, Artistic Director of the Tel Aviv Museum Jazz Concert Series in 1992-1998, Artistic Director of The Tel Aviv Opera Jazz Concert Series in 1998-2004. President of the Israeli Musicians Union.
Iris Portugaly - Jazz musician, percussionist and singer. Performs with the leading orchestras in Israel, including the Israeli Philharmonic, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. Performed in leading international jazz festivals with her partner Ofer Portugaly. Ms. Portugaly is the Head of the Vocal Department at the Rimon School of Music. She also teaches vocal jazz at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance and leads the music department at the Herzliya High School.
Yossi (Joseph) Marhaim - Studied 1961-1968 at the Rubin Academy of Music with composer I. Sadai. Graduated from the Julliard School of Music. Since 1964 has written over 150 pieces for chamber and symphony ensembles, film, environment pieces, theatre, ballet operas and operas. Began working with computers interfaced with lighting in 1988. Winner of the 2003 "Life Project Prize" by ACUM, Israel. Twice winner of the Israeli "Oscar" for film scores.
Dubi Lenz - More than 30 years a senior music broadcaster and journalist in I.D.F. National Radio - 15 of which as the head of the music department of the radio station. Artistic direcor of Tel Aviv World Music Festival, member of the EFWMF (European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals) and its former chairman, and at present its international newsletter editor. Member of the planning committee of the Ford Foundation´s Forum Cultural Mundial in Brazil. Member of the music committee of the Israeli Education Ministry. Author of the Israeli chapter in the Rough Guide to World Music.
Gal Uchovsky - Widely recognized as one of the leading commentators on Israeli art and culture. A music critic for over 20 years, these days publishes a weekly column in "Time Out Tel Aviv." With his partner Eytan Fox he has created films ("Walk On Water") and TV series for which he also wrote the soundtrack. The soundtrack CD for the TV series "Florentine" earned him a Gold Certificate.
Ehud Manor z"l - A founding member of IcExcellence. Israel Prize Laureate for achievement in the field of Hebrew songs (in 1998 - Israel´s 50th anniversary). Wrote the lyrics for more than a thousand songs that are performed by Israel´s best singers. Translated dozens of plays and musicals into Hebrew (Cabaret, Les Miserables, West Side Story, Chicago and many more). Presented numerous radio and TV programs about music, cinema and culture in general. Had his own radio show about contemporary popular music. Mr. Manor studied English Literature at Tel Aviv University and received his M.A. from Cambridge University, England.
Danny Sanderson - Songwriter, composer, guitar player, singer and a performer for over 35 years. The founder and most influential member of the popular bands "Kaveret" "Gazoz" and "Doda" and since 1982 has had a successful solo career. Recorded 17 albums and published 3 books. Appears regularly on Israeli TV and radio. A recipient of several Kinor David and Vered Hakesef awards and Tamuz´s "Album of the Year" recognition. In 1998, he launched the "Philharmonic in Jeans" concert series with Maestro Zubin Mehta. Among his public activities: member of the young forum of the Philharmonic Orchestra; Member of the board of the Rimon School of Jazz and a member of the "Jordan River" Association.
Yoav Kutner - One of the main authorities on rock, pop and Israeli music. Editor-in-Chief of "24"- the Israeli TV music channel. A music journalist, editor, and radio and television personality. Mr. Kutner was awarded several prizes for his programs, including "Paul McCartney is Dead" (IDF radio, 1978) and "The History of Israeli Rock" (TV Channel 1,1998). He also edited several books about Israeli music, and was among the founders of the popular website Mooma, where he was editor-in-chief of the first on-line encyclopedia of Israeli music.
Margalit Zanani - Popular singer and songwriter. Issued 14 CDs. TV personality.
Shimon Levy - Professor at the Tel Aviv University Theater Department, and its present chairman. He has published numerous books and articles in Hebrew, English and German. Prof. Levy has been dramaturge for the Habimah Theater and the Jerusalem Khan Theater, and has translated over 140 plays into Hebrew. He has directed plays for theater and radio. Presently he also serves on the Israeli Arts Council as head of the theater section, and on the Theater Committee of the Ministry of Culture.
Yuval Meskin - Moderator and editor of cultural, theater and jazz programs on Israeli Radio (IBA). Artistic consultant for several festivals.
Micha Lewensohn - Theater and opera director. Worked with most theaters in Israel, the Boston Opera Company and the Israeli Opera. Also directed music events and film commercials. Hosted and produced numerous radio programs. Artistic Director of the Israel Festival (1994 -2001). Was awarded the Kinor David and the Milo Award, as well as several grants.
Yona Fischer - Israel Prize Laureate. Former curator of modern, contemporary and Israeli art at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Former chief curator of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Curator of exhibitions of major and young Israeli and foreign artists in Israel and in Europe. Comendor of the French Order of Arts and Letters.
Dalia Levin - Director and Chief Curator of the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art since 1994, showing young Israeli & foreign artists. Since 1994 a member of CIMAM International Committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern Art. A member of the Jury for the International Exhibition, 50th Venice Bienale, 2003.
Rivka Saker - Senior Director of Sotheby´s Europe. Managing Director of Sotheby´s Israel.
Tami Katz-Freiman - Chief Curator of the Haifa Museum of Art (since 2005), showing Israeli and international artists. Since 1993 curated numerous exhibitions of contemporary art as an independent curator both in Israel and the US. Published articles, essays, and reviews addressing various issues in contemporary art for Studio, Artnews and Art Papers. Member of AICA/USA, the International Association of Art Critics.
Gad Charny - Industrial designer. Professor of Industrial Design at the Holon Academic Institute of Technology.
Ami Drach - Head of the Industrial Design at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design since 2004. Partner in a product design studio with Dov Ganchrow. Recipient of the Ministry of Education and Culture Design Prize for 2003. Graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design - Department of Industrial Design - in 1991.
Alex Padwa - Product and car designer, founder of PADWA DESIGN, Head of the ID department at Shenkar College of Design. Visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London. Worked at Citroen Paris for five years. Amongst clients: M-Systems, Lumenis, Waves, Volvo Merkavim, Ferrari, BMW, Ford USA, Mitsubishi, Design Club Japan. Work had won numerous international awards and prizes.
Yair Vardi - Director of the Suzanne Dellal Center. His dance history includes experience with Martha Graham, Glen Tetley, Jerome Robbins, Lar Lubovitch, Jose Limon, John Crenko, Lindsay Kemp and others. In Israel - danced with the Batsheva Dance Company and the Bat-Dor Dance Company.
Gabi Aldor - Actress, director, dance critic and writer, co-artistic director of the Arab-Hebrew Theater in Jaffa. Recipient of various prizes for her theater works, as well as the Rosenblum Prize for achievements in Dance and Theater. Published and lectured extensively in Israel and abroad, teaches at the Kibbutzim College of Education, Tel Aviv.
Tirza Sapir - Head of the Dance and Movement School at the Kibbutzim College of Education in Tel Aviv. Composer and senior lecturer of Eshkol Wachman Movement Notation. Student and colleague of Prof. Noa Eshkol.
Shira Breuer - Fashion writer for "Haaretz" newspaper since 1994. Worked as stylist and fashion designer. Won the Israeli movie academy award for costume design for "Tel Aviv Stories." Curator for the "T-shirt" exhibition in the Ramat-Gan Museum for Israeli Art in 1999.
Leah Perez - Head of the Fashion Design Department, Shenkar School of Engineering and Design from 1994-2003. Curator of exhibitions and lecturer on art and design in Israel and abroad. Currently on a diplomatic mission in Bogota, Columbia.
Gershon Bram - Fashion Designer since 1973, after completing his studies in Paris and his internship in New York. He has designed for leading Israeli fashion labels such as Makette, Beged Or, and Dorina. He was also chief designer for the Club Mediterrannee in this area. In 1981 he started his own fashion label for both men and women. He owns a chain of stores in Israel, and also exports to Europe and the USA. Mr. Bram is a recipient of the fashion award for best men´s clothes designer for the years 1999-2000. He teaches fashion design at the Shenkar School of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan.
Riki Gindes - Design and Global Development Director, Corporate VP - Delta Galil Industries Ltd.- a global company specializing in intimate apparel for men and women. Professionally responsible for products´ design and development, and of future design and technology. Has been working for Delta for 20 years Ms. Gindes is a graduate of the Shenkar College of design - textile design department.
David Tartakover - Graphic designer, artist and design educator. Laureate of the Israel Prize (for Design) 2002. His work has won numerous awards and prizes and is included in the collections of museums in Europe, USA and Japan. Member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale).
Merav Salomon - Illustrator and educator. BFA in Communication Arts from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, 1993, Jerusalem. Since 1993, has been working in Israel and abroad in the areas of editorial and institutional illustration and picture and children´s books. Teaches illustration at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, and at Shenkar College in Ramat Gan.
Adi Stern - Graphic designer, typographer and design educator. Faculty member at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Writes and lectures on Hebrew type design and history. MA in Typeface Design at the University of Reading, England. Recipient of several prizes and awards including the Typographic Excellence Award from the Type Directors Club in New York. Chosen artist of the Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation (IcExcellence) since 2002.
Yoram Kaniuk - One of Israel´s leading writers. Kaniuk was born in Tel Aviv in 1930, and started writing in 1960, after being established as a painter and journalist.He has published 16 novels, six books of short stories and novellas, two books of non-fiction, a biographical novel and five books for children and youth. His work has been translated into 20 languages.Kaniuk has been awarded many literary prizes, including the Prix des Droits de l`Homme (France, 1997), the President`s Prize (1998), the Bialik Prize (1999), the prestigious Prix Méditerranee Etranger for his book, Exodus: The Odyssey of a Commander (2000), and the Book Publishers Associations Golden Book Prize for The Last Berliner (2005).
Yon Feder - Editor-in-chief of ynet – Israel´s largest news and content website, since 2000. Prior to that he was one of Israel´s leading figures in the book publishing field for 15 years, serving as editor-in-chief of two of the country´s largest publishing houses: Keter and Yedioth Ahronoth Books. In his long publishing career he was in charge of initiating and launching thousands of books in a variety of genres – original fiction and non-fiction, translated fiction, children books, guides and albums – and is considered an expert in reference and encyclopedia publishing.
Nili Cohen - Director of the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature, a non-profit organization whose aim is to promote and distribute hebrew literature throughout the world.
Film & TV
Ram Leovy - A film director, writer and producer, Professor in The Tel Aviv University, Department of Film and TV. A Nieman Fellow, Harvard University. A graduate of The Hebrew University, Jerusalem and The London Film School. Received "The Israel Prize" (for overall achievements), Made more then 50 films and numerous reports for various Israeli TV Channels, PBS (USA), Channel 4 (UK), Channel 5 (France). Among the films – Bread (Prix Italia) Indian in the Sun ( David Harp Award ) Closure (Nord Sud Award. Geneva) Chirbet Chizaa (based on S Yizhar´s story), Mr. Mani (Based on A.B.Yehoshua´s book). A teacher and member on the board of many film institutions in Israel. Represented Israel abroad in many film festivals and conferences.
Dan Wolman - has been an independent filmmaker since the late sixties. His feature films have won numerous prizes and represented Israel in Cannes, Venice and many other film festivals. Among his films: "The Dreamer" (1970), "Floch" (1972), "My Michael" (1975), "Hide and Seek" (1979) - winner of the Silver Rose award in Israel for best movie, best director and best script -, "Soldier of The Night" (1985) , "Ben’s Biography" (2004), "Foreign Sister" (2000), and others. He has also been writing and making television and documentary films and had taught filmmaking at Tel Aviv University, New York University and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Mr. Wolman received a "Life- time achievement award" at the 1999 Jerusalem Int. Film Festival.
Ilana Tsur - the founder and director of Docaviv - the Israeli International Documentary Film Festival in Tel Aviv since 1999. She was born in Israel, is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem(B.A.), and holds an M..A. from Boston University. Ms. Tsur has been writing,directing, presenting and producing documentary programs on the Israeli radio and television. Among her films are "Altalena" and "The Last Transfer" that were screened in Israel and in international film festivals.