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Background information
Birth nameHanna Dresner-Tzakh
Born (1947-09-17) 17 September 1947 (age 76)
Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine (present-day Israel)
Years active1962–present

Hanna Dresner-Tzakh[1] (Hebrew: חנה דרזנר; born 17 September 1947), better known by her stage name Ilanit ( אילנית, Hebrew pronunciation: [ilaˈnit]), is an Israeli singer. She was one of Israel's most popular singers from the late 1960s to the 1980s, both as a soloist and in the duo Ilan & Ilanit. Ilanit also represented Israel twice in the Eurovision Song Contest, in 1973 with "Ey Sham" (Israel's debut entry in the competition) and in 1977 with "Ahava Hi Shir Lishnayim". In a career spanning over four decades, Ilanit has recorded and produced over 600 songs and more than 30 albums.[2]


Hanna Dresner was born in Tel Aviv after her parents immigrated from Poland. In 1953, at the age of 5, the family moved to Brazil where they joined a number of South American acts, at which point Dresner adopted the stage name Ilanit. In 1960, at the age of 13, Ilanit moved back to Israel. In 1962, Ilanit was discovered in a youth talent contest organized by WIZO and the magazine Ma'ariv Youth.[3]

Music career[edit]

Ilanit performing, 2016

Shlomo Zach, an Israeli singer whom she later married, formed a trio that was later known as "גידי, צח וחנה" (Gidi, Zach, and Hanna). The trio became a duo, renamed "Ilan & Ilanit". In 1966 the duo's first album was produced, named "Ilan Ilan". Two of their songs, "לכל אדם כוכב" (A star for everyone) and "בואי סניורינה" (Come, Miss) became hits topping the music charts. The duo became a big success during the 60s in Israel and abroad. Their 1970 hit "Veshuv Itchem" ("With You Again" in Hebrew) was covered by Turkish singer Şenay as "Sev Kardeşim" ("Love my brother/sister" in Turkish) in 1971. Şenay became famous with singing this cover.

In 1968 Ilanit released her first solo song, "כבר אחרי חצות" (kvar acharei chatzot / "It's After Midnight"). The record came with the song, "בוא ונשתגע בחולות" (bo ve-nishtage'ah ba-cholot / "Let's Go Crazy in the Sands") by Ilan & Ilanit. Her first solo performance took place in the 1969 Israeli Song Festival where she sang "שיר בארבעה בתים" (shir b'arbaah batim / "Song in Four Verses"). While she did not win the competition, the song itself became a big success.

In 1973, she first took part in the Eurovision Song Contest 1973 in Luxembourg where she reached the fourth position with the song "Ey Sham" ("Somewhere"). This was also the first ever participation of Israel in the Song Contest. The song was composed by Nurit Hirsh, who also conducted the orchestra in Luxembourg on that occasion. It was only the second time that the orchestra was conducted by a woman; the first time was on that very evening (Monica Dominique, "You're Summer", Sweden).

The second Eurovision participation by Ilanit was in 1977 in London, with the song "Ahava Hi Shir Lishnayim" ("Love Is a Song for Two"). With this song she finished in 11th place. Ilanit was going to try to represent Israel in the Eurovision for a third time in 1984, but Israel ended up not participating in the contest that year due to a conflict with its Memorial Day. Rather than waiting a year for the next contest, Ilanit decided to release "Balalaika", the song she was going to compete with. At that time Ilanit was already one of Israel's most popular singers, and "Balalaika" became an instant hit, despite not being an Israeli Eurovision entry.[4]

Ilanit was named Israel's top female singer every year from 1971 to 1977, something no other singer has achieved.

In 1974 Ilanit represented Israel at the World Popular Song Festival In Tokyo '74 with the song "Shiru Shir Lashemesh" ("Sing A Song to the Sun"). The final was held on 17 November and she came ninth.

Together with other established Israeli artists she took part in a tour through North America in 2005. After "Brazilian Dream" was released in 1996, she didn't record a new album for 12 years. In 2008, she emerged released the album "Israelit". She continues to perform occasionally at special events, for example, the Hadassah centennial in October 2012. She also appeared at the opening of the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, where she performed the chorus of "Ey Sham".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ilanit Drezner-Tzakh, Hanna [singer]. "נחמה". Europeana. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  2. ^ Ynet (11 August 2013). כמעט בת 66: אילנית עם שיר חדש. Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  3. ^ Mako. "Illanit" (in Hebrew). Mooma Mako. Archived from the original on 10 January 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  4. ^ Balalaika Archived 5 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine on Yoram Taharlev's web site

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Debut entry
Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Preceded by Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by