Paul Ben-Haim (or Paul Ben-Chaim, Hebrew: פאול בן חיים) (5 July 1897 – 14 January 1984) was an Israeli composer. Born Paul Frankenburger in Munich, Germany, he studied composition with Friedrich Klose and he was assistant conductor to Bruno Walter and Hans Knappertsbusch from 1920 to 1924. He served as conductor at Augsburg from 1924 to 1931, and afterwards devoted himself to teaching and composition, including teaching at the Shulamit Conservatory.
Ben-Haim emigrated to the then British Mandate of Palestine in 1933 and lived in Tel Aviv, near Zina Dizengoff Square. He Hebraized his name, becoming an Israeli citizen upon that nation's independence in 1948. He composed chamber music, works for choir, orchestra and solo instruments, and songs. He championed a specifically Jewish national music: his own compositions are in a late Romantic vein with Middle Eastern overtones, somewhat similar to Ernest Bloch.
Works, editions and recordings
- Cello Concerto (1962), Raphael Wallfisch (cello), BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Łukasz Borowicz. CPO.
- Clarinet Quintet, Two Landscapes, Canzonetta, Improvisation and Dance, Piano Quartet. ARC Ensemble. Chandos
- Kabbalat Shabbat (Welcoming the Sabbath, evening service) Soloists, Orchester Jakobsplatz München, Grossmann NEOS.
- Melodies, Arion ARN 68643. Varda Kotler, Jeff Cohen, Philippe Bary and Alexis Galpérine
- Sacred services from Israel. Marc Lavry, Yehezkel Braun, Paul Ben-Haim Kabbalat Shabbat. Naxos. Milken Archive
- Symphony No. 1 (1940), Fanfare to Israel (1950), Symphonic Metamorphoses on a Bach Chorale (1968). NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover Israel Yinon. CPO
- Symphony No. 2 (1945), Concerto Grosso (1931). NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover Israel Yinon. CPO
- Jehoash Hirshberg, Paul Ben-Haim, page 121
- "Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1957 (in Hebrew)".
- Hadassah Guttmann, The Music of Paul Ben-Haim: A Performance Guide London: Scarecrow Press, 1992
- Jehoash Hirshberg, Ben-Haim's Biography, IMI, 1990, Tel Aviv
- Paul Ben-Haim's discography
- The American Symphony Orchestra led by Leon Botstein performed the US Premiere of Ben-Haim's Symphony No. 2 (1945) on May 31, 2009 at Avery Fisher Hall, NYC 
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