Gary Bertini

Gary Bertini (Hebrew: גארי ברתיני, May 1, 1927 – March 17, 2005) was an Israeli conductor and composer.

Gary Bertini
Born(1927-05-01)May 1, 1927
DiedMarch 17, 2005(2005-03-17) (aged 77)
OccupationConductor and Composer
Spouse(s)Rosette Bertini


Gary Bertini was born Shloyme Golergant in Bricheva, Bessarabia, then in Romania, now in Donduşeni District, Moldova. His father, K. A. Bertini (Aron Golergant), was a poet and translator of the Russian (Leonid Andereyev) and Yiddish (A.Sutzkever, H. Leivick) literature into Hebrew, and of the Hebrew works into Yiddish. His mother Berta Golergant was a physician and biologist. They immigrated to Palestine in 1946. Gary studied music at the Music Teachers' College in Tel Aviv and then in Milan, Italy, and at the Paris Conservatoire.

Upon returning to Israel, Gary Bertini established Rinat (the Israel Chamber Choir) in 1955. He was musical advisor to the Batsheva Dance Company and composed incidental music for numerous productions of Habima, the Israel national theater, and the Cameri Theatre. He founded the Israel Chamber Orchestra in 1965 and was its conductor until 1975. He was conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra from 1978 to 1986. He was artistic director of the New Israeli Opera from 1994 until his death. He promoted Israeli music and helped shape it.

Bertini was hospitalized while in Paris, then transferred to a hospital in Tel Hashomer, Israel. He died there on 17 March 2005 and was buried in Kfar Vitkin.[1]

Bertini's work also took him outside Israel. He was music advisor to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 1981 to 1983 and the Principal Conductor of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1983 until 1991. He also served as general music director of the Opern- und Schauspielhaus Frankfurt from 1987 to 1990, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2005, and, just before he died, director of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. He also worked as a guest conductor with the Hamburg State Opera, Scottish Opera, La Scala, Opéra National de Paris, and the Berlin Philharmonic among other organizations.[2]

Bertini's recording of the complete cycle of Mahler symphonies (EMI Classics 40238) is very well regarded.[3][4][5]


  • In 1978, Bertini was awarded the Israel Prize, for music;[6]
  • In 1995, he won the Italian Conductor of the Year award.
  • In 1995, he won the Premio Abbiati Prize of the Italian Music Critics Union.
  • In 2000, he won the Israeli Prime Minister's Award for Composers
  • In 2003, he won the French Académie Charles Cros Grand Prix for his recording of Prokofiev's opera War and Peace.

See also


Cultural offices
Preceded by
Hiroshi Wakasugi
Principal Conductor, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne
Succeeded by
Hans Vonk
Preceded by
Hiroshi Wakasugi
Music Director, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
James DePreist
Preceded by
Gabriele Ferro
Music Director, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples
Succeeded by
Jeffrey Tate
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