Mira Zakai

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Zakai in Leipzig, 2008

Mira Zakai (Hebrew: מירה זכאי‎‎; 21 September 1942 – 20 May 2019)[1] was an Israeli operatic contralto.[2]

Zakai was born in Jerusalem[1] as Mira Koigen, the daughter of George Koigen and his wife Eva (née Patai).[3] She studied at the University of Tel Aviv, initially in the Faculty of Humanities, and later at the Rubin Academy of Music, graduating in 1976.[1] She married Jacob Zakai and they had two daughters.[3]

She appeared with Yehudi Menuhin in a concert at Castel Gandolfo for Pope John Paul II,[1] having previously appeared at Menuhin's festival as a soloist in Bach's Mass in B minor.[4] Her 1982 recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with Georg Solti won the Grammy for Best Overall Classical Recording at the 1982 awards.[5]

Zakai later moved into teaching, becoming a professor at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, University of Tel Aviv.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "Mira Zakai (Contralto)". Bach Cantatas. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  2. ^ "הזמרת מירה זכאי מתה בגיל 7 (Singer Mira Zakai dies at age 76)". Ha'aretz. 2019-05-20. Retrieved 2019-07-04.
  3. ^ a b Routledge (1 March 2009). International Who's Who in Classical Music 2009. Routledge. p. 911. ISBN 978-1-85743-513-9.
  4. ^ Music and Musicians. Hansom Books. 1985. p. 19.
  5. ^ Music Magazine. Barrett & Colgrass. 1982. p. 74.
  6. ^ "Mira Zakai, Biography". Tel Aviv University. Retrieved 26 May 2019.

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