His music hailed by New Yorker critic Alex Ross as “deeply haunting,” by the Los Angeles Times as one of five classical musicians "2014 Faces To Watch," and chosen as one of the “30 composers under 40” by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Project 440, Yotam Haber was born in Holland and grew up in Israel, Nigeria, and Milwaukee. He is the recipient of a 2013 Fromm Music Foundation commission, a 2013 NYFA award, the 2007 Rome Prize and a 2005 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. He has received grants and fellowships from New Music USA, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation, Yaddo, Bogliasco, MacDowell Colony, the Hermitage, ASCAP, and the Copland House. Recent commissions include works for Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor; an evening-length oratorio for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, CalARTS@ REDCAT/Disney Hall (Los Angeles); New York-based Contemporaneous, Gabriel Kahane, and Alarm Will Sound; the 2012 & 2014 Venice Biennale; 2012 Bang on a Can Summer Festival; the Neuvocalsolisten Stuttgart and ensemble l’arsenale; FLUX Quartet, JACK Quartet, Cantori New York, the Tel Aviv-based Meitar Ensemble, and the Berlin-based Quartet New Generation.He is currently working on Voice Imitator, an evening-length cycle of piano works with visual artist and MacArthur Fellow Anna Schuleit Haber, based on the stories of Thomas Bernhard; and a new work for the Kronos Quartet. His music is published by RAI Trade.
Electronic Press Kit (in Italian!)
"Yotam Haber’s refreshingly original compositions combine daring sparseness with striking, opaque orchestration. Torus is occasionally spiky, often gentle, and consistently hypnotic...his unwavering confidence makes us feel right at home in his strange, exhilarating world."
In Torus (2012), Yotam Haber—MATA’s outgoing artistic director—set himself not one challenge, but two: the iconic string quartet form as his musical palette and, as his subject, the sculptures of Richard Serra. Haber’s work, no simple mimicry of the monumental, expressed the multiplicity of perspectives encountering a Serra sculpture entails. In another vital, accomplished performance from Mivos, the abrasiveness of rusted metal on the sculptures’ surface came into view. Opening with frenetic ensemble playing, the music continually shifted, evoking disoriented terror as it felt its way along inner curves in search of outer light. Silences figured as hesitations, as if the piece itself was uncertain how to proceed. Only at the end, in a flurry of quiet notes, was the whole revealed. This was music that not only existed as a finished work, but also performed the act of its creation. With sound alone, Haber taught us how to see.
The Brooklyn Rail
One incredibly important feature of Haber’s music, to me anyway, is his sensitivity to the audience. His music always sounds fresh and cutting edge, but the audience is inevitably seduced as opposed to being bewildered or worse, indifferent.
On Leaving Brooklyn