Sergiu Natra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sergiu Natra

Sergiu Natra (born 12 April 1924, Romania) is a Romanian and Israeli classical music composer of Israelian and international reputation. In 1961, Natra and his wife, Sonia, emigrated to Israel.[1]

He is known for his compositions for the harp which are performed all over the world, including "Music for Violin and Harp" (1960), "Sonatina" (1963), "Prayer" (1970), "Divertimento for Harp and Strings" (1974), "Music for Nicanor" (1988), "Sonata in One Movement" (1999), "Commentaires Sentimentaux" (2002) and "Trio in One Movement no. 3" (2006).[2]

Life and work[edit]

Sergiu Natra is a Romanian-born (1924) in a family originating in Austria and the Czech Republic. As a child he studied piano and music and began particular music studies in 1932, continued at the Jewish conservatory (1942) and graduated from the Music Academy of Bucharest (1954).[3] He studied, among others, theory, composition and orchestration with Leon Klepper and modern music with Michael Andricu.

He began composing at an early age and his work from 1943 for orchestras, called "March and Chorale", earned him the status of a modernist in Romania. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed this work in 1947 under the direction of Edward Lindenberg. For this work and for the "Divertimento in ancient style" from 1943, he received the George Enescu award for composition, 1945 and Romanian State prize for composition, 1951.

In 1961, Natra and his wife, Sonia, a sculptor and a multidisciplinary artist, emigrated to Israel.[1] A year later, conducted by Sergiu Comissiona, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed the "Symphony no. II for string orchestra", which was the last piece he had written in Romania, and the "Music for violin and harp", performed by the violinist Miriam Fried and the French harpist Françoise Netter.

Besides composing music, Natra taught music. In 1975, Natra was a guest professor at Tel-Aviv University, where he taught music of the 20th century, composition, and analysis of forms. He was a professor at the Tel-Aviv Music Academy until 1985. Among his hundreds of students were Lior Shambadal, Rafi Kadishson (composer and conductor), Erel Paz, Ruben Seroussi, Deborah Rothstein Schramm, Dror Elimelech (composers), Yehonatan Berick (violinist), Sally Pinkas, Eugene Alcalay, Sivan Silver and Gil Garburg, Dr. Eran Lupu (pianists), Yoni Farhi (Pianist and conductor) and many others. See: List of music students by teacher: N to Q#Sergiu Natra.

Natra and his wife Sonia, have two sons, Danny and Gabi

Main works[edit]

Natra is a composer with a clear European orientation, who has a clear personal stamp and a particular writing style with melodic flow, atonal language, polyphonic idea, gradual development and shaping of motive material. He makes use of an exceedingly rich palette of sound-colors, unusual instrumental combinations, central registers of instruments (and voices), playing techniques which are natural and comfortable and succeed in producing optimal sound, texts in a new language, with its fresh rhythms and sonorities. His works are performed and broadcast all over the world, among others, in Israel, USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Sweden, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Swaziland, Czech, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Romania, Slovenia, Japan, Taiwan, Australia.

  • Divertimento in Ancient Style (1943) for string orchestra; 11', first performance: 1943, Bucharest, Jewish Symphony Orchestra; received Enescu Composition Prize (1945)
  • March and Choral (1943) Orchestra, 11', first performance: 1944, Bucharest, received Enescu Composition Prize (1945) "A young composer's revolt against Nazi oppression during World War II"
  • The Flood stage music (1944) for the theater work by Mihail Sebastian, first performance: 1944, Bucharest
  • Laughter and Tears (1944) stage music for the Song of Love of Three Oranges by Carlo Gozzi (in collaboration with Edgar Cosma), first performance: 1944, Bucharest
  • Way To The Concentration Camp (1944) music for the recital of Judith Taussinger dancer, first performance: 1944, Bucharest
  • String quartet no. 1 (1944)
  • Divertimento in ancient Style (1945) string orchestra with piano, 11', first performance: 1945, Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra, received Enescu Composition Prize
  • Three Street Cortèges (1945) Piano, first performance: 1945, Bucharest
  • Four Poems (1945) stage music for reciters, violin and piano, lyrics of Margareta Dorian and Liana Maxi, first performance: 1945, Bucharest
  • The Girl Soldier (1947) poem music for reciter and piano, lyrics by Ilya Ehrenburg, first performance: 1947, Bucharest
  • Music for Children (1947), piano, 5'30, 7 pieces on East Europe folk tunes inspired by the Bartok collection, first performance: 1947, Bucharest
  • Song for Republic (1948), mixed choir voices and piano for lyrics by Nina Cassian, first performance: 1948, Bucharest
  • Spring Song (1948), for children choir with 2 equal voices, lyrics by Letitia Papu, first performance: 1948, Bucharest
  • Suite for Orchestra (1949), 4 movements, 11'15"; first performance: 1950, Bucharest Orchestra; received Romanian State Prize, dedicated to Leon Klepper Natra’s teacher; Suite is from the music for the documentary film, New Land in the Pruth Valley
  • Two pieces for film journals (1950) for orchestra, music for film
  • Symphony no. I for orchestra (1951–1953), 45', first performance: 1951 (1’s mouvement), 1953 (4 mouvements), Romanian Radio Orchestra
  • Collection of workers songs (1952)
  • Four Poems (1956) for baritone & orchestra, 28', Texts: Stefan O. Iosif, Mihai Eminescu, Tudor Arghezi, Emil Isac, first performance: 1958 Bucharest, Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Four Poems (1956) for baritone & piano, 28', Texts: Stefan O. Iosif, Mihai Eminescu, Tudor Arghezi, Emil Isac
  • Symphony no. II for string orchestra (1959), 26'; first performance: 1962, Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Music for Violin and Harp (1960), 12', first performance: 1965, Tel-Aviv
  • Toccata-Fuga Festive Overture (1963) for orchestra, 12', first performance: 1963, Israel, Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Music for Harpsichord and Six Instruments (1964) harpsichord, flute, clarinet, 2 violas, cello, & double bass, 19’, first performance: 1964, Jerusalem; many performances as a ballet music with the title: The Wait
  • Sonatina for Harp (1963), 7', solo harp first performance: 1963, Israel; received prize for the mandatory piece in International Harp Contest in Israel
  • Symphony for String orchestra (1964), 19', first performance: 1972 Jerusalem Symphony orchestra, based on Symphony no. II
  • Music for Oboe and Strings (1965) oboe & string orchestra 3 movements, 16', first performance: 1965, Israel Chamber Ensemble, dedicated to composer's wife, Sonia
  • Variations for Piano and Orchestra (1966), 22'10", first performance: 1967, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Tongues of Fire (1967) Le'shonot ha'esh ballet music in 4 acts for chamber orchestra, 35’, first performance: 1967; Bath Sheva Dance Company (Pearl Lang, USA)
  • Song of Deborah (1967) Shirat Devorah, voice & chamber orchestra; text: Bible: Judges: 5, in Hebrew, 17', first performance: 1967, Israel Chamber Ensemble in USA tour; received Tel-Aviv Municipality Engel Prize
  • Suite Tongues of Fire (1968) Le'shonot ha'esh music in 3 acts for chamber orchestra, 22’, first performance: 1968
  • Prelude and Nehemiah Builds the Second House (1968) choir (SATB), baritone & orchestra, texts: Bible: Apocrypha; Book of Nehemiah, in Hebrew, 10', first performance: 1968, Jerusalem symphony orchestra in 1’st Testimonium
  • Sonatina for Trombone in 5 movements (1969), 11’, solo trombone, first performance: 1969
  • Sonatina for Trumpet in 4 movements (1969), 7’, solo trumpet, first performance: 1969
  • Prayer (1970) for solo harp, 6', first performance: 1970
  • Trio in One Movement no. 1 (1971) for piano trio, 12', first performance: 1972, Tel-Aviv
  • Dedication (1972) various passages from Bible Psalms; Isaiah, in Hebrew, first performance: 1972, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
  • A Book of Hebrew Songs (1973) 10 pieces for harp, 12', first performance: 1977, Tel-Aviv; based on songs from various Jewish communities, mandatory work in Israeli Harp Contest 2014
  • Divertimento for Harp and Strings (1974) string quartet & double bass ad lib., 15', first performance: 1977, Boston, Pearl Chertok, USA Harp Society National Conference; also performed 1983: Maastricht, Netherlands, World Harp Congress
  • Sacred Service (1975), choir (SATB), baritone, soprano, violin, cello, harp, & organ, including 2 pieces for soprano, violin, violoncello, harp and organ, 40’, first performance: 1982, San Francisco, CA, Temple Emanu-El
  • Sacred Service (1975) 3 choruses organ, choir (SATB), baritone, soprano, violin, cello, harp, & organ, 7’, first performance: Israel
  • Sacred Service (1975) 2 songs, soprano, piano, 11', first performance: Israel
  • Discoveries (1976) "Entdeckungen" Children’s play for 10 pedal harps, 5 Irish harps, & percussion (3), text: Phia Berghout (Netherlands); Sonia & Sergiu Natra, in German, 7', first performance: 1977 Maastricht, Nederlands; conceived as a project for ISCM Days, Bonn, Germany
  • Pages from a Composer's Diary (1978), chamber orchestra, 15', first performance: 1978, Israel Chamber Ensemble
  • Variations (1978) for harpsichord, 13', first performance: 1978, Tel Aviv
  • Song of Deborah (1978), voice & full orchestra, text: Bible: Judges: 5, in Hebrew, 17', first performance Radio Orchestra Jerusalem
  • Sacred Service (1978) chamber orchestra voice solo and choir, first performance: 1983, Tel Aviv
  • Museum on the Hill (1979) film music for clarinet, French horn, viola, cello, piano, harp, percussion, & accordion, 27'; recorded, 1979, Jerusalem Film Center, about the Israel Museum in Jerusalem
  • Hours (1981) 7 songs for alto, clarinet, violin, & piano text: Sonia Natra, 12', first performance: 1981, Tel Aviv
  • Diary of a Choreographer (1982) ballet music for flute, piano, & tape, 30', first performance: 1982, Tel Aviv Bath Sheva Dance Company (Robert Cohan UK)
  • Music For Harp and Three Brass Instruments (1983) harp, trumpet, trombone, & French horn, 8', first performance: 1983, Tel Aviv
  • Miracle of the Peoples (1984) cantata for choir (SATB), soprano, baritone, & chamber orchestra text: Bible: Isaiah, in German, 16', first performance: 1984, Jerusalem
  • Divertimento for Harp and flute, violin, viola, cello, & double bass ad lib. 3 movements (1985), 15'
  • Music for Violin and Piano (1986), version based on the Music for Violin and Harp (1981)
  • Fantasia for Violoncello and Piano (1987), first performance: Israel
  • Sonatina for Piano (1987), version based on Sonatina for Harp (1963 version)
  • Developments (1988) viola & chamber orchestra, 15', first performance: 1989 Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra
  • Developments (1988) viola-piano, 15'
  • Music for Nicanor (1988) harp, flute, clarinet & string quartet, 12', first performance: 1990, USA; commissioned by Nicanor Zabaletta, harpist [4]
  • Ancient Walls (1990) harp & trombone, 10', first performance: France, World Harp Congress
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1991), 15', first performance: Israel, Kfar Blum festival
  • Concerto a quattro (1993) clarinet, trombone, cello, organ, & string orchestra, 18'
  • Sonata for Four Harps (1993), four harps, composed during Sergiu’s staying in Paris at Citee des Arts (1992)
  • Ballade Millenaire (1998), solo harp, 7'; first performance: 1998, Israel, International harp Contest in Israel
  • Wings (1994), 4', choir (SATB), text: Sonia Natra in Hebrew, dedicated to granddaughter, Gillie
  • Harmonic Tone Image for Sivan and Gil (1998) 2 pianos, 10', first performance: 2000, piano duo Sivan and Gil Garburg
  • Reflections on Mordechai Zeira’s Song Two Roses (1998) string quartet, 3'
  • Sonata in One Movement (1999) harp & string quartet, 15', first performance: Prague, 7th World Harp Congress
  • Three Poems (2000) Exod, Ricercare, Destin, for voice, text: Sonia Natra
  • Divertimento for harp, flute and string orchestra (2000), 15'
  • Trio in One Movement no. 2 (2001) piano trio, 14', first performance: Jerusalem; dedicated to Hava Armon
  • Two Poems (2001) Migration, Ricercare, voice & harp, 6', text: Sonia Natra, first performance: France
  • Commentaires Sentimentaux (2002) flute, viola, & harp, first performance: 2002, Turner Trio radio France; mandatory work at International harp Contest in Israel,[5] also performed at the 8th World Harp Congress,[6] Geneva, Switzerland 2002
  • Trio in One Movement no. 3 (2006) 2 French horns & harp, 10', first performance: 2006, Bern, Daniel Lienhard
  • Variations (2007) harpsichord, 13', variations on a theme by composer, first performance: 1994, Israel
  • Pages from a Composer's Diary (2008), double chamber orchestra, 15', first performance: 2009, Bucharest radio chamber orchestra
  • Ancient Walls (2008) for French horn and harp a version based on the work trombone and harp, 10’
  • Prelude and commentary for Nehemiah for orchestra (2010), 22', first performance: 2010, Tel-Aviv, Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Cantosonata for Harp solo (2011), solo harp, 7', first performance: 2012, Taipei, Taiwan, dedicated to Isabelle Perrin and Natra Gabi
  • Sonata for Clarinet (B) and Piano (2011), dedicated to Hava and Ernest Armon
  • Konzertstuck for two Pianos and Orchestra (2012), first performance: due in 2015, Jerusalem
  • Divertimento in Ancient Style for Piano - Four Hands (2012), 14'
  • Esquisses for flute and piano (2013)
  • A dialog with Gabi for Piano (2015), 16'
  • Symphony in Four Movements (2015), 30'
  • Four Poems Baritone & Orchestra English and French version (in work), 28'
  • Concert Piece for two Pianos and Chamber Orchestra (2016), 11'

Most of the above related scores were published by IMI in Tel-Aviv[7] and by Harposphere in Paris.[8] Part of the composers scores, the respective recordings, books and articles are found also in libraries, such as, Beit Ariela Public Library and Cultural Center (Israel),[9] The National Library of Israel,[10] The library of Congress (USA)[11] and The Harold B. Lee Library (USA).[12]

The main source of the above list is the composer's documentation and archive. Additional references are found in:.[13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45]


  • George Enescu award for composition at the age of 21, 1945
  • Romanian State prize for composition at the age of 27, 1951
  • America–Israel cultural foundation award
  • Milo award for composition, 1966
  • Engel award for composition, 1970
  • Acum lifetime achievement award
  • Israel prime Minister's award for composition
  • Honorary director of the World Harp Congress [46]


  1. ^ a b Ben, Itzhak (ed.), "Natra, Sonia", Who's Who in Israel and Jewish Personalities from All Over the World, Bronfman, 1985, p. 237
  2. ^ Toeplitz, Uri & Seter, Ronit. "Natra, Sergiu [Nadler, Serge]". In L. Root, Deane. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  (subscription required) (Print version: Sadie, Stanley (ed.), The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Macmillan, 1980, Vol. 13 p. 76. ISBN 0-333-23111-2)
  3. ^ Cummings, David (ed.), "Natra, Sergiu", International Who's Who in Classical Music, Routledge, 2000, p. 261. ISBN 0-948875-53-4
  4. ^ Oestreich, James. R., "A Harp Commands the Spotlight", The New York Times, 10 May 1990
  5. ^ International harp Contest in Israel
  6. ^ World Harp Congress
  7. ^ The Israel Music Institute
  8. ^ Harposphere Paris
  9. ^ Beit Ariela Public Library
  10. ^ The National Library of Israel
  11. ^ The Library of Congress
  12. ^ The Harold B. Lee Library
  13. ^ A Descriptive Bibliography of Art Music by Israeli Composers, Alice Tischler, 1988 (p.172-175), 2011
  14. ^ Die Musik Israels, Max Brod, 1976 (p.106-108, 76, 78, 83, 84, 134, 135, 136, 138, 140, 141)
  15. ^ Contemporary Music In Europe, Paul Henry and Broder Nathan, 1965 (p. 295)
  16. ^ Dictionary of 20th century music, John Vinton, 1974 (p. 507)
  17. ^ Solo vocal works on Jewish themes: a bibliography of Jewish composers, Kenneth Jaffe, 2011 (p. 131, 224, 227, 234, 287, 321, 327, 339, 375, 381, 383, 397)
  18. ^ Listening guide to Israeli works, Dalia Golomb, Ben-Zion Orgad, 1985 (p. 174)
  19. ^ Encyclopedia Judaica, Keter Publications, 1971
  20. ^ The sound of the harp in the holy land, The international harp contest in Israel, William Y Elias, 2002
  21. ^ Tempus fugit- writings about music and musicians, Ruth Guttman Ben Zwi, 2004 (p.368 and others)
  22. ^ Dancing Jewish: Jewish Identity in American Modern and Postmodern Dance, Rebecca Rossen, 2014 (p. 81, 82, 307)
  23. ^ The Music of Israel: From the Biblical Era to Modern Times, Peter Gradenwitz, 1996 (p. 273, 389, 410)
  24. ^ Great Jews in Music, Darryl Lyman, 1986 (p. 309)
  25. ^ Aspects of Music in Israel: A Series of Articles Published on the Occasion of the ISCM World Music Days, Israel, 1980 (p. 22, 25)
  26. ^ Beyond the Baton : What Every Conductor Needs to Know: What Every Conductor ..., Diane Wittry Music Director Allentown and Norwalk Symphony Orchestras, 2007 (p. 275)
  27. ^ Timbral Diversity: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Solo Works for the Tenor Trombone Containing Extended Techniques, James Max Adams, 2011 (p. 165)
  28. ^ Visions of reform: Congregation Emanu-El and the Jews of San Francisco, 1849–1999, Fred Rosenbaum (p. 275)
  29. ^ Contemporary Israeli music: its sources and stylistic development, Zvi Keren, 1980 (p. 97)
  30. ^ Scholars' guide to Washington, D.C., for audio resources: sound recordings in the arts, humanities, and social, physical, and life sciences, James R. Heintze, Zdeněk V. David, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1985 (p. 262)
  31. ^ Music in Jewish History and Culture, Emanuel Rubin, John H. Baron, 2006 (p. 340)
  32. ^ Music in Education, Macmillan Journals Limited, 1974 (p. 191, 269)
  33. ^ The Jewish lists: physicists and generals, actors and writers, and hundreds of other lists of accomplished Jews, Martin Harry Greenberg, 1979 (p. 146, 281)
  34. ^ Harps and harpists, Roslyn Rensch, 2007 (p. 230, 234, 252)
  35. ^ International Music Guide, Derek Elley, 1978
  36. ^ Who's who in World Jewry, Harry Schneiderman, Itzhak J. Carmin, 1972 (p. 648)
  37. ^ International Who's who in Music and Musicians' Directory, 1998 (p. 401)
  38. ^ Who's who in the Middle East and North Africa, 1978 (p. 901)
  39. ^ Encyclopaedia Judaica, Fred Skolnik, Michael Berenbaum, 2007 (p. 32)
  40. ^ Cello Music Since 1960: A Bibliography of Solo, Chamber & Orchestral Works for Solo Cellist, Donald Homuth, 1994 (p. 190)
  41. ^ Jüdische Musik?: Fremdbilder, Eigenbilder, Eckhard John, Heidy Zimmermann, 2004 (p. 274)
  42. ^ International Directory of Contemporary Music: Instrumentation, 2000 (pp. 322, 469)
  43. ^ Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart- allgemeine Enzyklopädie der Musik, Friedrich Blume, 1979 (p. 851, 1335)
  44. ^ Geschichte der Klaviermusik. 2, Peter Hollfelder, 1989 (p. 1344)
  45. ^ Neue Musik in Düsseldorf seit 1945: ein Beitrag zur Musikgeschichte und zum Musikleben der Stadt, Hans Hubert Schieffer, Hermann-Josef Müller..., 1998 (p. 159)
  46. ^ World Harp Congress Board of directors

External links[edit]