“ … In Puccini's I Crisantemi, transcribed for string orchestra by Yoav Talmi, the ecstasy of the beautiful melodies put the hall on edge. The strings muttered the Andante mesto's yearning, sad ending in a soothing ritual. Seven minutes in which God was present on the main floor of Bellas Artes.”
Israel Chamber Orchestra
LA NACION (Costa Rica)
Well known on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Yoav Talmi is celebrated as one of Israel's most distinguished conductors on the international scene. Conductor Emeritus of the Quebec Symphony in Canada and Head of the Orchestral Conducting Department at Tel Aviv University's Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, he is in demand worldwide for concerts and master classes in the U.S., Europe, South America, and Israel. In addition to his 13-year tenure as Artistic Director of the Quebec Symphony, he has held positions as Chief Conductor of the Hamburg Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, Music Director of the San Diego Symphony, Music Director of the Arnhem Philharmonic (Netherlands), as well as two stints as Music Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra (1984-1988 and 2013-2014). He was also among the founders of the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv and served as its first Music Director (1985-1989).
Mr. Talmi’s long and impressive guest conducting career spans several continents. His European engagements include all the major London orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the symphony orchestras of Vienna and Prague, the philharmonic orchestras of St. Petersburg, Oslo, Stockholm, Warsaw, and Israel, the Orchestre National de France, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Rome’s Santa Cecilia, and numerous radio orchestras in Israel, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland and Sweden. He has also made several appearances with the NHK Symphony and the New Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan. In North America, Mr. Talmi has appeared with the orchestras of Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Madison, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Seattle, St. Louis, Toledo, and Vancouver, as well as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), the New York Chamber Symphony, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall. His summer activities have included the Aspen Music Festival, Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Bergen Festival in Norway, Chautauqua Festival (NY), Helsinki Festival, Houston’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Jerusalem Festival, Montreal's Lanaudière Festival, and the Waterloo Festival in New Jersey.
Also a seasoned recording artist, Yoav Talmi has collaborated with Chandos, Decca, EMI, Naxos, Teldec, CBC Records (Toronto), Atma and Analekta (Montreal). His recording of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony with the Oslo Philharmonic won the prestigious “Grand Prix du Disque” in Paris. His two last recordings with the Quebec Symphony of Debussy and Bach orchestrations won the Joker Prize by the Magazine Crescendo in Brussels. His recording of Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky with the Israel Chamber Orchestra for Teldec was chosen as “Record of the Month” by Germany’s Fono-Forum magazine. The London Penguin Guide gave this same recording its highest rating. His recording French Showpieces with the Quebec Symphony and violinist James Ehnes was chosen “Record of the Month” by the French media magazine Repertoire, which gave this recording a perfect rating. Mr. Talmi’s Naxos recordings with the San Diego Symphony feature an all-Berlioz cycle that includes the Symphonie fantastique, the complete overtures, Roméo et Juliette, Harold in Italy, Rêverie et Caprice, excerpts from Les Troyens, and more. He has also recorded as a pianist, accompanying his wife, flutist Er’ella Talmi.
Born in Israel, Mr. Talmi is a graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv and The Juilliard School in New York, where he earned degrees in both composition and conducting with grants from the America Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF). He was a recipient of the Koussevitzky Memorial Conducting Prize at the Tanglewood Festival (1969) and won the Rupert Conductor’s Competition in London (1973). Mr. Talmi holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Laval University in Quebec, Canada.
In 2008, Yoav Talmi was awarded the Frank Pelleg Prize of the Israeli Cultural Ministry, for his high level of artistic achievement through many years of activity. In the same year, he received the Quebec-City Medal, honoring his special contribution to the city’s 400th anniversary celebrations. In 2009, he was named "Officer of the National Order of Quebec," the most prestigious honor in French Canada, and in 2013, he received the Israeli Prime Minister’s Prize for Composers.