Daniel Galay is a composer and pianist, an educator and lecturer who in my opinion should be counted among most interesting and outstanding Israeli musicians. He makes a valuable and significant contribution to the musical culture in the country in all the fields in which he is active. In his works he is revealed, on the one hand, as an original artist of our times, one who has mastered the secrets of contemporary composition, and, on the other hand, as someone who continues the Jewish musical tradition, particularly in its Eastern European varieties, a tradition which he lives and breathes as a Jewish musician.
As someone deeply connected to the cultural heritage of Eastern European Jewry, including the cultural heritage of Yiddish, Galay has been able to create music that combines his various sources of influence in fascinating ways. Music serves as a personal expression of his unique world. It seems to me that even works that don’t draw directly from Jewish thematics - for example the succinct “Minotaurs” for piano - reflect his identity as a Jewish composer, one who realizes in his musical work a rare combination of artistic and folk music.
Daniel Galay, among our senior composers, is a contemporary musical intellectual. Moreover, Galay is a scholar whose affinity to Yiddish, its literature and culture, is deep and rooted. This unusual mixture of ability, expertise and emotionality is what accounts for his success as a composer.”
Awarded the Prime Minister Composition Prize for the year 2009.
Galay was born in 1945 in Argentina and immigrated to Israel in 1965. His Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago (1979) accomplished his musical studies and previous degrees in Piano, Theory and Composition from the National Conservatory in Buenos Aires and the Tel-Aviv University, Rubin Music Academy.
For several years he is the Chairman of Leyvik House, the Association of Yiddish writers and Journalists in Israel, where he introduced changes to attract new generations to Jewish Culture and Literature. His playwrights, poetry and articles are published in books and different publications in Israel and abroad. Member of the Editorial Board of "Naye Vegn" and the H.Leyvik Publishing House. Daniel Galay is a promoter of Yiddish Culture and the preservation of Ashkenaz Identity. His works, writings and appearances made a genuine impact in Israeli society.