Educated both in Israel and the United States, Tamar Muskal composes music that harmonizes the unique cultural aspects of both places. Her music is always in a counterpoint style, carefully structured, and with great attention for details. She was born in 1965 in Jerusalem, Israel. She studied viola, music theory, and composition at the Rubin Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem where she studied with Mark Kopytman, earning her B.A. in 1991. Ms. Muskal came to the United States in 1994 and subsequently earned her Master's degree from Yale University, where she studied with Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick and Ezra Laderman. She continued her studies at the City University of New York, where she studied with David Del Tredici and Tania Leon.
Recent and future commissions include a piece for the Eighth Blackbird ensemble along with three interactive videos by Daniel Rozin, a commission from the New York Whitney Museum to write music for a film by Alice Guy Blanche, a song cycle for voice, percussion, and string quartet for the 2009 Grammy-winner Hila Plitmann, Yousif Sheronick and the Lark quartet on poems by David Grossman, an arrangement of the Grossman’s song cycle for the Salt Bay Chamberfest Festival for the Variation Trio (Jennifer Koh, Hsin Yun Huang and Mina Smith) and pianist Benjamin Hochman, a piece for cello (Maya Beiser), oud (Bassam Saba) and percussion (Jamey Haddad), a Carnegie Hall commission, and a concerto for string quintet and orchestra for the strings faculty and the Philharmonic Orchestra at Penn State University.
Ms. Muskal has also served as the Westchester Philharmonic's education composer-in-residence in the years 2001-2004, and in that capacity has written three orchestral pieces based on students' artwork and poetry.
Ms. Muskal also focuses on music for theater; recent works include Angels in America, performed in Cincinnati; The Labor of Life and The Seven Beggars, performed at La Mama Theater in New York; and Cristabel and Trojan Women, performed in New Haven.
Ms. Muskal has been the recipient of many awards and fellowships, from institutions such as ASCAP, Meet the Composer, the Jerome Foundation, American Music Center, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. She received an award from the Academy of Arts and Letters (2004), a grant from Meet the Composer (2006), the Theodore Front Prize from IAWM for The Yellow Wind (2007), a grant from the American Composers Forum / Jerome Foundation (2007), a grant from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University (2007), and her most recent grant is from the American Music Center (2008). While at Yale, she received four awards for her compositions and achievements. Her composition The Yellow Wind was nominated for a Pulitzer prize.
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