About

Tamar Muskal is mentioned in Anthony Tommasini’s  (of the NY Times) 10 Best Classical Music Events of 2014.

Tamar Muskal studied composition and viola at the Jerusalem Academy for Dance and Music (Israel), Yale University and CUNY. Recent and future commissions include a double concerto for saxophone and viola for the Williamsport Symphony, a work for percussionist Steve Schick and a digital/interactive sculpture by Daniel Rozin, music for a 50 minutes film for the historic, silent, black and white film about the Mexican revolution, a song cycle commissioned by ASCAP and music for a documentary film about finding a cure for blindness (narrated by Robert Redford).

Tamar received grants and awards from institution such as ASCAP, Meet-the-Composer, the Jerome Foundation, American Music Center and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. She received an award from the Academy of Arts and Letters (2004), a grant from Meet The Composer (2006), the Theodore Front Prize from IAWM for “The Yellow Wind” (2007), a grant from the American Composers Forum/Jerome Foundation (2007), a grant from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University (2007) two grants from the American Music Center (2008, 2009), a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation (2009), a grant from Meet The Composer (2010) and a first place winning prize from the “Third Millennium Ensemble (2013). “The Yellow Wind” was nominated for a Pulitzer prize. While at Yale, she received four awards for her compositions and achievements. Her piece The Yellow Wind was nominated for a Pulitzer prize.

Education

Educated both in Israel and the United States, Ms. Muskal’s music harmonizes the unique cultural aspects of both places. Her music is always in a counterpoint style, carefully structured, and with great attention for details. Tamar studied viola, music theory and composition at the Rubin Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem and earned her BA in 1991 where she studied with Mark Kopytman. Ms. Muskal moved to the United States in 1994 and subsequently earned her Master’s degree from Yale University, where she studied with Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick. She continued her studies at the City University of New York, where she studied with David Del Tredici and Tania Leon.

Recent and Future Commissions and Collaborations

Recent and future commissions include a double concerto for saxophone and viola for the Williamsport Symphony, an orchestral piece for the Idyllwind Arts Academy, music for a documentary film about finding the cure for blindness narrated by Robert Redford, a song cycle commissioned by ASCAP, a piece for percussionist Steve Schick and a visual work by Daniel Rozin, music for the historic film “La Venganza de Pancho Villa” for a string quartet and a Mexican musicians band  – a collaboration with the Library of Congress, a piano solo piece for Benjamin Hochman for the New York 92Y, a piece for Lucy Shelton and the Colorado String Quartet on text by Hanoch Levin and a piece for bassoon and string quartet for Uzi Shalev of the Israeli Philharmonic for the International Double Reed Convention in New York,

Ms. Muskal has also served as the Westchester Philharmonic’s education composer-in-residence in the years 2001-2004, and in that capacity composed three orchestral pieces based on students’ artwork and poetry. Ms. Muskal also focuses on music for theater; recent works include “Angels in America” performed in Cincinnati, “The Labor of Life” and “The Seven Beggars” performed at La Mama Theater in New York, and “Cristabel” and “Trojan Women” performed in New Haven.

Awards and Grants

Ms. Muskal has been the recipient of many awards and fellowships from institutions such as ASCAP, Meet-the-Composer, the Jerome Foundation, American Music Center and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. She received an award from the Academy of Arts and Letters (2004), a grant from Meet The Composer (2006), the Theodore Front Prize from IAWM for “The Yellow Wind” (2007), a grant from the American Composers Forum/Jerome Foundation (2007), a grant from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University (2007) two grants from the American Music Center (2008, 2009), a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation (2009), a grant from Meet The Composer (2010) and a first place winning prize from the “Third Millennium Ensemble (2013). “The Yellow Wind” was nominated for a Pulitzer prize. While at Yale, she received four awards for her compositions and achievements. Her piece The Yellow Wind was nominated for a Pulitzer prize.

From the Press

In his article “Anthony Tommasini’s 10 Best Classical Music Event of 2014, Tommasini of the NY Times wrote: “On one special night, the exciting, inquisitive pianist Benjamin Hochman played a bold program of contemporary theme-and-variations pieces. There were daunting works by Oliver Knussen and Berio, a premiere by Tamar Muskal and Frederic Rzewski’s…“The People United Will Never Be Defeated”. (December 11, 2014)

About “Frederic Variations” Anthony Tommasini of the NY Times wrote: “…as I listened to the pianist Benjamin Hochman’s sensitive, exciting renditions of four contemporary works that explore the form of theme and variation (including one premiere), I kept thinking that classical music doesn’t get better than this.” (March 11, 2014)

About “Shout” Andy McDonough of the NJJazzList.com wrote: “Tamar Muskal’s composition, “Shout”, contrasted strident and biting clarinet tones with mellow ostinado marimba parts showing each player’s mastery of their instrument. The piece, while highlighting Stolzman’s technical prowess culminating with a dramatic cadenza, blossomed from Yoshida’s unflagging support as an accompanist and foil for her partner.” (April 10, 2012)

About “Fur Elisa”, Steve Smith of the New York Times wrote: “The music bubbled in tranquil lines and spurted in brash gestures, slipping fitfully among harmonic centers like a bar of soap sliding through wet fingers.” (April 22, 2011)

About “Mar De Leche” John Starkland of the Starkland blog wrote: ” Tamar Muskal‘s soulful Mar de Leche, zealously performed cellist Maya Beiser and her Provenance Project Band.” (June 29, 2013)

About “Mar De Leche” Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim of the New York Times wrote: “The former All-Stars cellist Maya Beiser offered a full-blooded performance of Tamar Muskal’s “Mar de Leche” in the company of her Provenance Project Band, an oud-and-percussion-fueled ensemble dedicated to excavating the common roots of traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern music.” (June 18, 2013)

About “Mar De Leche”, Robert Deemer of the New Music Box wrote: “Beiser sang magnificently through Muskal’s Arab-infused melodies while her compatriots on oud and hand drums all demonstrated their mastery on their instruments throughout the work. Beiser, more than almost anyone performing today, demonstrates a persona and an energy onstage that is difficult to define but definitely becomes an important part of not only her playing but of the work itself.” (Jume 16, 2013)

About “Shout” Lyle Davidson of the Boston Musical Intelligencer wrote: “The sounds and force of Tamar Muskal’s Shout (written for the Stoltzmans) quickly made us appreciate the care with which mallets were chosen. The opening was swept away by several marimba ostinato passages that brought out the clarinet’s lovely melodies of long high notes. This set up a cadenza-like section featuring registral extremes that led back to the high energy of the opening.” (June 23, 2012)

About “Shout” Andy McDonough of the NJJazzList.com wrote: “Tamar Muskal’s composition, “Shout”, contrasted strident and biting clarinet tones with mellow ostinado marimba parts showing each player’s mastery of their instrument. The piece, while highlighting Stolzman’s technical prowess culminating with a dramatic cadenza, blossomed from Yoshida’s unflagging support as an accompanist and foil for her partner.” (April 10, 2012)

About “Fur Elisa”, Steve Smith of the New York Times wrote: “The music bubbled in tranquil lines and spurted in brash gestures, slipping fitfully among harmonic centers like a bar of soap sliding through wet fingers.” (April 22, 2011)

About “Mar De Leche”, Mark Saleski of the BC / blog critics wrote: “The gorgeous and intense suite “Mar De Leche,” written by Israeli composer Tamar Muskal, draws on themes originating with the Sephardic Jews of Spain and the related language Ladino.” (Jume 23, 2010)

About “Mar De Leche”, Steve Smith of the New York Times wrote: “Mar de Leche,” by the Israeli composer Tamar Muskal, opened with a recording of Etty Ben-Zaken singing a yearning Sephardic song in Ladino; the instrumentalists followed with soulful, playful and flamboyant variations.” (April 19, 2010)

About  “Mar De Leche”, wmnr/InstantEncore wrote: “Tamar Muskal’s work “Mar de Leche” also stands out because of the piece’s own origins – a Ladino love song. Sung text opens the piece followed by a variety of interesting rhythms including stumbling pizzicato’s and infectious dances.” (2010)

About “Falling Leaves” and “Roads Lead Home”, music for two films by Alice Guy Blache, Allan Kozin of the New York Times wrote: “For Tamar Muskal, that would have been a half-measure: of all composers, she went furthest to reach Blache’s turf, providing gracefully melodic, neo-romantic scores for the sentimental “Falling Leaves” (1912) and “Road Lead Home” (1913).” (October 3, 2009)

About “Mar De Leche”, Richard Kamins of the Hatford Courant wrote: “Most impressive for this listener was Israeli-born composer Tamar Muskal’s “Mar De Leche” (“Sea of Milk”)… “ (June 25, 2008)

About “Mirrors”, John Von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune wrote: “The ripples and shimmers that filled Muskal’s post-minimalist score were as evanescent as swirling, digitized visuals – dissolving into one another with kaleidoscopic beauty. Mirrors is high-tech music theater at its most inventive and fascinating.” (October 25, 2007)

About “Mirrors”, Wynne Delacoma of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote: “The concert closed with “Mirrors,” a new commission from Israeli composer Tamar Muskal that included a three-part video by Danny Rozin. Under the direction of Amitai Yaish, the musicians moved restlessly against a backdrop of gray, looming shadows that turned the wide Harris stage into a dim, low-ceilinged grotto. Muskal’s music was propulsive.”(October 25, 2007)

About “The Yellow Wind”, Anne Midgette of the New York Times wrote: “The Yellow Wind [brought] together Israeli and Arab voices in a monumental gesture of unity and harmony in a work that incorporates spoken narrative, song and Arabic reed flute called a nay. A noble goal… Ms. Muskal’s music was thick woth local color… A film, finally, is what the work evoked: the score to a documentary yet to be made.” (May 16, 2005)

 About “Dmamah”, Benjamin Frandzel of the San Francisco Classical Voice wrote: “…this is a sort of evocative program music… The piece is full of appealing elements: a rich harmonic sense, passages of driving intensity, and inventive texture like the combined flute and cello harmonics over heavy piano chords near the work’s end.” (March 3, 2003)

About “Dmamah”, Bernard Holland of the New York Times wrote: “One of the fresher voices on Wednesday was Tamar Muskal and her Dmamah… Dmamah has color and like.” (December 19, 2001)

About “Altitudes”, James A. Jerritt of the Richmond Times wrote: “The piece is uncompromising but arresting.” (February 19, 2000)