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Alexander "Sasha" Argov
Sasha Argov, from the Alexander Argov Archive, The National Library of Israel

Alexander "Sasha" Argov

Alexander "Sasha" Argov, one of the preeminent composers of Modern Hebrew song, created a unique and complex musical language, which integrated popular with classical elements. His many melodies have become an inalienable part of the Modern Hebrew song culture and an inseparable part of Israeli identity.

Discover Sasha Argov's oeuvre through songs, manuscripts, interviews, photographs, documents and articles. These items come either from the abundant collection of recordings in the Sound  Archive of the National Library  or  from the composer's personal archive which was donated to the library's music department.

About Sasha Argov

The composer Alexander (Sasha) Abramovich, a central figure in the development of the Israeli song, was born in Moscow on October 26, 1914. His father was a dentist and his mother a pianist. Since his mother rehearsed at home – both with her colleagues from the Philarmonic Orchestra and with singers who required piano accompaniment – Argov was exposed to classical and vocal music from a very early age. He began to play the piano at age four and continued at the keyboard throughout childhood. However, Sasha received no formal training since his parents were not members of the working class, which at the time was a prerequisite for acceptance to the Moscow Conservatory.


The Sasha Argov Archive

The Sasha Argov Archive is one of over 250 personal archives housed at the Music Department. The archives encompass Israeli and Jewish composers from the world over, who created religious and art music and Hebrew Folksong. The archives of musicians and musicologists can also be found among the collection. The archives were donated to the National Library by the artists and researchers themselves, as well as by their family members, and following a process of preservation and cataloging, are safeguarded in the Music Department at the National Library in Jerusalem.

The Sasha Argov Archive, number MUS 103 in the Music Department, was donated to the National Library by his widow, Nusia, in 1999. The archive includes Argov's original scores to hundreds of songs that he composed over the course of his 60-year career. The archive also includes the composer's original arrangements and adaptations for his own songs and for songs by others, photographs, letters, notebooks, journals, documents, programs, posters, and newspaper clippings including critiques, articles, and interviews. Many recordings of his songs can also be found in the Music Department's Sound Archive.

The Music Department Archive at the National Library of Israel (Photo: Hanan Cohen)

The Music Department Archive at the National Library of Israel (Photo: Hanan Cohen)

Sasha Argov with Prominent Israeli Artists