Marc Lavry (1903-1967) was a most prolific composer who belonged to an exclusive group of artists who formulated what is known today as Israeli music.His legacy consists of a remarkable number of works – over 400 musical works, many of which have yet to be published and exist in manuscript form only. Lavry wrote a wide variety of compositions from grand operas and symphonies to chamber music and popular songs.
Lavry immigrated to Israel in 1935 and immediately became enchanted with the country – its landscape, the language and life in the nascent state. He was inspired by its history, poetry and heritage, and many of his compositions were driven by events of the time. When Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion relocated to the desert, Lavry wrote the symphonic poem Negev. To commemorate the independence war of Israel he composed the symphony Independence Symphony. He wrote the song Shir Ha-Emek that describes the Jezreel valley, Kineret to celebrate the Sea of Galilee, composed the song Hahovesh (medic) inspired by a heroic rescue story, and created the first marching song of the Israeli Defense Forces. A man larger than politics, he wrote Lebanon’s first anthem.
Marc Lavry is considered by many to be a master of instrumental and choral orchestration and is regarded by musicologists and music connoisseurs as one of the most important composers of the first half of the 20th century.