Yizhak Sadai

(b. 13 May 1935, Sofia – d. 26 February 2019, Tel Aviv).

Israeli composer, born in Bulgaria, of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, and electroacoustic works that have been performed throughout the world; he was also active as a writer.

Prof. Sadai studied composition with Alexander Boskovich at the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv from 1951–56 and later studied composition privately with Roman Haubenstock-Ramati and Josef Tal. He also attended the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt in 1962 and 1964 and had fruitful contact with Pierre Schaeffer in Paris in 1966.

As a writer, he contributed articles and essays on musical epistemology, musical phenomenology and musical perception to journals in Croatia, France, Germany, Spain, and the USA. He also wrote the books Methodology of the Theory of Music (1960, Akademon), Harmony in its Systemic and its Phenomenological Aspects (1980, Yanetz) and Traité de sujets musicaux – envers une épistémologie musicale (2003, Éditions L'Harmattan).

He taught composition as a senior lecturer at the Academy of Music in Jerusalem from 1960–81 and at the Rubin Academy of Music of Tel Aviv University from 1966–80. He later founded the studio for electronic music at the Rubin Academy of Music of Tel Aviv University in 1974, where he taught analysis, composition, music theory, and other subjects as Professor of Music from 1980–2003. In addition, he gave guest lectures in Europe and the USA.

He lived in Israel from 1949–2019.

His primary publishers are the Israel Music Institute and Israeli Music Publications.





Ricercare symphonique, small orchestra, 1957

Nuances, small orchestra, 1965

Anagramme, small orchestra, fixed media (2 tracks), 1975

Canti Fermi, Synclavier, small orchestra, 1986


Serenade, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 1959

Interpolations variées, harpischord, string quartet, 1965

Aria da capo, violin, viola, cello, double bass, celesta, vibraphone, percussion, 2 cassette recorders (2 operators), 1966

From the Diary of a Percussionist, percussion, fixed media (2 tracks), 1972

Anamorphoses, string quartet, 1982

Reprises, Synclavier, ensemble (alto flute, oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, violin, viola, cello, double bass), 1986

Antiphones, Synclavier, ensemble (piccolo [+ alto flute], clarinet [+ bass clarinet], French horn, trombone, violin, viola, cello, piano), 1986


Hatzvi Israel (cantata, text from the Book of Samuel), alto, baritone, mixed chorus, small orchestra, 1960

Prélude à Jérusalem (cantata, text by the composer), alto, tenor, bass, female speaker, 2 male speakers, mixed chorus, small orchestra, 1968


Divertimento (text from the Song of Solomon), alto, flute, viola, piano, 1955

Ecclesiastes (cantata, text from the Book of Ecclesiastes), alto, baritone, small orchestra, 1958

Psychoanalysis (cantata, text by the composer), alto, tenor, baritone, orchestra, 1959

Trial 19 (audiovisual work, libretto by Recha Freier, after records from the Spanish Inquisition), female speaker, male speaker, fixed media (6 tracks), 1979


Song into the Night, fixed media (2 tracks), 1971

La Prière interrompue, fixed media (2 tracks), 1975


Nine Educational Pieces, piano, 1972