B i o g r a p h y
Robert Israel, hailed by author and film historian Ron Haver as "One of the world's finest practitioners of the art of silent film accompaniment,” is a protégé of the legendary theatre organist Gaylord Carter. Israel made his professional debut at the age of 18, only several months after starting formal studies on the piano and organ. Television celebrity and organist, Stan Kann, said in an L.A. Times interview, “If I could play the piano as well as he does, I wouldn’t play the organ.”
Robert Israel has performed in such venues as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., La Musée D'Orsay and the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, UCLA's Royce Hall, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana, La Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, and for the Los Angeles Conservancy's "Last Remaining Seats" series–to which he has performed for seventeen consecutive years to sell out houses of over 2,000 people. Maestro Israel was also named Music Director of Special Events for thirteen years in a row by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
In addition to live performances, Maestro Israel and his orchestra have recorded musical scores for films released by Warner Bros. Home Video/Turner Classic Movies, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios, Flicker Alley, and Kino International in cooperation with Film Preservation Associates. This also includes the release of over twenty new scores for the films of Harold Lloyd for the Harold Lloyd Trust and Turner Classic Movies. Mr. Israel's television work has included composing scores for the popular television series "Biography" on A & E Channel, American Masters on PBS, and for director/producer Gregory Nava.
In September 2006, Stockholm University of Sweden awarded Robert Israel an Honorary Doctorate for achievements in his field of practice. (Faculty of Humanities).
Robert Israel has performed as soloist and orchestra conductor throughout the United States, Japan, and Europe, including film festivals in the Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria, and Sweden. He also appears throughout the world as lecturer on the subject of music and the moving image.