Gary Bertini

Biography

Born: May 1, 1927; Brichevo, Bessarabia   Died: March 17, 2005; Tel Aviv, Israel  
One of the most prominent conductors in Israel from the mid-'50s to the mid-'80s, Gary Bertini went on to make his mark internationally as a musician particularly interested in new music and opera. An adept public speaker, he also gave many illustrated music lectures for young people, in that respect becoming something of a Leonard Bernstein of Israel. Despite an association with the Detroit Symphony in the early '80s and various American guest Read more appearances, Bertini's reputation is greater in Europe than in the United States. His generally well-regarded Mahler recordings, for example, have had only limited circulation west of the Atlantic.

Though born in Russia, Bertini was taken to Palestine in his childhood. Sources disagree whether he began violin lessons at six or 16, the latter age really too late to become a soloist, but in either case he soon developed interests in composing and conducting. He obtained a diploma in 1948 from the Milan Conservatory and another in 1951 from the Tel Aviv College of Music. Then it was on to the Paris Conservatory and the École Normale de Musique, where he studied composition with Arthur Honegger, Olivier Messiaen, and Nadia Boulanger. While in Paris, he also studied musicology at the Sorbonne.

Bertini returned to Israel in 1954 to teach conducting at the Music Teachers' College in Tel Aviv. The following year, he became music director of the new Rinat Choir, later called the Israel Chamber Choir; he held this position until 1972. He founded the Israel Chamber Ensemble, an orchestra and opera group, and conducted it from 1965 to 1975, the year he was appointed professor at Tel Aviv University's Rubin Academy. He then served with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra from 1977 - 1986. His other significant work in Israel during this period was as artistic advisor to the Israel Festival from 1976 to 1983.

He became especially active on the international scene starting in the mid-'60s, particularly with a series of guest engagements in Britain. The Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow engaged him as principal guest conductor from 1971 to 1981, the year he began a two-season stint as music advisor to the Detroit Symphony. His work in Detroit done, Bertini shortly obtained his most significant appointment to that time, chief conductor of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, which he held from 1983 to 1991. During this period, he also turned an increasing amount of attention to opera, which he had taken up back in his Glasgow days with stints at the Scottish Opera and later at the Paris Opera. He acted as the Frankfurt am Main Opera's intendant and general music director from 1987 to 1991, and re-centered his operatic activities in Israel in 1994, when he was named artistic director of the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv. In 1997, he was transplanted to opera's heartland as music director of the Rome Opera. The following year, he also became music director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.

Along the way, Bertini has become especially known for his work with twentieth-century scores and as a champion of Israeli composers, with more than 20 recordings of the latter to his credit. He has written music of his own in nearly all genres, but especially incidental scores, some 40 for plays produced in Israel; he received the Israel State Prize for composition in 1978. Little of his music has been recorded, but Bertini has made significant recordings of other people's works. Among these are the first commercial versions of Kurt Weill's two symphonies and Mahler's completion of Weber's opera Die drei Pintos. Read less
Browse 1-3 of 3 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Mozart: Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail / Talvela, Donata, Bertini
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101691 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Barbara Vogel,  Hans Peter Hallwachs,  Zdislawa Donat,  Horst Laubenthal  ... 
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus
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  • 2.
    Gary Bertini Conducts Strauss, Mahler, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 7136 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Elisabeth Leonskaja
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 3.
    Berlioz: La Damnation De Faust / Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Gary Bertini
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 9648 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Franz Grundheber,  David Kuebler,  Béatrice Uria-Monzon,  Denis Sedov
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Transylvania State Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 4.
    Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  75th Anniversay - Great Moments
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 29649 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Rudolf Buchbinder,  Alicia De Larrocha  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Herbert Blomstedt,  Gary Bertini,  Kurt Masur  ... 
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  • 5.
    Time Traveller - Weimar Germany
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 79015 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Kurt Weill,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Arnold Schoenberg  ... 
    Performer:  Robyn Archer,  Lars Vogt,  Barbara Hendricks
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Dominic Muldowney,  Otto Klemperer,  Franz Welser-Möst  ... 
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  • 6.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6784342 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Kurt Weill
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Elizabeth Futral,  Jerry Hadley,  Brian Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  John McGlinn,  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta,  London Sinfonietta Chorus,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 7.
    Dukas: Ariane Et Barbe-bleue / Bertini, Schmiege, Taillon, Baudoin
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 7112 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Paul Dukas
    Performer:  Jocelyne Taillon,  Roderick Kennedy,  Marilyn Schmiege,  Mitsuko Shirai  ... 
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Chorus,  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Prokofiev: War And Peace / Guryakova, Gunn
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107029 Release Date: 04/28/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Leonid Zimnenko,  Susanna Poretzky,  Robert Brubaker,  Elena Obraztsova  ... 
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris National Opera Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Chorus
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  • 9.
    Mahler: Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen, Kindertotenlieder / Bertini, Quasthoff, Hagegard, Et Al
    Label: Phoenix Edition   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Thomas Quasthoff,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Mozart: Requiem, Great Mass / Bertini, Quasthoff, Augér, Swensen
    Label: Phoenix Edition   Catalog: 116 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Krisztina Láki,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Doris Soffel,  Robert Swensen  ... 
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Chorus
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  • 11.
    Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Burleske / Leonskaja, Bertini
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 71125 Release Date: 01/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Elisabeth Leonskaja
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Mahler: Symphonies 1-10, Etc / Bertini, Kölner Rundfunk
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40238 Release Date: 01/10/2006   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Ben Heppner,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Florence Quivar,  Paul Frey  ... 
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Little Singers Of Tokyo,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus  ... 
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  • 13.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Overtures / Bertini
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 71094 Release Date: 01/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Musik in Deutschland 1950-2000 - Politische Oratorien
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 73572 Release Date: 04/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Boris Blacher,  Rudolf Wagner-Régeny,  Karl Amadeus Hartmann,  Hans Werner Henze  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Morgenroth,  Elisabeth Wilke,  Matthias Weichert,  Michael Walke  ... 
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini,  Herbert Kegel,  Ingo Metzmacher
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ernst Senff Chorus,  Berlin Deutsches Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 15.
    Junge Deutsche Philharmonie - Schonberg, Webern, Mahler
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 2158 Release Date: 02/22/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Anton Webern,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini,  Hans Zender
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Youth Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Art Of Classics - Tchaikovsky: Masterpieces
    Label: Intercord Klassische Diskothek   Catalog: 25923 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ian Novak,  Hans Lang
    Conductor:  Denis Zsoltay,  Gary Bertini,  Milan Starek,  Hans Zanotelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  South German Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 17.
    Brahms: Serenades, Liebeslieder Waltzes / Bertini, Vienna Symphony
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 8102 Release Date: 04/04/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 18.
    Ravel: The Piano Concertos / Paik, Bertini, Stuttgart Rso
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 13821 Release Date: 04/04/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Kun-Woo Paik
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 19.
    Debussy: L'enfant Prodigue, La Damoiselle Elue / Bertini
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 12821 Release Date: 07/19/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  José Carreras,  Ileana Cotrubas  ... 
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Chorus
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  • 20.
    Stravinsky: Symphony Of Psalms, Etc / Bertini
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 15821 Release Date: 07/07/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Kurt Berger,  Karl Theo Adler,  Herbert Gruber
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Chorus,  Stuttgart Radio Male Chorus
    CD: $22.49
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  • 21.
    The Thirties - Schoenberg, Hindemith, Blacher, Egk, Et Al
    Label: Thorofon   Catalog: 2044 Release Date: 02/22/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernst Pepping,  Ernst Toch,  Boris Blacher,  Werner Egk  ... 
    Performer:  Ingeborg Hallstein,  Oskar Sala
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Matkowitz,  Fritz ter Wey,  Lorin Maazel,  Leopold Hager  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Heinrich Schütz Choir,  St. Paul Aachen Youth Choir,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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