Yehudi Wyner

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Yehudi Wyner (born June 1, 1929, in Calgary, Alberta) is an American composer, pianist, conductor and music educator.

Life and career[edit]

Wyner, who grew up in New York City, was raised in a musical family. His father, Lazar Weiner, was an eminent composer of Yiddish art songs. Wyner attended Juilliard, Yale and Harvard, and was a student of Paul Hindemith and Walter Piston. He has written music in a variety of genres, including compositions for orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo voice and solo instruments, as well as theatrical music and settings of the Jewish liturgy. Among his best-known works are the Friday Evening Service (1963) and "Torah Service with Instruments" (1966) for cantor and chorus, and On This Most Voluptuous Night (1982) for soprano and chamber ensemble.

Wyner taught for 14 years at Yale, where he was the head of the composition faculty. He also taught at SUNY Purchase, Cornell, Brandeis and Harvard.

In 2006, Wyner won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his piano concerto Chiavi in Mano.[1][2]

Personal life[edit]

Wyner was married to Nancy Braverman (Wyner) from 1951 to 1966, with whom he had three children – Isaiah, Adam, and Cassia.[3] He married soprano Susan Davenny-Wyner in 1967.[4]

He graduated from Yale University and Harvard University.[5]

Selected works[edit]

  • Partita – for piano, (1952)
  • Concert duo for violin and piano (1956)
  • Serenade for flute, horn, trumpet, trombone, viola, cello, piano (1958)
  • "Torah Service with Instruments" (1966)
  • The Mirror (1972–73)
  • Intermedio – Lyric ballet for soprano and strings – October 1974
  • The Grass is High – for voice and piano (1979)
  • String quartet (1984–85)
  • Composition for viola and piano (1987)
  • Trapunto Junction for trumpet, French horn, trombone and percussion
  • Amadeus' billiard: for violin, viola, bass, bassoon and two horns (cf. Mozart—Divertimento no. 7, K. 205) (1991)
  • Prologue and narrative: for cello and orchestra (1994)
  • Horntrio (1997)
  • The second madrigal: Voices of women (1999)
  • Quartet for oboe and string trio (1999)[6]
  • Commedia: for clarinet in B-flat and piano (2003)
  • Chiavi in Mano for piano and orchestra (2004)
  • Give Thanks for All Things for orchestra and chorus (2010)



Notable students[edit]

Partial discography[edit]

  • YEHUDI WYNER: 'CHIAVI IN MANO,' OTHER WORKS. Robert Levin, pianist; Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Spano; other performers. Bridge 9282; CD, OCLC 1067026313


  1. ^ "Pulitzer Prizes". Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "Yehudi Wyner Wins Pulitzer Prize for Music – Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Reflections on the Pulitzer Prize". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "Susan Davenny-Wyner (Soprano, Conductor)". Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  5. ^ "Yehudi Wyner | Brandeis University".
  6. ^ "Yehudi Wyner – Works – Music Sales Classical". Retrieved May 2, 2018.

External links[edit]