Yaniv Attar, Music Director
The Whatcom Symphony Orchestra is pleased to introduce its new Music Director, the Maestro Yaniv Attar.
A native of Israel, Maestro Attar is the 1st prize winner of the Duna Szimfonikus Conducting Competition Budapest, and the recipient of the 2010/2012 Georg Solti Foundation Award in Chicago and the 2009 Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Award in New York. Maestro Attar recently completed his two years residency as the Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, where he conducted nearly 100 performances, and worked extensively with Maestro Justin Brown.
Drawn to orchestral conducting from an early age, Attar has studied with Israel Edelson in Jerusalem, Virginia Allen at the Juilliard School in New York and Neil Thomson at the Royal College of Music in London, where he was also the Associate Conductor of the Tempus Chamber Orchestra. In 2008, Attar earned his Doctor of Music degree from McGill University where he studied under the tutelage of Alexis Hauser. Attar also studied with Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin, Janos Fürst, Jorma Panula, Gustav Meier, Johannes Schlaefli, Peter Gülke, Neil Varon, Carl St. Clair, David Effron, Peter Eötvös and Michael Jurowski. A frequent guest conductor of all performing ensembles at McGill, Attar conducted the McGill Symphony Orchestra, The Contemporary Music Ensemble, University Choir and Opera McGill, with whom he conducted fully staged performances of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Ravel's L’enfant et les sortileges. Attar has also worked with the Cincinnati Symphony, Duna Szimfonikus Budapest, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Haifa Symphony, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali Milan, Jerusalem Symphony, Lithuanian State Symphony, London Solists Chamber Orchestra, Memphis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Manhattan School of Music Orchestra, Mihail Jora Philharmonic Romania, National Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Russe Philharmonic Bulgaria, Salzburg Chamber Soloists, and Virginia Symphony.
In addition to being a distinguished conductor, Attar is also an accomplished classical guitarist. He began playing classical guitar at the age of ten after his mother bought him a guitar (something he was not even consulted about!). At fifteen, he entered the Rubin Academy of Music High School in Jerusalem, where he studied with Irit Even-Tov. He continued guitar studies with Charles Ramirez at the Royal College of Music in London, where he received an exhibition award scholarship and was a recipient of the Peter Pears Prize. Moving to New York City in 2001, he studied with Sharon Isbin for whom he served as teaching assistant for three summers at the Aspen Music Festival. While at Juilliard, Yaniv became the first guitarist ever to win the prestigious concerto competition. He is also the first guitarist to win Israel’s 2004 Aviv Competition. Attar plays a 2006 Christopher Dean guitar. His studies have been generously supported by the America and Canada Israel Cultural Foundations, The Williamson Foundation for Music, Ronen Foundation, The Olga Forrai Foundation New York, the Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation, AVI Fellowships Switzerland, the Rislov Foundation, and the ISEF Foundation.
Maestro Attar’s path to conducting was inspired by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which his sister was studying as part of an assignment while in film school. He was mesmerized by the beauty and complexity of orchestral music. In his words, “I wanted to be a part of that music making, and since I don’t play an orchestral instrument, conducting was my way of being part of this magical way of music making.”
Yaniv Attar resides in Birmingham with his wife Meredith and their three-year-old son, Jonah. The Attars will be moving to Bellingham in the summer of 2013, when Yaniv will assume his role as the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra's newly-appointed music director. More information can be found on the Maestro's website: www.YanivAttar.com.