About the Choir
The Udiana Choir (formerly, Kolot Hasadeh) was founded by Anat Aharoni at Kibbutz
Harduf in 2004. The choir numbers 23 singers from the Jezreel Valley and the north of Israel.
The choir is a meeting place for people who wish to create quality music, together, through
joint listening. The deep commitment to this creative partnership is also the basis for the
personal musical development of each member of the choir.
The choir sings a cappella, focusing mainly on the music of the 20th and 21st centuries,
singing songs from different periods and styles. In performances, the choir integrates
elements of improvisation, movement, speech, and rhythm. Stemming from the desire to
support Israeli composers, and with the aim of being a part of the Israeli music scene, every
year we invite another Israeli composer to create an original piece for our program.
The choir is highly regarded by its listeners, and has performed on some of the best stages
in Israel and visited abroad. We believe in the healing power of music and appear twice
yearly on a voluntary basis for people with special needs or disadvantaged communities. In
addition, the choir participates in the "Culture Basket" sponsored by the Ministry of
Education, and adapts the material to suit youth audiences.
In 2016 we created a program entitled "Silence" in conjunction with the Israeli Brass
Quintet. In 2017 the subject was “My Soul Returns to the Fire”, where we explored the
quality of fire in our lives. In early 2018, we participated in a festive concert to mark the
100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, performing Bernstein’s Chichester and
Bach's Magnificat in collaboration with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Later in the
year, we performed a program at the Vox Femina Festival and other venues, entitled “Like
Clay in the Hand of the Creator”, devoted to women in music and mythology.
Udiana has received partial support from the Ministry of Culture and Sport since 2012.
We are grateful for the music, which reveals the fascinating paths before us, and to
the loyal audience who have accompanied us over the years and are partners in our search.
Conductor and Musical Director
Anat completed a Master’s degree in Conducting at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem
with Mr. Stanley Sperber. She has a Bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University in
Orchestra and Choir Conducting with Mr. Mendi Rodan, and in Musicology and
An experienced conductor, voice teacher, composer, and arranger.
“For me, the Udiana Choir is a space where I can search for the truth without
boundaries, looking for an internal voice, both for me and the group, exploring the
music and the beauty that is created when they work together.”
Sharon Ivri Sharon has sung in the choir since its inception. She lives in Harduf, and is married to Ori and has four children: Shakhar, Gaya, Nadav and Ella. Sharon is a teacher in the Waldorf high school at Harduf. "Music has played a part in every stage of my life. Singing as part of a group is an ongoing process of breathing, listening, searching and discovery. The melodies are always with me."
Monika Sunnesen Monika immigrated to Israel from Denmark in 2001. She teaches music in Beit Elisha, a community of people with special needs in Kibbutz Harduf. Monika joined the choir in 2013.
Mikhal Shafnir Mikhal lives in Harduf. She is a student of Waldorf education and works at the elementary school at Harduf. "Joining the choir marks one of the happiest occurrences in my life. I am thankful for the music and the wonderful people, and for the beauty that reveals itself and broadens the heart when singing in rehearsal."
Efrat Khakhlili-Rosner Efrat has lived in Harduf since 2004. She has two daughters – Shakhar and Rotem – and teaches in the elementary school in Harduf. She has sung with the choir almost since its inception. She has played and sung music continuously since she was a child. She is a graduate of the Music Academy (HaMidrashah), with a major in Music Therapy and Movement.
Adi Kazaz Adi lives in Avtalyon and is married to Alon. She teaches piano and English. She is an accompanist to the choir at the Oded school – a Waldorf elementary school in Yodfat. Adi crafts her ceramic pottery on a potter's wheel. "I love playing music and singing with this very special choir." Adi joined the choir in 2008.
Shlomit Benin-Pinkerfeld Shlomit lives in Harduf. She is married to Shaul and has five children: Shira, Ariela, Amatsia, Avinoam and Zahara (twins). She joined the choir in 2005. Shlomit works at Beit Elisha – a community of people with special needs – as coordinator of the ceramics workshop. She enjoys long-distance running. "Singing in a group nourishes me and connects me with a path of searching and development."
Ziva Dotan Ziva lives in Haifa and is married with two daughters. She has sung with the choir since 2006. "At age 8, I participated in the second Childrens' Song Festival. I studied piano for 8 years. For many years I worked as a graphic designer. Today, I am a studying special education and mathematics. Singing in a choir fills me with light and love."
Anne Lustig-Picus Anne – a native of Australia - has been with the choir since the very beginning. She lives with her family in Shorashim, near Karmiel and works as an independent technical writer. She enjoys spending her time volunteering for a variety of causes.
Maya Shavit Maya lives with her husband Elad (who is also in the choir) and her daughters Michal and Avigail in Hanaton. She learned to play the French horn and the flute when she was young. Music and singing are central in her and her family's lives. "Singing in the choir is a source of development in many aspects of my life." Maya joined the choir in 2015.
Eitan Maggeni Eitan lives in Givat Elah with his wife. He has two children and two grandchildren. After a career in hi-tech, he has dedicate the last few years to a career in education, teaching Physics at Oranim College. Eitan enjoys hiking, basketball and Tai Chi. He plays guitar and is a veteran of Anat Aharoni's two choirs: Udiana and Kolot HaEmek.
Michael Koenig Michael has sung in choirs since elementary school, and joined Udiana choir in 2009. He immigrated to Israel from the US in 1990 and is a father of three. He lives in Misgav and works as an engineer and college lecturer. "For me, the choir is an island of harmony and grace to which I escape as often as possible..."
Elad Shavit Elad is married to Maya (who sings alto in the choir) and is a father to two daughters. He lives in Hanaton in the Jezreel Valley. He works in hi-tech in software development and validation. He plays guitar and piano since he was a boy and loves to sing. Elad joined Udiana in 2015.
Donny Gat Donny lives in Tivon with his wife Tamar and his children Nadav, Yael and Uriah. He works in hi-tech in the field of automation development. He plays guitar and piano, and has sung in choirs from a young age. "Music is an important and indispensable part of my life. Donny joined the choir in 2017.
Stefan Blochwitz Stefan immigrated from Germany in 2000 and lives in Harduf with his wife and two sons. He works at Hiram, a rehabilitation center in Harduf. He has been singing in choirs since the age of 13, and joined Udiana in 2005.
Axel Ewald Axel is a native of Germany, having immigrated to Israel (via England) in 1994. He is a sculptor and environmental designer, and teaches at the art school which he founded at Harduf. Axel joined the choir in 2006. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to world music, jazz, Bach and special blends of different music. "I very much enjoy our choir's repertoire, the variety of works from different parts of the world, the emphasis on modern music, and especially Anat's arrangements"
Ofri Wexler Ofri is a father of four daughters and lives in Tivon. He has worked for over 25 years as a computer architect at Intel. He has played and sung since a young age. He is a yoga enthusiast and enjoys being at home.
Once again I had the opportunity to work with this excellent group. It is clear to me that the choir has strengthened and become worthy of praise, and is even more musical and exciting. I have no doubt that they deserve all the encouragement and support they need to fulfill their wonderful potential. I expect that with the choir’s high vocal level, with the correct cultivation, together with their energetic and very talented conductor, Anat Aharoni, will surely bring great happiness to young and old audiences, and as a result they will make a huge contribution to the vocal arena in Israel.
During the past year I was honored together with the Israeli Brass Quintet to participate in a special and unusual concert with the Udiana Choir and its conductor, Anat Aharoni. The concert was originally constructed with difficult and challenging materials. In every concert they sang beautifully at a very high standard. We finished each concert with a feeling of wonder that we had just experienced something deep and meaningful. I warmly recommend this amazing choir. Their seriousness, the level of singing, and the depth of their work make them a choir of the first degree in Israel, and worthy of significant support.
Manager of the Conservatory of Music at Mevasseret Zion and member of the Israeli
Conductor and Composer
I experienced both admiration and envy at a concert of the Udiana Choir, conducted by Anat Aharoni. Any link to the "Werther" opera by Massenet is by association only.
The concert by the Udiana Choir, based in Kibbutz Harduf (north of Alonei Abba), aroused admiration for the clear clean singing and the pleasant appearance (of the men too!) and envy of the lifestyle of the ensemble participants; as indicated by the website of the Udiana Choir.
The program of compositions by women (or of women, such as Monteverdi's "Lamento L’Arianna") was well edited. We were brought into the picture – into an atmosphere that can, without exaggeration, be called a "magical atmosphere" -- with Hildegard von Bingen, and from her to contemporary works by Lotem Azner, Carlotta Ferrari, Neomi Atar, Tsippi Fleischer, Hagar Kadima (especially interesting), and Naomi Shemer. At the end, we were treated to a piece arranged by the choir conductor, Anat Aharoni: Yitzhak Adel's "Prayer for Rain" (Tfillat Hageshem), with the words "Rain, Rain, Sighing a Field from Heat" by Levin Kipnis, and her piece "Land" (Adama) with words by Khalil Gibran.
And more: The performance by the Udiana Choir was the central event of Vox Femina yesterday ... After the concert, I considered comparing this intimate event that evoked enthusiasm due to the polished singing of pieces that in the main are not typically highlighted but rather good, interesting songs; with the blander performance of the Werther opera…
It really was a pleasure in every way: The choice of the unusual repertoire, the varied structure of the program, the developments on stage from the very first moment, the flowing passages connecting one song to another, the aesthetic ‘look’ of the choir, [...] the varied and moving directions to the choir members, and precise execution of the pieces in all their variety of styles. I was very happy to hear [...] all the subtleties of emotion expressed in the work in the singing of your choir. The piece by Hagar Kadima was presented with great force to the audience in all its complexity. [...] "In my garden" (Begani) moved me to tears and “Prayer for Rain” (Tfillat Hageshem) caused the rain to actually fall for two hours non-stop, concluding with a wonderful rainbow stretching across the sky. [...] Charming!!! It was a simply lovely experience.
Music Critic, Haaretz
The performance of the choir was certainly one of the best surprises I had at this year's music festival. [...] In some of the songs, Anat combined movement that perfectly matched the ability of the choir singers and conveyed a communal spirit, a genuine enjoyment of the ensemble's artistic work, and human warmth that touched
the hearts of the audience.
Dr. Michael Wolpe
Composer and Pedagogue
I had the opportunity more than once in the past few years to listen to the singing of this choir in live concerts throughout the country. On each occasion I was most
impressed by the results of Anat's work. She sets the bar high for her singers, which is expressed by the homogenous, clean, stylized singing and unique vocal aesthetics.
Conductor and Musical Director
Rika Bar Sela
Editor, Kol Hamusika
The program is beautiful, interesting, varied, and undoubtedly a real challenge. The chorus has its own ‘color’, and it is beautiful, and its members respond to what you ask of them. You, Anat, are radiant and radiating, and the choir responds, and it is so wonderful to see and hear. [...] Regards, and thanks for the lovely evening.
Many thanks for the wonderful concert! It is a beautiful program and the direction of the content is lovely. I have the greatest respect for your high quality work, which is evident in every detail. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of the piece! It is so much fun to work with you!
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Details for contacting us:
Anat Aharoni: 04-9059360
Ofri Wechsler: 054-7885851