Max Stern

Max Stern (b. 1947)



Sang in the synagogue as a boy. In high school he studied contrabass with Frederick Zimmermann, (NYC, 1963-65), and participated in chamber music workshops led by the Budapest String Quartet at SUNY at Buffalo (1963-64). Composition - Samuel Adler, theory - Robert Gauldin, orchestration - Bernard Rogers, contrabass - Oscar Zimmerman, voice classes of Julius Huehn at the Eastman School of Music (BM, Rochester, NY 1969); privately-Hall Overton (NYC, 1966 & 67). Further composition-theoretical studies w. Alexander Goehr, double bass w. Gary Karr at Yale School of Music (MM, 1970). Later, he studied Ethnomusicology with Johanna Spector at the Jewish Theological Seminary, NYC (1973-75), taking courses in Anthropology, and the Middle East at Columbia University, sociology and psychology of education at Hunter College, contemporary literature and ideas in literature at Queens College (l965, 71, 74). He received a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado, Bouilder, 1989, writing dissertations on “Indeterminacy and Improvisation” and “Henrich Schutz: Psalm Settings”. Max Stern worked as a freelance musician from 1969-1975, performing contrabass with the Rochester PO, New Haven SO, Bridgeport SO, Springfield SO (principal), Brooklyn PO, Music for Westchester, National Orchestral Association, Radio City Music Hall, Caramoor Festival, Spoleto Festival, and American Ballet Theatre (principal) performing under Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Fiedler, Walter Hendl, Lazlo Somogyi, Jose Iturbi, Lukas Foss, Frank Brief, David Gilbert, Leon Barzin and others. Simultaneously he was engaged as arranger for the American Ballet Theatre where he was commissioned to write special arrangements for luminaries: Natalia Makarova, Mihail Barishnikov and Gelsey Kirkland. He moved to Israel in 1976 and performed with the Kol Israel Radio - Jerusalem SO under Lukas Foss, George Singer, Gary Bertini and Mendi Rodan (1976-78). At the invitation of Mendi Rodan he played with the Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva (1979-80). On a grant from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture he researched Jewish oriental music and wrote a series of original pieces based on ethnic sources mostly taken from the ethnomusicology collection of Prof. Uri Sharvit, Bar Ilan University (1978-79). From l980-87 he devoted himself to education, creating the concept of instrumental music and publishing a 10 volume Youth Band series of arrangements at Yeshivat B’nai Akiva, Beer Sheva, where he initiated and directed a band program for seven years. Simultaneously he served as director of the Conservatory in the development town of Yeroham. Since 1988 he serves as music critic for The Jerusalem Post. In 1993 he began an affiliation with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Recently he joined the faculty of the College of Judea and Samaria.

Joshua Jacobson