Saturday, 31 March 1979
Born: August 4th, 1924, Ruse (Bulgaria)
Died: July 7th, 2003, Petach Tikva (Israel)
Nationality: Bulgarian (1924-1948) / Israeli (1948-2003)
In due course, the short impression below will be replaced with a more extensive career overview
Yitzhak Graziani (יצחק גרציאני), nicknamed ‘Ziko’, studied conducting at the Music Academy of Sofia, before moving to Israel in 1948. He became the conductor of the IDF Orchestra, and later was contracted by national broadcaster IBA to conduct its Radio Orchestra (later renamed IBA Radio and Television Orchestra), which Graziani would go on to do for many years; he was the musical director of many Israeli Eurovision heats in the 1970s. His most played composition is no doubt ‘Variations on Haydn’s Theme for French Horn and Concert Band’ (1984).
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST
Graziani was the musical director of the Eurovision Song Contest which was held in Jerusalem in 1979. Although Graziani did not conduct any entry (for the performance of the Israeli song ‘Hallelujah’, his IBA Orchestra was placed under the direction of composer Kobi Oshrat), he certainly made his mark in the programme by conducting one of the most spectacular interval acts in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, ‘Shalom ‘79’, a combination of traditional Israeli folk dance and music.
Apart from this one Eurovision Song Contest, Graziani was the musical director of all editions of Kdam, the Israeli pre-selection, in the early years of the country's participation. His last involvement came in 1980, when Israel did not take part in the international contest, but a Kdam was held nonetheless. Graziani conducted all entries, including the winner, 'Pizmon chozer'. If the song had gone abroad, it would most probably not have been conducted by Graziani, but by its arranger Eldad Shrem.
EUROVISION INVOLVEMENT YEAR BY YEAR
Musical director – no entries conducted
Country – Israel
Song title – “Pizmon chozer”
Rendition – Ha’ahim & Ha’ahayot (Moni Arnon / Susie Miller / Nimrod Paz / Varda Sagi)
Lyrics – Gideon Koren
Composition – Gideon Koren
Studio arrangement – Eldad Shrem
Live orchestration – Eldad Shrem
Conductor (Israeli selection) – Yithzak Graziani
Score – none / Israel chose not to take part in the contest