Ruben Serusi

Ruben Seroussi (1959, Uruguay), composer and guitarist, born in Montevideo, Uruguay on 1 January 1959 and settled in Israel in 1974. Seroussi completed his composition studies ‘magna cum laude’ at Tel Aviv University’s Academy of Music under the guidance of Leon Schidlowsky. His works, for various musical formations, have been performed in Israel by the best performers and orchestras, and are frequently performed abroad by well-known ensembles, such as Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble Oriol, New Juilliard Ensemble, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Continuum New York, Moscow Studio for New Music, Ensemble Mosaik, etc.  

Seroussi’s most important awards include the following: ISCM selection in Warsaw 1992, two ACUM prizes in 1992, a prize in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s orchestral work competition  in 1993, the Prime Minister’s Prize for Composition in 1995, and ACUM Prize for Life Achievement in 2012.

Ruben Seroussi is on the Faculty of Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv University, acting as Head of Composition Studies since 2004.

Jazz… à propos de Matisse for piano trio (1991) – The title refers to a book of paper cut-outs by Henry Matisse (1946), which contains, interspersed with rhythmic and colourful plates, texts handwritten by the artist himself. The texts express, somewhat prosaically, the same poetic atmosphere that inspired the cut-outs.

In my work, I tried to create sound-pictures in sharp and variegated colours, almost of a graphic and visual quality. These are set within a continuous musical prose, which develops from being enigmatic and blurred to the point where its shape is revealed as an inclination toward primary rhythmic perception in the spirit of ‘swing’.

Throughout, as if reacting to the irresistible pull of the basic rhythm, a musical pattern emerges in various guises from the deep lower register to the highest and lightest, leading toward various ‘pictures’ as a kind of musical-graphic metaphor. Toward the end of the piece, there is a short recapitulation of all the ‘pictures’ in the composition, a mosaic-like impression, which reinforces their plastic aspect and underscores their divergence from all musical processes developing in time.