Above: Composer Ella Milch-Sheriff
“I create visual stories that reside at the juncture of myth and social realism. Through my personal language of symbols, my paintings explore both female identity and comment on our shifting political and cultural landscape.”
Born in Haifa, Israel, Ella Milch-Sheriff studied composition with Professor Tzvi Avni at the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. She began composing that the young age of 12 and her experience as a singer combined with her linguistic expertise, sensitivity and innate understanding of the human voice led her to specialize in composing opera, chamber music, orchestral works and vocal music. Her music is performed widely across Israel, Europe and the US.
Milch-Sheriff’s musical style blends contemporary Western music with Jewish, Israeli and Middle-Eastern music, with many of her works based on Jewish motifs and texts.
Her opera Baruchs Schweigen (Baruch’s Silence), based on the true story of the composer and her family, was commissioned by the Staatstheater Braunschweig and premiered in February 2010. It has its fourth production in Vienna in September 2016. Her family’s story was further documented in the Avi Nesher film Past Life, which Milch-Sheriff wrote the score for.
Her most recent opera, The Banality of Love, was about the complex and controversial relationship between the German philosopher Martin Heidegger and the German-Jewish-American political philosopher Hannah Arendt. It premiered in January 2018 in Regensburg, Germany, receiving an overwhelmingly positive reception by audiences and critics.
In 2005, she was awarded the prestigious Israeli Prime Minister Prize for her compositional work and in the same year she received the Rosenblum Prize.
She was commissioned by the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig to compose a special piece for the Beethoven year in 2020.