AMONG THE Israel Prize winners this year are Nachum Heiman and Dubi Zeltzer, two of Israel's leading and most productive composers. Heiman is also a musical historian. He is the father of singer Si Heiman, who recorded his most famous and most haunting song, "Kmo Tzemah Bar" (Like a Wildflower), which was recorded by many singers, most notably Chava Alberstein. Nahum Heiman has worked extensively abroad, as well at home, and has composed music for films for which he received several Oscar nominations. He spent 15 years abroad, mainly in Paris and London, where he worked with leading French and British singers. He has also worked with most of Israel's major singers. Aside from being a composer, he is known across Israel for his commitment to community singing, and has been involved in the founding and development of numerous choral societies. Both Heiman and Zeltzer have been the recipients of numerous prizes, and the Israel Prize is now the icing on the cake. Zeltzer's compositions include songs that have almost become hymns, in particular "Hakotel," the song he wrote in the aftermath of Israel's victory in the Six Day War. Zeltzer has written the music for several musical comedies as well as for films, and is best known for his compositions for Utz Li Gutz Li and Casablan.
THE STEIMATZKY store in Tel Aviv's Gan Ha'Ir has become the launch pad for album releases. Singer-songwriter Arkadi Duchin earlier this month released his latest CD there - this time for children - The Friends of Arkasha, in which the friends are Shlomi Shabat, Danny Litani, Daphna Armoni, Yevgeni Shapovalov, Idan Yaniv, David D'Or, Arik Sinai, Miki Kam, Hanna Laszlo, Marina Maximillian Blumin and Yuval Hamebulbal. Some of them were on hand to celebrate with Duchin. The CD launches are an interesting marketing strategy to get people into the store.
APROPOS SHAPOVALOV, rumor has it that he received such a good offer in America that he is unlikely to be seen in Israel for quite some time, which is disconcerting for The Three Tenors from Israel - the group he formed in 2005 with opera-trained colleagues Felix Livshitz and Vladislav Goray. The trio was a smash hit not only in Israel, but in different parts of the world where their concerts were almost always sold out. Shapovalov was often billed as the Israeli Pavarotti because of both his vocal range and physique. Each of The Three Tenors enjoyed an illustrious career as a solo performer and an opera star, but together they were electrifying. Now Livshitz and Gordon may have to look for a third man. Shapovalov has also developed a wonderful act with Shlomit Aharon, who was the chameleon female lead singer of Hakol Over Habibi until she broke away to do her own thing. After a couple of years, the group got together again and seemed to have recaptured the old magic, but they've split up once more.
PANIC SWEPT the corridors of Reshet, one of the three founding franchisees of Channel 2, as word got out that CEO Yohanan Tzangan was leaving the company. In 1991, together with Dan Shilon, Tzangan became the comanaging director of the fledgling company that was to produce programs for Israel's first commercial television company. Both Tzangan and Shilon had come to Reshet from the Israel Broadcasting Authority, where Shilon had been both a radio and television broadcaster and Tzangan had been part of the IBA's management. Shilon quit Reshet in 1997, leaving Tzangan at the helm. The company's severe financial losses, coupled with the feeling that he had given all that he had to give, is rumored to be the reason for Tzangan's decision - although the indications are that he will stay on until a replacement is found. Reshet employees are now fearful of repercussions that may result from Tzangan's departure - if indeed he follows through with his intention to explore new horizons.
PANIC WAS also caused in other quarters last week when dynamic singer Einat Sarouf, who performs regularly at the Ganki Club in south Tel Aviv, collapsed in the course of a performance and was taken to the hospital. She was examined and diagnosed as suffering from fatigue and dehydration. Sarouf, who comes to Ganki every week, was in the middle of a song when she suddenly felt the room close in on her and fainted onstage. Fortunately, it wasn't all that serious - but it certainly was dramatic.