Abraham Kefeli

(b. 15 January 1972, Simferopol).

Israeli composer, born in Ukraine, of mostly orchestral and chamber works that have been performed in Europe and the Middle East; he is also active as a researcher.

Mr. Kefeli studied composition with Vladimir Krasnoskulov and jazz piano with Kim Nazaretov at the S. V. Rachmaninoff State Conservatory in Rostov-on-Don from 1992–97, where he earned his MA with honours in both subjects. He had postgraduate studies in composition with Vladimir Krasnoskulov there from 1997–2002 and earned his DMus. He also studied composition with Andre Hajdu at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan from 1999–2001 and musicology with Edwin Seroussi at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2001–02.

Among his honours are a prize for his use of folk music in the competition Russian Jazz Performers (1992) and First Prize in the competition of the festival Meta-Art in Kiev (1997, for Music for Three).

As a researcher, his specialty is Karaite Judaism. He has written articles about the Karaim, as well as the book Catalogue of Tombstone Monuments in the Halich Karaim Cemetery (2000, Ministry of Culture of Ukraine), and made a Russian translation of Fairy Tales of the Crimean Karaims (2002, National Minorities of Ukraine).

He is also active in other positions. As a pianist, he has primarily performed his own music. He has worked as a hazzan (cantor) in Ashdod since 2000.

He taught composition at the Troieschyna Art School in Kiev from 1997–99 and composition, organ and piano at the Titora Institute of Art Development in Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut in 1999–2000.

He has lived in Israel since 1999.


E-mail address:



Chufut-KaleJewish Fortress (symphonic poem), large orchestra, 1994

Concerto, piano, large orchestra, 1997

Dreams of the Gypsy Baron, piano, string orchestra, 2000

TahanunPlea (symphony), large orchestra, 1997–2002

Baroccian Girl, string orchestra, 2004

Lightness, piano, small orchestra (flute, oboe, English horn, 2 bassoons, 2 French horns, strings), 2004

Harum diDSCHarum, small orchestra (16 players), 2005


Samba for a Mechanical Doll, clarinet, piano, 1991

Sonata, cello, piano, 1992

A Song of Ascents, synthesizer, 1993

Variations for String Quartet on the Karaitic Folksong 'Allef Binha' – 'Teach Your Son', 1993

Genesis, tenor saxophone, trombone, piano, percussion, 1994

Seliha, flute, violin, cello, piano, percussion, 1996

Music for Three, guitar, violin, bayan, 1997

Three Movements, double bass, piano, 2000

Sonata, violin, 2001

Carmecordino, flute, violin, cello, piano, percussion, 2004


The Cloud (text by the composer), mixed chorus, 1995


The Girl with a Face like the Moon (text by Nizami Ganjavi [translated by the composer; also Russian translation by Pavel Antokolsky, V. Uspensky, I. Bruny]), tenor, piano, 1995 (also version for tenor, small orchestra, 1995)


Pieces for Piano, 1990

Preludes for Piano, 1993

Sonata, 2001

DISCOGRAPHY (as compiler)

The Traditional Religious Songs of Crimean Karaims. Abraham Kefeli, Daniel Kefeli, voices (self-released, 2003)

DISCOGRAPHY (as composer)

Tahanun; Concerto; Sonata (violin); Sonata (piano). Boris Ponomaryov-Karnelio, violin; Abraham Kefeli, piano; Valery Khlebnikov/Rostov State Academic Symphony Orchestra (self-released, 2002)

Tahanun; Sonata (violin); Sonata (piano). Boris Ponomaryov-Karnelio, violin; Abraham Kefeli, piano; Valery Khlebnikov/Rostov State Academic Symphony Orchestra (ABCD Music: MFEK 0103, 2004)

Carmecordino; Variations for String Quartet on the Karaitic Folksong 'Allef Binha'; Seliha; Dreams of the Gypsy Baron; Concerto; A Song of Ascents. Abraham Kefeli, piano, synthesizer; Alexander Rukin String Quartet; Capriccio Municipal Quintet; Aviv Ron/Israel Chamber Orchestra; Valery Khlebnikov/Rostov State Academic Symphony Orchestra (self-released, 2005)