Ada Pelleg (born March 31, 1952) is an Israeli conductor.[1] She is the Music Director/Conductor of the Israel String Ensemble[2] and the Music Director of the Haifa Galilee Music Center, guest lecturer in several universities, and promotes coexistence through musical education in the rural communities of the Galilee and Northern Israel. She is a former lecturer at Haifa University and guest professor at Middlebury College.

Early Life

Pelleg was born and raised in Haifa, Israel. She is of Eastern European descent and both her parents were survivors of the holocaust who immigrated to Israel shortly after its declaration of independence in 1948. Pelleg began playing the piano at an early age and continued her musical education throughout high school at the Dunya Weitzmann Conservatory.

Education and early career

During her service in the Israel Defense Forces (1970-1972), Pelleg was assigned to a field position with the 202nd Airborne regiment- serving in various theaters of action, including the Sinai Peninsula and Suez Canal. When the Yom Kippur war broke out in 1973, she volunteered for the IDF Spokesman unit serving as liaison with foreign reporters.

Pelleg began studying at the Jerusalem Music Academy in 1972; however those studies were interrupted by the Yom Kippur war of 1973. She continued her advanced studies in piano performance at Chicago Music College -Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, where she graduated with distinction in 1980. During her tenure as a student at Roosevelt, she won first place in the Mollie Margolis Piano Competition (Chicago, IL)

Pelleg received her Master of Arts in Composition from Indiana University in Bloomington, where she graduated with honors in 1988. During her time at IU she received a graduate assistantship, taught undergraduate students, conducted several IU orchestras, participated in master classes in the US, and won a conducting fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival.

Following her graduation from Indiana University, Pelleg received an appointment as the musical director of the Columbia International Music Festival in Columbia, MD. While living and working in Maryland Pelleg studied orchestral conducting at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, MD.

Haifa Galilee Music Cente

Pelleg returned to Israel in December 1990 and served as musical director of the Jezreel Valley Conservatory of Music. She founded the Haifa Music Center in 1997 as a nonprofit organization to promote music and art in Haifa.

Pelleg founded the Haifa International Flute Competition. The competition hosts musicians from as far as Japan and South America Asia and Europe.

Pelleg, as musical director of the center, works with communities throughout Northern Israel to promote coexistence and cultural development of Maronite Christians (Arameic), Muslims, and Druze. Concerts organized by Pelleg and the center are held in a variety of ethnic communities. Musicians and staff usually include equal representation of all the cultural backgrounds in the area, and the Haifa Galilee Music Center also works in cooperation with other musical organizations from the region.


Pelleg has conducted Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Opera Chorus, Bach Festival (Eugene Oregon) Chorus & Orchestra, Gottingen Philharmonic, St. Petersburg State Orchestra, Aspen (Colorado) Festival Orchestra, Peabody (Baltimore) ) Student Orchestra, Curtis Institute (Philadelphia) Student Orchestra, and Chicago Musical College (Chicago) Student Orchestra.

In 2014 Pelleg conducted musicians from the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra during a celebration of Franco-Israeli friendship.[3]


Pelleg hosted a radio program of 10 sessions on Israel's "Kol Hamusica" (the voice of Music) about music as a means of dialogue with God. She recorded contemporary Brazilian Music with flutist James Strauss. Sshe created an arrangement of A Pink Floyd tribute concert where she conducted the rock band, symphony orchestra choir and soloist in the performance of Pink Floyd's "The Wall".

She has worked with Father Gabriel NPellegf of the Maronite Church, Shadi Haloul from the Arameic community of Gish, and Muslim leaders from Nazareth, to promote interracial harmony. She has also been reporting from Israel during times of conflict; and has written various articles and news updates for networks such as SKY News (London) during the Second Lebanon war in 2006 under the pen name "Leah Miller".

Prizes and Awards

Pelleg received the "Woman of the Year" Award by Israel Association of Women in Management, Technologies & Business (2006). She earned a Conducting Fellowship at the "Bach Festival”, Eugene OR, USA (2006) and a Conducting Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival, CO, USA (1988). She received a Graduate Assistantship from the Indiana University School of Music, IN, USA (1982) and won the Mollie Margolis piano competition, Chicago, IL, USA (1979) .


Pelleg has published a number of papers, essays, and articles, including:

  • "Contemporary Israeli Composers" (2003) :Invited lecture in London SOAS University
  • "Music under the Table" (2003) - On Music & Censorship in the Soviet Union"
  • "The Morphology of Music”(1999) Invited lecture in the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology School of Architecture. Published in Muzika
  • "Thematic Unity in Rachmaninoff" (1998) and “Feminist Liturgy- The Life & Music of Hildegard von Bingen" (1997) Published in Muzika
  • “Properties of Symmetry in Symphonies by Mozart & Tchaikovsky" (1997), Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Symmetry.
  • "Roses to Fanny Mendelssohn"(1997) , an invited lecture presented on International Womens Day. Published in "Ha'aretz”

Personal Life

Pelleg is a former competitive swimmer and held titles in regional and national competitions. Pelleg has been married to Architect, Ronen Pelleg since July, 1975, and lives in Rosh-Pinna, Israel. She has two sons (Noam '83, and Gil '86) who also live in Israel.


Tchaikovsky, Mozart & Grieg 2003 - With the Israel String Ensemble The Brazilian Album (2006) - with flutist James Strauss and the Israeli Virtuosi James Strauss plays Tchaikovsky Flute Concerto (2006) – With flutist James Strauss and the Israel Virtuosi Schumann Piano Concerto (2007) - with pianist Max Barros and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra


External Links

Stravinsky Soldier’s Tale: Conducting Mozarts Symphony 40: Pelleg- Live from Nazareth: Pelleg Homepage: Pelleg's Facebook page: