The Canadian-borm Israeli compopser and conductor, Aharon Harlap, began his musical career in Canada as a pianist. He completed his studies in Music and Mathematics at the University of Manitoba in 1963, and in 1964 immigrated to Israel. He studied composition under P. Racine Fricker at London's Royal College of Music and Oedoen Partos at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. He also studied conducting with Sir Adrian Boult in London, Hans Swarowsky in Vienna and Gary Bertini in Israel.
Aharon Harlap is one of Israel’s most prominent and well known composers and conductors. He is widely known as an orchestral, operatic and choral conductor and has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras and opera houses in Canada, the USA, Europe and South Africa. His own compositions have also been performed in all of these countries, including works for choir, chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras. In Israel he has appeared as guest conductor with most of the major orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Israel Sinfonette Beer Sheva, Kibbutzim Chamber Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
Well known as a composer, Aharon Harlap's works have been performed in all the in the aforementioned countries, as well as in Israel, and include compositions for choir, chamber ensembles, and symphonic orchestra. He was awarded several major prizes. These include: in 1979 be was awarded a prize in an international competition based on the subjeet of the "Holocaust and Revival" for his Oratorio The Fire and the Mountains (text: Israel Eliraz); in 1983, he received The ACUM (Israel Music Composers, Writers and Publishers Association) Prize for Three Songs for Mezzo Soprano and Symphony Orchestra; in 1993, the Mark Lavry Prize for composition, offered by the Haifa Municipality, for his choral-orchestral work For dust you are, and to dust you shall return; in 1997, he was awarded a prize for his opera Thérèse Raquin (based on the novel hy Emile Zola), sponsored by the New Israeli Opera and the Israel Music Institute, and in the same year was awarded the ACUM Prize for his Clarinet Concerto; in 1999, he received The Prime Minister’s Prize for Composition; in 2008, The ACUM annual prize for his musical life work achievements. In the 2005 season, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed the world premiere of the Bassoon Concerto which received the ACUM prize in 2004. The work was composed for the orchestra’s principal bassoon player, Uzi Shalev, and was also performed by him. Aharon Harlap has currently completed his viola concerto dedicated to the international violist Rivka Golani. The work received its premiere performance in Budapest, Hungary on May 20, 2007 with the Dohnanyi-Budafok Orchestra, Budapest under the direction of the orchestra's music director Gabor Hollerung. The Israeli premiere was performed on Sept. 17 in Haifa, Israel with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra. The soloist was once again Rivka Golani, and was conducted by the composer. He also received Miphal Hapayis Prize for opera Wings (based on story by Gibran Khalil Gibran) which received premiere performance in January 2005 with the Israel Chamber Orchestra. The Opera Therese Raquin (based on story by Emile Zola) was performed at the Israel Festival in May 2005.
Aharon Harlap is currently a senior lecturer in in choral and orchestral conducting at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, where he also holds the position of Head of the Opera Department. He is also Music Director and conductor of the Kfar-Saba Chamber Choir since 1997 and "Bel Canto" - the Israeli Male Choir, Kfar Saba. In July 2006, he represented Israel as an international choral judge at the World Choir Games held in Xiamen , China.. In 2004 , the Games were held in Bremen, Germany and the one before that (2002 ) in Busan, Korea . Both in Xiamen and Bremen, Harlap represented Israel as a judge as well.