The Israeli conductor and composer, Yoav Talm, is a graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv (diploma, 1965) and The Juilliard School in New York (1965-1968), where he earned degrees in both composition and conducting with grants from the America Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF). He also studied conducting with Walter Susskind at the Aspen (Colorado) School of Music (summer, 1966), Bruno Maderna in Salzburg (summer, 1967), Fournet in Hilversum (summer, 1968), and Erich Leinsdorf at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood (summer, 1969), where he won the Koussevitzky Memorial Conducting. He also won the Rupert Conductor's Competition in London (1973).
Yoav Talmi was associate conductor of the Louisville Orchestra (1968-1970), music director of the Kentucky Chamber Orchestra (1969-1971), co-conductor of the Israel Chamber Orchestra (1970-1972), and music director of the Arnhem's Het Gelders Orkest (Arnhem Philharmonic) from 1974 to 1980. In 1979-1980 he served as principal guest conductor of the Münchner Philharmoniker, and from 1984 to 1988 he was music director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the New Israeli Opera, and currently holds the title of principal guest conductor with the Israel Chamber Orchestra. Talmi served as music director of the San Diego Symphony from 1987 to 1996, and made several recordings with them for the Naxos label. In 1994 he was artistic advisor of the Waterloo (New Jersey) Festival. He has been the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec (Québec Symphony Orchestra) since 1998. He was also Chief Conductor of the Hamburger Symphoniker from 2000 to 2004.
Well known and celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Yoav Talmi’s long and impressive guest conducting career spans several continents. His European engagements include all the major London orchestras, Berliner Philharmoniker, Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Wiener Symphoniker, Prague Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg, Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Wiener Symphoniker, Orchestre National de France, Zürich’s Tonhalle, Rome’s Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and numerous radio orchestras in Israel, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland and Sweden. He has also made several appearances with the NHK Symphony and the New Philharmonic Orchestras in Japan. In North America, he has appeared with such orchestras as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Seattle Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa) and Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall.
Yoav Talmi’s summer activities includes the Aspen Music Festival, Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Bergen Festival in Norway, Chautauqua Festival (NY), Helsinki Festival, Houston’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Jerusalem Festival, Montreal’s Lanaudière Festival and the Waterloo Festival in New Jersey.
Also a seasoned recording artist, Yoav Talmi has collaborated with Chandos, Decca, EMI, Naxos, Teldec. CBC Records (Toronto), Atma and Analekta (Montreal). His recording of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra won the prestigious “Grand Prix du Disque” in Paris. His recording of Arnold Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky with the Israel Chamber Orchestra for Teldec was chosen “Record of the Month” by Germany’s Fono-Forum magazine. The London Penguin Guide gave this same recording its highest rating. His recent recording "French Showpieces" with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and violinist James Ehnes was chosen “Record of the Month” by the French media magazine Repertoire, who gave this recording a perfect rating. His Naxos recordings with the San Diego Symphony feature an all-Berlioz cycle that includes the Symphonie Fantastique, the complete overtures, Roméo et Juliette, Harold in Italy, Rêverie et Caprice, excerpts from Les Troyens, and more. He has recorded also as pianist, accompanying his wife, flutist Er’ella Talmi.
Yoav Talmi's compositions include an Elegy for Strings, Timpani and Accordion ("Dachau Reflections").
In 2008-2009 season Yoav Talmi delebrated his 10th season as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and 40 years of conducting career. In March 2008, he conducted an historical performance of Gustav Mahler 8th Symphony (“Symphony of a Thousand”) celebrating the 400 anniversary of Québec City. Thousand performers were gathered under Talmi’s baton - 4 orchestras, 15 choirs and 8 soloist - for a spectacle that attracted 12,000 spectators at the coliseum of Québec.
In 2001, the Université Laval of in Quebec, Canada awarded Yoav Talmi an honorary doctorate. In July 2008, he was awarded the ‘Frank Pelleg’ prize of the Israeli Cultural Ministry, for his high-level artistic achievements through many years of activity and in August 2008 he received the Quebec-City Medal, honoring his special contribution to the city’s 400 anniversary celebrations. In 2009, he was made an Officer of the National Order of Quebec.
Yoav and Er’ella Talmi have two children - Gil Talmi, a film-score composer, living and working in New York City and Dana Talmi, a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of social work.