(1910 - 1997)
Moshe Vilensky was an Israeli composer, lyricist and pianist widely considered the pioneer of Israeli song.
Vilensky (born April 17, 1910; died January 2, 1997) was born in Poland, studied music in
Warsaw, and immigrated to Eretz Yisrael in 1932. He
worked first in theaters as a pianist and composer, and
became a prolific composer and lyricist for IDF musical
troupes, including as composer for the Nahal choir in the
1950's, for films and for plays. He was in charge of the
Israel Radio orchestra, and over the years he wrote more
than one thousand songs. Vilensky received the Israel
Prize in 1983 for his work in Hebrew music.
Vilensky's music, important for helping create an
indigenous popular music style, fuses both Slavic and
Eastern strains. It joins a serious nationalism with lighter
popular music, and many of Natan Alterman's poems
were set to music by Vilensky. Vilensky's songs have
been sung by almost all leading Israeli singers, and he is
particularly famous for his work with Shoshana Damari.
Among his most memorable melodies are the songs
Kalaniyot (Anemonies); Hayu Zmanim (In Those Times); and Mul Har Sinai (Opposite Mt. Sinai).
In 2005, Vilenski was voted the 187th-greatest Israeli of all time in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet.
Sources: The Pedagogic
Center, The Department for Jewish Zionist Education, The Jewish Agency for
Israel, (c) 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, Director: Dr. Motti Friedman, Webmaster: