Composer, pianist, singer and arranger, Yoni Rechter is considered among Israel’s most important musicians with a career spanning more than 40 years. His impact and influence on Israeli music is immeasurable.
Rechter’s music incorporates a wide variety of styles with eastern and western influences. He composes with originality, sensitivity to text, and his stamp is considered the mark of quality and integrity in Israeli music. Yoni’s music is sophisticated and surprising - while his classical piano training is evident, he is constantly shifting tones and beats. Many of his compositions are considered Israeli musical classics, and one song, Atur Mitzchech (Your Brow is Adorned) has been repeatedly voted the most popular Israeli song of all times.
Rechter has collaborated with many of Israel’s most successful musical artists, including Arik Einstein, Gidi Gov, and Yehudit Ravitz. His two best-known collaborations are the legendary Kaveret group – also known as “Poogy,” and Hakeves Ha-16 (The 16th Lamb). A sought-after musical director, producer and arranger, Yoni has worked on numerous stage musicals, films, dance performances and recorded albums. Rechter has also composed classical music: the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra performed a concert dedicated to his songs and compositions, as well as three operas.
Born in Tel Aviv, Yoni started playing piano at the age of 7, and decided to be a musician at age 12 when he discovered the Beatles. He studied classical music, played jazz and composed original songs with lyrics written by his classmates. After high school, he completed his military service in one of the IDF’s legendary musical troupes, and studied at the Rubin Academy of Music, while debating whether to follow in his famous architect father’s footsteps, or choose a musical career. When Danny Sanderson invited him to join Kaveret in 1972, Yoni initially said he would only join for six months and then return to school, but ultimately remained with the iconic group until its breakup in 1976. Afterwards, Rechter was asked by Arik Einstein, Israel’s top performer, to collaborate with him in a project that produced some of Israel’s most treasured and classic songs. In 1978 Rechter musically directed, composed, and performed in The Sixteenth Lamb, which broke ground as a new standard for children’s music and remains – over 40 years later - Israel’s most popular album of children’s songs.
Rechter’s musical career continued to flourish in the ensuing decades; producing four solo albums, together with countless collaborations with many of Israel’s top performers on a wide range of projects.
Today, Yoni remains as productive and creative as ever.
In the classical space, Rechter has composed music for settings that range from solo piano performances to concerts by symphony orchestras.
In 1998, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, in collaboration with Rechter, created a performance dedicated completely to his songs and compositions.
Rechter has also written and arranged extensively for the theater, cinema and dance. He directed and arranged the musical “The King and the Cobbler” as well as composing two operas for children performed by the Israeli Philharmonic. The first opera, in 2009, was based on the classic David Grossman book "Itamar Meets a Rabbit" and the second, "A Tale of Three Nuts" in 2017. In 2015, his rendition of the opera "Schitz," based on a play by Hanoch Levin, was performed by the Israeli Opera.
Rechter's most recent project is "Musical Pictures from Pirkei Avot" - music he composed to ancient Hebrew texts - performed in the Oud Festival in November 2021.
Over the years, Rechter has been awarded numerous prizes, including the 2008 EMET Prize, an annual prize conferred for excellence in professional achievements with far reaching influence and make a significant contribution to society. The prize is sponsored by the A.M.N. Foundation for the Advancement of Science, Art and Culture in Israel, under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Office
Other honors awarded to Rechter include three prizes by ACUM (Association of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers) – Composer of the Year (1990), Lifetime Achievement Awards (1992), and Special Contribution to Israeli Children Music (2014).
In recognition of Yoni Rechter’s unique and quality contribution to the shaping of Israeli musical culture, two Israeli universities have honored him with the title of Doctor, Honoris causa: Hebrew University (2007) and the Weizmann Institute (2017).