Dov Seltzer

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Dov Seltzer

Dov (Dubi) Seltzer (Hebrew: דב (דובי) זלצר‎; born 1932) is a Romanian-born Israeli composer and conductor.


Dov (Dubi) Seltzer began studying music at an early age. He studied theory and harmony with professors Alfred Mendelssohn and Michael Jora. When Seltzer immigrated to Israel from Romania at age 15, a musical comedy he had previously written continued to be played for two more years, performed by one of Bucharest's professional Youth Theaters. Seltzer finished his high school studies in Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek in Israel. At the recommendation of his teacher, the pianist Frank Peleg, Seltzer was awarded a scholarship to continue his musical studies at the Conservatories in Haifa and later on in Tel Aviv.

At 18 he joined the Israel Defense Forces and was among the founders, and the first official composer, of the Nachal Musical Theater Group (Lehakat Hanachal). The songs he wrote for the Nachal group, and the hundreds he wrote later on, are considered cornerstones of Israeli folk and popular Music and are standard repertory on radio and TV worldwide.

During his military service, Seltzer received a special grant from the army to pursue studies in composition, harmony and counterpoint with composers Herbert Bruen, Mordechai Seter, and Professor Abel Erlich. After his military service, Seltzer studied in the United States at the Mannes College of Music, receiving a diploma in composition, and then at State University of New York, where he earned a B.Sc. in music, majoring in conducting and composition. Among his teachers were Felix Salzer, Carl Bamberger, Roy Travis, Noah Sokolof and Robert Starer.

Musical career[edit]

Upon his return to Israel, Seltzer embarked on an active musical career, writing in particular for musical theater. He also wrote music scores for more than forty full-length feature films, among them Israeli, American, Italian, German, and French productions.

Seltzer has to his credit several symphonic works commissioned and performed by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted both orchestras in concerts of his own works – the first Israeli composer to be thus recognized and honored. His works were performed by all the major Israeli orchestras, as well as by the New York Philharmonic, the Queens Symphony, and the British Chamber Orchestra. His works were conducted and played by artists such as Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Yehudi Menuhin, and Yitzhak Perlman.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Seltzer has twice received the Kinor David (Israel's "Oscar") as well as the Judges' Award by the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers in Israel (ACUM) for lifetime achievement. In 2009 he was awarded the Israel Prize[1] for lifetime achievement and contribution to Israeli music.

  • 1967 – The musical Ootz Li Gootz Li, music by Dov Seltzer, received the Prize of the City of Tel Aviv as the Best Musical Play of the Year.
  • 1968 – Awarded the Kinor David (Harp of David), the Israeli "Oscar", as the Best Screen and Theater Composer of the Year.
  • 1969 – The stage version of the musical Kazablan, music by Dov Seltzer, received the Prize of the City of Tel Aviv as the Best Musical Play of the Year.
  • 1970 – Awarded the Kinor David as the Best Screen and Theater Composer of the Year.
  • 1971 – The film Yadaim (Hands), music by Dov Seltzer, was awarded the Prize of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce as Best Documentary Film and Best Score for a Documentary Film.
  • 1973 – The film I Love You Rosa by Moshé Mizrahi, music by Dov Seltzer, was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Foreign Film. The film also represented Israel at the Cannes Film Festival and the score was cited by the judges.
  • 1974 – The title song of the musical Kazablan (film version) was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
  • 1985 – Received Itzik Manger Prize for contribution to Jewish and Yiddish Music and Culture.
  • 1985 – Received ACUM Jury Award for lifetime achievement in music.
  • 1989 – Received Sholom Aleichem House Award for Contribution and Creativity in the field of Jewish Culture.
  • 2000 – Received Prime Minister's Prize for Israeli composers for his work Lament for Yitzhak.
  • 2006 – Received the Prize of The Minister of Culture, Science and Sport for Lifetime Activity in the field of Israeli Song and Music.
  • 2009 – Received the Israel Prize for his lifetime contribution to the different genres of Israeli music including songs, musicals, film scores, and symphonic music.
  • 2014 – Received the Theater Prize for Lifetime Achievement


(Partial list)

Film Scores[edit]

(Partial list)

Symphonic Works[edit]


(Partial list)

  • "Hora! Songs and Dances of Israel" by the Oranim Zabar Troupe (with Geula Gill), Elektra, 1960
  • Songs after the War – with Geula Gil Trio, 1967
  • Ootz Li Gootz Li – Musical, the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv
  • Hamegileh – Musical with the Burstein family
  • Kazablan – Musical
  • I like Mike – Musical
  • Yehoram Gaon 79 – songs of Haim Heffer and Dov Seltzer 1979
  • Revisor – Musical
  • Tradition – Jewish melodies, with Yitzhak Perlman and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Humesh Lieder – Musical
  • The Best of Dov Seltzer – song selection
  • Lament for Yitzhak[5] – with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Zubin Mehta

Song Book[edit]

  • The Melody Maker, Kineret, Zmora-Bitan, Dvir Publishing House Ltd. 2011[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "מקבלי פרס ישראל בשנת תשס"ט >> מר דב זלצר >> קורות חיים" [Israel Prize recipients in 5769 (2009) Mr. Dov Seltzer >> Life Work >>] (in Hebrew). Israel Prize. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  2. ^ Tal Gordon. ""עוץ לי גוץ לי" - קונצרט בימתי נפלא" [Ootz Li Gootz Li — A wonderful concert Stage] (in Hebrew). Habama. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Lament for Yitzhak (in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra site)". Archived from the original on 5 April 2011.
  4. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (17 July 1999). "MUSIC REVIEW; Two World Shakers Share a Single Program". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Rabin's Memorial CD & DVD - "Lament for Yitzhak"". The Jerusalem Post. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  6. ^ ""עושה המנגינות" מאת דובי זלצר | לא מפסיק לשיר" [The Melody Maker by Dubi Seltzer | Do not stop singing]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). 16 February 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2014.