David Shallon Sign


Shulamit Ran Portrait
© Valerie Booth

Shulamit Ran

Chicago based Israeli composer Shulamit Ran has been awarded most major honors given to composers in the U.S. including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize in music for her Symphony.

Her music has been performed by major orchestras and ensembles worldwide. Shulamit served as Composer-in-Residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago and is the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor Emerita at the University of Chicago.

She is now composing ANNE FRANK, her second opera, on a libretto by Charles Kondek.

Shulamit Ran

Say the name David (“Dudu”) Shallon to me, and my first impulse is to smile. Next comes a rush of memories — all happy! If there is such a thing as being “pre-ordained”, surely Dudu’s destiny was to make music, but also bring joy; through music-making, and by being the human being that he was. On stage he was a true Maestro, but once off stage he was simply himself: devoid of mannerisms, kind, genuine, a sunny and warm personality, supremely fair to all.

Dudu was supportive of my music in a very meaningful and concrete way. With the JSO he conducted the first Israeli performances of two of my orchestral compositions, both of which I would describe as large, ambitious works: my Concerto for Orchestra and Legends for Orchestra. His enthusiasm was palpable and heartening, as he was such a superb musician and one whose opinion, I felt, I could trust.

Above all I remember Dudu at rehearsal and conducting concerts. Always highly spirited, in full command, rehearsing so very intelligently — definitely an art, especially where new music is concerned — asking questions and offering laser-sharp insights as he delved into a new piece. Conducting the music of our time was never a token gesture for him, but something to which he had an abiding, genuine commitment. He CARED about what he was doing and took great pains to understand and be faithful to the composer’s vision of the music, while also infusing it with his own personal stamp. How fortunate for me to have been on the receiving end of his support as conductor!

Dudu loved life and enjoyed sharing that love with others. I vividly remember the various occasions he, my husband Avi, and I went out together while we were in Jerusalem to some of Dudu’s favorite restaurants. Being from Tel Aviv myself, “Dudu’s Jerusalem” was always something of a discovery for me. Friendship and food for Dudu were an essential component of a good life (isn’t that true for most musicians?), and we really had great fun together, whether in a hidden culinary gem he frequented, or at שוק מחנה יהודה (Mahane Yehudah Market) Jerusalem’s Shuk and “public square”.

I recall the time he shared with us that he and Tabea were planning to buy a home in Jerusalem. And later on came the arrival of Yuval. A happier, prouder father you could not find!

It was a privilege to know and associate with David Shallon. I will always cherish his memory.

Shulamit Ran