"Prof. Natra endless bounty of brilliant musical ideas, his powerful and expressive, yet joyous music as well as his free yet superbly constructed musical forms, put him as one of the best composers living today worldwide.

His music ranges from the solo through the chamber to the symphonic, where he excels in his orchestrations and one can always find the same signature of real beauty. 

We are much honored to be able to play his wonderful new concerto for two pianos with the Jerusalem Symphony at the end of the year.

Like many other fortunate students, we both had studied composition with him and he continued to accompany us throughout our international career. Prof. Natra had always the ability to convey an idea or an inspiration with very little words. One came always enriched and inspired from his lessons. We use what we learned from him to this present.

Sergiu Natra should be honored by all awards that could bestowed upon him, for his works, excellent achievements, important contribution to the culture and his influence on future generations".

Sivan Silver and Gil Garburg, Israel - Germany

Piano duo Sivan Silver and Gil Garburg perform with top orchestras, in festivals and in organized concerts. Among others, they have performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Vienna Musikverein, the Sydney Opera House, and the Berlin Philharmonie. They have concertized in approximately 70 countries on five continents and they collaborate regularly with orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie. Both are professors for piano duo in the Graz University.


"From the perspective of a active harpist in the country and in many festivals abroad, I wanted to express my great appreciation for the creative enterprise of Sergiu Natra in the field of harp music for soloists and chamber ensembles as I experienced in my performances, both at the premieres of works written especially for me as well as works that were written to the general public harp players in the world. 

I'm not intending to scientifically analyze in this scope the composers works. I will only say what I've said not once to Sergiu Natra himself. 

His work "Sonatine for harp" that I played just when starting out Harpist, is a "Master Piece" and I consider this work as the best piece ever written for harp. Better than all the works written before and after Natra piece. 

I'm not trying to place Natra work in a competition with other important works such as Sonata of Hindemith or the works of Debussy, Ravel and Britten, but something in Natra work essence encourages me to dare and to insist on my opinion in this matter. 

This work flows with the harp rather than resisting it. The reflective elements are well cohesive and develop naturally in total flow and as mentioned earlier. I feel with it like in an experience of watching a wonderful plastic arts creation, exciting ballet or in front of the both figurative and abstract statue. 

I feel that despite the work age, it is worthy of a special prize. 

I played many times, in ceremonies, television and in concerts to diversified audiences, collections of "The Book of Hebrew songs" inspired by Recha Freier, I performed in lice the premieres of the "Music Nicanor" and even won an award for its performance. 

My son Nitzan Hraoz, first trombonist at the Philadelphia Orchestra and I, we performed many times the work written for by Natra "Ancient Walls" and musicians worldwide who are active in this unconventional duo, had adopted this work to their repertoire. 

In a Festival in the Netherlands, Irene Kaganovsky-Kessler performed his Quartet for Harp accompanied by the local musicians. 

In this concert had happened what is rarely happens, the audience wanted to hear the quartet once more. After some discussion (the players did not renounced an extra charge) this work was performed fully for the second time. 

Important players in the world perform works of Natra all the time, regardless of competitions or similar constraints. The famous player from Portugal / USA Mario Falcao performed the "Prayer" for harp in a very exciting manner in one of the festivals. 

Sergiu Natra has become an expert in composing for harp and close associate to the harp world, he also participated in many international harp festivals. In those which I attended, he was given a honorable status in the discussions about writing to this instrument in the new era. He represented Israel also in other matters related to the harp players community. 

In addition, Sergiu Natra has an important role, valued and significant one in the preparatory committee and the jurisdiction of the International Harp Contest helding in Israel. 

I hereby mentioned only in a nutshell Sergiu Natra’s enormous contribution to the world of the harp. I'm sure that there are those who can testify firsthand about other areas of this important composer and his abundant work. 

I wish Sergiu Natra good health and continuing fertile creation". 

Adina Hraoz, Hapist, Israel

She holds a master of the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem and gives recitals, chamber music ensembles and as a soloist with orchestras in Israel and abroad, including tours and festivals in the Netherlands, Norway, France, England, Austria and the United States. Many composers have dedicated works to her which were premiered in Israel and abroad. She is one of the leading harpists.

"The distinguished composer SERGIU NATRA contribution to Israeli music is profound and unique in its integrity and expressivity. Equally significant is his record as educator: as one of the most dedicated teachers I have ever encountered, he has left his mark on generations of students, who went on to forge their own musical voices thanks to his encouragement and generosity of spirit. In a world increasingly preoccupied with sound-bites and empty effect, his legacy of searing beauty and meticulous craft truly stands out, and deserves the highest recognition.

Mr. Natra’s superb music reflects both his musical and personal ethos. Never superficial, showy or unnecessarily bombastic, it is powerful, always structurally clear, and carries itself assuredly. His early piano work “Three Street Corteges” is an evocative tableau requiring virtuosity and stamina, while “Music for Nicanor” exemplifies a deep lyricism and a quiet, meditative mood. His is serious music which runs deep, while utilizing fully the sensual color palette of its chosen instrument, as it does in his “Music for Violin and Harp”. Situating his music in historical context, it is interesting to note that, without succumbing to any fashions or fads, Mr. Natra found his own voice in his European heritage, and then successfully relocated it to Israel. One hears, perhaps, a reflection of the ancient Israeli landscape in his clean, slightly tart harmonies and lines. It is an understated but devastating beauty.

Mr. Natra’s unprecedented contribution to the Harp literature has been widely documented and deserves special acknowledgement. The Harp is one of the most difficult instruments to both compose for, and to play. The sonic richness and evocative nature of the instrument found special resonance in Mr. Natra’s music, and his involvement with the Harp went beyond mastering its difficulties and producing a significant body of works for it he was also an active participant, as well as an advocate for the International Harp Contest. It is a measure of the man, that his life always reflected his deep sense of commitment to his environment and to his fellow musicians, not only to his own art. Nowhere is this better seen than in his achievements as an educator.

On the recommendation of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, I studied Theory and Composition privately with Mr. Natra for six years as a teenager in the 1970’s. He led me through species counterpoint, traditional and early-20th century harmony, and analysis of works ranging from Bach Chorales, Beethoven Piano Sonatas to Bartók’s and Boulez’s orchestral works. Concurrently, our weekly sessions included discussion and critique of my own compositions, viewed in the context of my theoretical studies and informed by Mr. Natra’s keen ear and ability to articulate. When next I enrolled in an American University I was way ahead of my peers. Although I went on to become a performer and not a composer, I believe it was these early studies with Mr. Natra which shaped me as a thinking musician. 

Mr. Natra was unstinting with his time and attention, and uncompromising in his insistence on excellence, though always with patience and gentility. Those of my generation who had the privilege of studying with him are deeply and forever indebted to him. It is indicative of the wide breadth of his knowledge and teaching, that his students went on to become conductors, instrumentalists and composers, throughout the world: as a teacher he clearly imparted the notion that music is a living, organic whole, whether approached as a performer or composer. His particular ability to work with precocious under-college age should be noted, as this is the most formative stage of a musician’s development, as well as the most difficult age in terms of communication. Few composers of Mr. Natra’s stature would be so unselfish and open to young musicians.

Mr. Natra’s music and life represent a towering achievement. Few artists can show his consistency of excellence and of creativity, few if any come close to his personal integrity, and his gentleness and genuine interest in others is unmatched.

Dr. Sally Pinkas, professor of music pianist-in-residence, Hopkins Center for the Arts, U.S.A.
Pianist Sally Pinkas has been heard as recitalist and chamber musician throughout the USA, Europe, Asia, Russia and Nigeria. She has appeared with the Boston Pops, Aspen Philharmonia, Jupiter Symphony and the Bulgarian Chamber Orchestra. Her credits include festivals at Marlboro, Tanglewood, Aspen, Monadnock, Apple Hill and Rockport, as well as Kfar Blum in Israel, Officina Scotese in Italy and Masters de Pontlevoy in France.

"Mr. Sergiu Natra, one of the leading composers of Israel, winner of Enescu Composing Prize with the age of 21 in Romania.

As a young musician I had the honor studying with him Composition, Harmony, Counterpoint and Instrumentation. His incredible knowledge base on the Romanian - French traditions, formed me as a musician and composer. I was having his advise and suggestions for many years. His humble life, for the music and art, gave me an example for life. 

One cannot have a better teacher!

Mr. Natra's inspiring compositions, which bear a clear personal stamp, became a part of my Repertoire and I performed them in Israel, Germany, Russia and Romania with great success (some works were commissioned by me). I will continue promoting his pure and honest music, wherever I can. 

Special part of his activity was his developing and dedicating his knowledge to the Harp literature, and enriching it all over the world. 

As a lecturer and teacher myself, in master classes and seminars, I have him as an example of the pure approach to music and making the music as a mission of life. 

I admire him continuing with his 91 years to write and discover, like a young person… with enthusiasm and joy. I hope this source will never end. 

I am thankful, and honored to have met such a friend. 

It is my opinion that Sergiu Natra well deserves to be awarded with a special prize for his excellent achievements, musical works and important activity during the past 75 years, all having significant contribution to our culture".

Lior Shambadal, Israel-Germany

Chief Conductor of the Berliner Symphoniker Berlin, Germany / Conductor, composer and masterclass lecturer and teacher / Conducting the orchestra in hundreds of performances including in Japan, China, Korea, Italy, Spain, Ireland, England, France and Germany / Former chief musical director of the Pfalztheaters Kaiserslautern engaged in the opening a new theater / Guest Conductor of important Symphony Orchestras in Slovenia, Bogotá, Bucharest, China, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Russia, Japan and more.

"En tant que musicienne, harpiste et directrice artistique du Congrès Mondial de la Harpe, j'ai eu l'immense plaisir de rencontrer Monsieur Natra à de nombreuses reprises tout comme j’ai eu le grand honneur d’être la dédicataire de 2 de ses œuvres: Commentaires sentimentaux pour flûte, alto et harpe et Cantosonata pour harpe solo.

Monsieur Natra est, à ce jour, l'un des plus prolifiques et proéminents compositeurs israéliens. Sa musique vocale, instrumentale, en petite formation ou encore en formation symphonique, unique de part son style, est saluée et acclamée dans le monde entier et contribue au rayonnement international de la musique classique ainsi que de la culture israélienne. 

L'étendue et la richesse de son œuvre pour harpe en fait un des compositeurs vivants les plus joués par les harpistes et les plus recherchés dans l'établissement des programmes des grands concours internationaux. Serge Natra a lui-même été, à de nombreuses reprises, membre ou président de jury des plus prestigieux concours internationaux et des plus grandes associations internationales de harpe. 

Par son amour de la musique, par son œuvre, par son enseignement, notamment à l'Académie de musique de Tel Aviv, Monsieur Natra contribue à diffuser cet art si indispensable à notre monde actuel. Nombreux sont les compositeurs, chefs d'orchestre, musiciens et professeurs qui doivent à son enseignement. 

Enfin, la personnalité de Serge Natra, ouverte, sincère, humaine le met toujours à la disposition et à l'écoute de quiconque sollicite son aide ou ses conseils précieux. Le travail que nous avons effectué ensemble pour la création des 2 œuvres qui m’ont été dédiées m'a permis de découvrir tout le professionnalisme, la bonté et la chaleur qui se dégagent de cet être hors du commun".

Isabelle Perrin, France
Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Professeur à l'Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, Visiting Professor Royal Academy of Music London, Professeur at the Norwegian Academy of Music, Directrice Artistique du WHC (Congrès Mondial de la Harpe). She is one of the leading harpists.

“When I arrived in Israel in 1963 as principal solo harpist in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the first significant and important Israeli composers that I met was Sergiu Natra. In this letter I wish to recommend Prof. Natra for a special prize and convey to you my reasons for this recommendation. 

His archive of compositions includes impressive works for orchestra, chamber music and solo instruments. It has been my pleasure to perform many of them. As a harpist I wish to speak in particular about his compositions for harp which I know intimately. 

General observations: When we, the harpists, speak of Natra’s works for harp the first comment is always “the harp sounds”! While he is not a harpist, Natra has the rare instinctive sense of the unique resonance and sound of the harp and in all of his works for harp the instrument sings. Without using gimmicks or effects, remaining within the classical tools of composition, Natra releases the broad span of color and rich sounds of the harp. 

His music for harp is challenging but playable – it is unique in its freedom while being structured and balanced – it is a perfect contemporary work for a solo recital or chamber music program – and it is always well received by the public. For these reasons all of my advanced students from around the world play his works regularly. In fact today a student of mine from Switzerland will open her free choice recital in an International Competition with “Prayer” for solo harp by Sergiu Natra. 

Specific works: “Music for harp and violin” is a perfect example of challenging music for both instruments. He has balanced the role of harp and violin, avoiding the use of the harp as an accompaniment, giving each instrument passages of virtuosity and cantabile, creating a dramatic and deeply moving composition. The “Sonatina” in three movements for solo harp, is brilliant in its use of polyphony, large dynamic contrast, rhythmic patterns, and as always, the resonance of the harp sound. 

“Prayer” for solo harp is perhaps my favorite: while demanding a deep and personal expression from the performer, Natra offers the freedom for this expression. There is an insistence – a well-constructed urgency in the score leading to a climax of intense pleading. While bringing the performance to a powerful musical moment he succeeds to release the total capacity of sound of the instrument in all its glory and power. He carefully protects this moment by holding on to form and allowing the performer to quietly contemplate the original intimacy of expression in the coda. 

Cultural contribution: Sergiu Natra has dedicated a large portion of his time and energy to the International Harp Contest in Israel. As Artistic Director of this Contest I was honored to work with Prof. Natra on the Music Committee, as a member of the International Jury, and member of the International Board of Directors. 

Frequently a work of Natra was included in the required repertoire of the Contest – both solo and chamber works. Contestants from around the world enjoyed learning pieces by this Israeli composer and continue to perform them. In his concern and interest for education he also composed works for beginners on the harp. 

In conclusion, it is my opinion that Sergiu Natra composes with integrity and honesty toward the Art of music. What’s more, his untiring focus and dedication to classical music through his own compositions and active support of International Musical organizations are major contributions to society and the culture and beauty for this and future generations”. 

Judith Liber
principal solo harpist IPO, Artistic Director International Harp Contest in Israel, Chairperson Music Committee International Harp Contest in Israel, teacher of master classes, Te-Aviv University Rubin Academy and author, Israel - Italy. She is one of the leading harpists.

"Prof. Natra’s extensive contribution, great importance, and far reaching influence on the classical music world in 20th and 21th centuries will no doubt be documented by many of my peers. I would like to call your attention to his mission as an educator of performers.

Young prodigies of music are often encouraged to practice many hours, and develop their musicality through intuition rather than through knowledge. Throughout my career as a performer and professor, I have met very few performers who have delved into the world of music theory and history. Even fewer have tried or succeeded in creating a bridge between that body of knowledge and their performance skills. It is understandable — many of us study with instrumental teachers who did not create that liaison themselves; and theorists and musicologists often lack the skills to build these links for their young, and often uninterested performance students.

I met Sergiu Natra when I turned 13, after having had already a year of theoretical studies alongside my violin schooling. He was recommended by my violin teacher at the time, the great Ilona Fehér. To this day I remember arriving to his modest yet highly atmospheric apartment in Ramat Aviv, close to the Tel Aviv University. I expected to be grilled on technical harmony and structural issues; instead, Prof. Natra asked (in his soft, tender voice) which piece I was leaming at the time. We pulled out the music and started discussing spots in it, but his focus was different than what I have heard until then. He was asking: “how does this element influence your interpretation and performance of this passage, this phrase, this movement, this piece?”. From that day on, and for many years, we worked on many pieces, some that I was performing, some that I already knew from listening, and some that Prof. Natra introduced to me, always expanding my horizons. Every lesson had a new discovery, and we were always moving ahead. We worked on literally every genre and piece — solo, orchestral, chamber, choral, opera. Even violin showpieces — Ravel’s Tzigane, a seemingly standard violin bravura that is meant as a crowd pleaser, became a study in harmony, as one day he pulled a music book in Romanian, and explained to me the “Gypsy Mode”, a scale in which the piece was written, and how Ravel used it to create the teasing sensation that runs throughout this piece, much like the gypsy it aims to portray. 

Beyond the profound effect of making my own playing grow in depth, knowledge, effectiveness, and communicability, I know that it was this knowledge I have amassed from Prof. Natra that has served to jumpstart and shape my own university teaching career, from my first teaching position at McGill University, through the Universities of Toronto, Ottawa, and Michigan, as Well as the Eastman School of Music. Prof. Natra has mentored many more performers in his career, and all have gone to become leading musicians throughout the world.

I was fortunate to meet Prof Natra recently, back in the old apartment where I used to have my lessons. 91 years old, as lucid as he has always been, outstanding memory for details, and his energy as vibrant as ever. He has always been, and will always continue to be, an unending source of musical and human inspiration for me.

Yehonatan Berick
Professor of Violin, Head of String Sector, School of Music, University of Ottawa, Canada

He is soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and pedagogue, throughout North America, Europe and Israel. He has performed, among others, with the Quebec, Winnipeg, Windsor, Ann Arbor, Jerusalem and Haifa Symphonies, the Israeli, Cincinnati, Montreal and Manitoba Chamber Orchestras, in France, U.K., Germany, Sweden, Finland, Colorado and USA.

"Speaking as a harpist I can say that SERGIU NATRA contributions to the repertoire of the harp are invaluable and his knowledge of the technical possibilities of the instrument are of a quality rare to find among composers.

NATRA has created a body of work for the harp, in solo and chamber music that expands the musical and expressive capabilities of the instrument. All harpists owe him a large debt of gratitude for the beauty of his compositions.

I was fortunate to have met SERGIU NATRA during the HarpWeeks (subsequently known as the World Harp Congress), held in Holland and organized by the great harpists Phia Berghout and Maria Korchinska. As a faculty member Mr. NATRA’s contributions were of high merit to all of us, colleagues and participants. They had a remarkable quality of social and human exchange that made his presence and teaching of the highest quality. His words and the way he communicated, are a cherished memory of his being and musical thought that is evident in the beauty and depth of his compositions.

Professor NATRA is the example of the Artist and of a Man that should be honored and receive all the accolades that a society can offer. His Art and Life represent all that we strive for and hope to able to achieve".

Mario Falcao, harpist, U.S.A
Professor emeritus state university of New York at Fredonia, visiting professor Escola Superior de Musica de Lisboa, founding member of World Harp Congress, board member of World Harp Congress, board member of American Harp Society. He his one of the leading harpists.