Chava Alberstein (1949- )

Israeli singer, lyricist, composer, and musical arranger

She is one of the most prolific Israel singer-producers of all times With more than 50 albums, some in Yiddish , the unique voice of Chava Alberstein was heard even before she began her songwriting career.

Chava Alberstein was born in the small town of Szczecin in Poland. She immigrated to Israel at the age of four and lived with her family in Kiryat Chaim. In 1964, at the age of 17, she was invited to appear on Dan Amotz's programme at the Hammam Nightclub in Jaffa. For her premier performance she sang four songs accompanied by herself on guitar and her brother Alex on the clarinet. The program was broadcast live on the radio and as a result of the broadcast Alberstein was invited to be a guest on "Moadon Hazemer" - one of the most popular programs at the time.

"Moadon Hazemer", with her performance, was recorded on kibbutz Beit Alfa, home of Nachum Heiman. At the conclusion of the program, where many Israeli stars of those days performed, Nachum Heiman came over to Chava and invited her to sing his songs. He also recommended her to the record company CBS who signed a recording contract with her.

When she was drafted into the IDF in 1965 she was already a well known artist and during her army service she traveled among the army camps singing for the soldiers. Since being released from the army Alberstein has recorded many songs in Hebrew, Arabic and Yiddish, and also many children's songs, accompanied by guitar or orchestra. She has since then produced many and varied albums and performed widely.

In the 1980 Alberstein also began to write and compose. Her album "Mehagrim" (Immigrants) was made up mainly of songs she had written herself. During the Intifada she spoke out and sang against oppression and due to this her song "Chad Gadya" was banned from being played on the radio. She was boycotted by certain groups and there were even those who opposed her being invited to light a flame at the Independence Day celebrations of 1990.

In addition Alberstein also appeared in a film, "Intimate Story" and composed the music for two others - "Stalin's Children" and "Groupie" - both directed by her husband, the director Nadav Levitan. She also participated in the mythological children's program "Carousel".

Chava Alberstein is still an active musician despite the fact that in the past few years she records less. She does not appear often in the media but recently a number of collections of her works have appeared, which have awoken a wave of nostalgia and longing for her songs. At the moment her efforts are devoted to a new album for adults. Many of her albums went gold and platinum and for some of then she even earned the "Kinor David" (David's Harp) Prize.

 

 

 

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12 Apr 2005 / 3 Nisan 5765 0