Mendi Rodan

Mendi Rodan, born as Mendi Rosenblum, ( born April 15, 1929 in Iaşi, Romania; † 9 May, 2009 Jerusalem) was an Israeli violinist and conductor of Romanian origin.

Life and work

Mendi Rodan began at the age of five years playing the violin at the age of 16 and was first violinist of the Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra. 1941 his father was murdered during the Holocaust. Rodan studied violin and conducting at the Music Academy in Bucharest and in 1953 chief conductor of the Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 1960 he emigrated with his wife Yehudit, whom he had married in 1953, and their two children to Israel.

From 1963 to 1972 he was chief conductor and music director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, founded during this period, the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra. Throughout his career he has conducted leading orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra worldwide. Rodan was, among other permanent guest conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (1972-1976), Music Director of the Israel Sinfonietta (1977-1991), Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Orchestre National de Belgique (1983-1989), Music Director of the Chamber Orchestra of the Education Corps of the Israel Defense Forces (1985-1989) and the Chief Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (1993-1997).

From 1999 to 2002 he was professor of conducting and musical director and conductor with several of the local Philharmonic Orchestra at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester in Rochester (New York). He caused an international sensation when he played in Israel a work of Richard Wagner in October 2000 for the first time. The concert then sparked sharp protests from Holocaust survivors in Israel.

In 2006 he was awarded the Israel Prize.

Rodan died at the age of 80 from cancer.