Born in Israel in 1949, Shulamit Ran began composing songs to Hebrew poetry at the age of seven. By the age of nine, she was studying composition with some of Israel's top composers, most notably Alexander Boskovich and Paul Ben-Haim. As a child, Jewish cantoral music played on the radio by her father had a huge impact on Ran. This is apparent in her opera Between Two Worlds-The Dybbuk.
She was able to continue her composition studies into her adult years with scholarships from Mannes College of Music in New York and the American Israel Cultural Foundation. In addition to piano, she studied composition with Norman Dello Joio and Ralph Shapey. While in the United States, studied piano with Nadia Reisenberg and Dorothy Taubman. During her time in the US, Shapey and composer Elliott Carter helped shape Ran's compositional voice, which was constantly changing.
After studying with Shapey, he invited Ran to follow in his path of music education. In 1973, at the age of 26, Shulamit Ran joined the faculty at University of Chicago, where she eventually was named the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Music, she also became the artistic director of Contempo (formerly the Contemporary Chamber Players). Ran, whose students included Melinda Wagner, Suzanne Sorkin, Matt Malsky, Jonathan Elliott and Jorge Liderman, retired from her position at the University of Chicago in June 2015. She also became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Shulamit Ran's works have been performed by many of the world's leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Jerusalem Orchestra, l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Amsterdam Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Lukes, and the American Composers Orchestra.
Her music has been performed worldwide, in such places as the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, on "Music Today" in New York, and at the Tanglewood, Aspen, Santa Fe, and Yellow Barn summer festivals.
Biography taken from Wikipedia.
Photo: Valerie Booth