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Shai Cohen (Hebrew: שי כהן‎‎; b.1968, in Haifa) is an Israeli music educator and composer.

Cohen Shai


Dr. Shai Cohen is a composer, educator, and jazz performer, chairman of the Israel Composers' League and an active member in ACUM[1] (Authors, Composers & Publishers Association). He specializes in diverse fields ranging from free-improvisation to electronic and contemporary classical music.

His music has been played at events including "Asian Contemporary Music Festival" (2003/Japan, 2009/Korea, 2012/Israel, 2013/Singapore, 2016/Vietnam), "Moscow Autumn" ISCM contemporary music festival (2006), "Aberdeen Music Prize" (2011), 34th Annual "Bowling Green New Music Festival" (2013), "Israeli Music Festival" (2004, 2012) and performed by musicians and ensembles like the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra (Vietnam), SNU Symphony Orchestra (Korea), the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble[2] (Moscow), members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Scotland), Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (Japan), T'ang Quartet (Singapore), St Andrews New Music Ensemble (Scotland), Ensemble Kaprizma (Israel), Israel Contemporary Players,[3] the Arab & Jewish ensembles of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, The Tel-Aviv Soloists Ensemble, The Israel Kibbutz Orchestra, Israel Sinfonietta orchestra of Beer-Sheva and many others.

Cohen is the director of the Music and Technology program at Bar-Ilan University teaching courses in Audio Synthesis, Advanced Studio Recording, Live Electronics Workshop, Arduino Workshop, Max/msp/jitter Applications, Sound Engineering, Audio Applications and Music Cognition Workshop. He is also a lecturer in Levinsky College of Education and in the Open University Music Departments.

Selected Works

Cohen composes for orchestra, chamber ensemble, solo instrument and voice. Selected works include:

  • Echoes of Eternity, Fantasia for violin solo and orchestra (2006) performed by the SNU Symphony Orchestra, Conductor Seoung-Lim Kim, Violin Solo Seyoung Lee, Asian-Pacific Contemporary Music Festival in Korea 2009.
  • Circles Of Time for Trumpet string quartet (2011) performed by members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the University of Aberdeen Music Prize Gala Concert.
  • DSCH, for chamber orchestra (2006) commissioned by the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble premiered in Moscow, Conductor Alexei Vinogradov.[4]
  • Capture, for chamber orchestra tape and live electronics (2009), performed by Israel Contemporary Players, Conductor Zsolt Nagy.[5]
  • Hkafil, for string trio and flute (2004) commissioned by the Israel Composers League (ICL), premiere in Jerusalem music center by Ensemble Kaprizma.
  • Association - quartet for tenor sax, accordion, vibraphone and contrabass (2002) commissioned by the Asian Music Festival Premiered in Tokyo Japan.
  • Collective Memory, septet for perc, ney flute, Arabic violin, ud, flute, violin, bass (2004) commissioned by the Israel philharmonic Arab Jewish ensembles, Tempus Fugit international biennial contemporary music premiere in Jerusalem and performed many times around the world.
  • From earth to wind, for solo accordion and narrator (2004) inspired by Netta Alony performed by Claudia Buder (accordion) and Elija Schwarz (speaker) in Leipzig, Germany (2009)
  • Games, Songs and Dances, for Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Piano (2005) Ensemble Meitar, The London Schubert Players,[6]T'ang Quartet.
  • A Butterfly Flaps its Wings.... for string trio Arabic ud and live electronics (2004).
  • The double, music for flute and processed flute (2003) premiered in Bar-Ilan University.
  • Real-Time Music Composition With colors and movements tracking(2008) a project in memorial of Yossi Banai, premiered in Bar-ilan University, Duration: Free”[7]

Honors and awards

  • 2010 ACUM Prize for his work "Echoes of Eternity" - Fantasia for violin solo and orchestra.[8]
  • Prime Minister’s Prize (Israel, 2011)
  • Chairman of the Israeli Composers' League (2012)