Ofra Yitzhaki

Ofra Yitzhaki

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Pianist Ofra Yitzhaki was described by the New York Magazine as “downright sensational” and by the Israeli Ha'aretz Daily News as “a profound, virtuoso artist”. She is a winner of the Carnegie Hall Millennium Piano Book Competition and the Van Cliburn Institute Concerto Competition and was awarded a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree from the Juilliard School. Recent highlights of her activity include performing Beethoven's 'Emperor' Concerto with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and Ligeti's Piano Concerto with the Israel Contemporary Players. 

With repertoire ranging from Bach and his contemporaries to the composers of her own generation, her recital engagements have taken her to New York’s Lincoln Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, Germany’s Klavierfestival Ruhr, Berlin Philharmonie's Instrument-Museum, Israel’s Tel Aviv Museum and Jerusalem Theater, Taiwan’s National Concert Hall and Korea's National Arts-Center, among others. 

Ofra Yitzhaki started her piano lessons in Tel-Aviv at the age of five, and played her debut at the Tel- Aviv Museum at age eight. Subsequent to the completion of her education at the Jerusalem Academy of Music, she became the recipient of the Vladimir Horowitz Scholarship at the Juilliard School, where she was awarded a Doctorate of Music degree in Piano Performance. Following her participation in the Weimar Master classes in Germany, she was invited by the legendary Austrian pianist Paul Badura- Skoda for a private study, focusing on music by Bach and First Viennese School. 

Yitzhaki gave her American debut after winning the Van Cliburn Institute Concerto Competition, as a soloist with the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra in Texas. Her New York concerto debut followed a few years later, as a soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. As a recitalist, her recognition rose greatly when being invited to perform at Carnegie Hall world premieres of American piano music by Milton Babbitt and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. A subsequent invitation by Carnegie Hall’s director at the time, Franz Xaver Ohnesorg, to perform at Germany’s Klavierfestival Ruhr, resulted in her European recital debut, described by the German press as An Evening with Soul, Poetry, and Glorious Sounds. A few years later she was invited by the prestigious German Schierse Foundation to give her Berlin Debut Recital at the chamber music hall of the Berlin Philharmonie. 

In addition, she is an avid performer of modern and contemporary music. Highlights of her work in this field include a solo open-air recital of twentieth century music at New York’s Bryant park under the auspices of MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), a chamber music concert with members of the Parisian Ensemble Intercontemporain, and performances in New York‘s new music festivals such as 'Cutting Edge' and 'Focus!'. Her series of concert-lectures about Israeli piano music, based on her Doctorate dissertation on the subject and on collaborations with Israeli composers, have taken her to Cultural and Academic centers across Germany and the U.S. 

Yitzhaki is currently on the piano faculty at the Levinsky College in Tel Aviv. She is a jury member on various competitions, such as the Israeli Prime Minister Prize for Composition and the America-Israel Foundation Young Musicians Competition.