Adjudicator: 2020, 2021
A lecturer and educator, composer, master of both Eastern and Western music, oud and violin artist Taiseer Elias performs worldwide. Prof. Elias is the head of the Music Department at the University of Haifa (Israel), and the music director and conductor of the Arab-Jewish Orchestra. He is the founder/conductor of the first Orchestra of classical Arabic Music in Israel, and the music director and conductor of the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra – Ashdod. Elias has recorded with a number of ensembles including White Bird, Bustan Abraham, Ziryab Trio (of which he is the musical director), Menachem Wiesenberg & Tabea Zimmermann (“The Malta Concert” – Classics Live) and others.
His Ph.D. reveals “The Latent Regularity in Improvisation of Instrumental Arab Music (taqasim) in Israel, in Terms of Learned and Natural Schemata”.
In 2002 Elias performed at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona for 250,000 people which was broadcasted all over the world; and in 2004 he performed in the French Senate under the auspices of its President, Mr. Christian Poncelet.
Elias has performed on the Oud works by Vivaldi, Bach and Pagnini with different orchestras as well as works by contemporary American and Israeli composers, most notably Menachem Wiesenberg, Michael Wolpe, Joel Hofmann, Miriam Gerberg who have composed concertos for oud and orchestra especially for him, and the American composer Joel Hoffman who has composed a double concerto for Oud, cello & symphonic orchestra which was performed with the “Madison Symphony Orchestra” in March 2008. In April 2008 he performed as a soloist with the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra; giving recitals and conducting classes in Middle Eastern music theory and practice in the UC Davis Music Department.