b. 1937 -
Im Silberwald (1983)
Nine Branches of the Olive Tree (1984)
Born in 1937 in Rumania, Yannay emigrated to Israel in 1951. He studied composition in Israel with the late Alexander U. Boscovitch and graduated with a Diplome in music theory from the Rubin Academy of Music in TelAviv in the year 1964. Between 1964 and 1966 he did graduate work and studied composition and electronic music at Brandeis University with Arthur Berger and Ernst Krenek and attended the composition seminars at Tanglewood with Gunther Schuller and Donald Martino. Later, he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois, where he continued to study under the guidance of Salvatore Martirano (composition and Alexander Ringer (esthetics). His doctoral dissertation proposes a generative method of understanding musical structure and is entitled "Toward an Open-Ended Method of Analysis of Contemporary Music: A Study of Selected Works by Varese and Ligeti".
During his student years, he held prestigious scholarships in both Israel and the U.S. including: Fulbright, Koussevitzky, and the Wien International Scholarship at Brandeis University.
Professional appointments during his career included the office of Dean of the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel-Aviv, and since 1970, the faculty of music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he is Associate Professor of Music theory and Composition. In 1980 he was Senior Fellow at the Center for 20th Century Studies in Milwaukee, and in 1982 he will serve as Fulbright Professor at the Staatliche Hochschule flier Musik in Stuttgart.
He received numerous commissions and grants from prominent performing groups and foundations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Milwaukee Symphony, Festival Musica Nova in Santos, Brazil, Israel Composers Fund, the Orchestra of Our lime, Wisconsin Arts Board and others.
He was guest composer and conductor in Brazil in 19180, and gave international lecture tours. His works were performed on international festivals such as Gaudeamus and ISCM. The composition "Hidden Melody" was awarded a prize at the International Competition in Composition G.B. Viotti in Italy in 1978. A large part of Yannay's musical activities are devoted to conducting and organizing performances of new music. In 1971 he founded the "Music From Almost Yesterday" contemporary music series and presented hundreds of works of 20th century music to the public. He has organized festivals and international symposiums on such subjects as "Time in Music, Rhythm and Percussion: East and West".