.Assaf Bènraf is the musical director and conductor of the Bel Canto choir, beginning in this position in January 2019

Assaf is a multidisciplinary musician and translator. He began his life as a musician playing the violin and the viola. He has continued as a solo and choral singer (Israel Opera, Gary Bertini Choir, choirs of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music) and has sung under the direction of renowned conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Andrew Parrott, and others. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and a Master’s in conducting from Penn State University in the United States. Conducting is currently Assaf’s primary occupation, working as conductor of Bel Canto and the Dorot Choir, as well as serving as guest and assistant conductor of various orchestras and choirs

Assaf has received grants from the America Israel Cultural Foundation, the “Tsfunot Tarbut” non-profit, the Gary Bertini Foundation, and Penn State University, and has attended many masterclasses in Israel and abroad. Noteworthy among the special musical projects in which he has taken part are the Calace Ensemble for Neapolitan Music (which he founded in 2009 and in which he served as a soloist, musical director, and arranger), the recording, “Hail, Cremonus!” which is dedicated to works by Scott Slapin, and the performance of the work, “Beethoven’s Slippers,” by Judith Cloud. Assaf was a finalist in the Luigi Mancinelli International Competition for Opera Conductors in Orvieto, Italy 2016

In addition to music, Assaf works as a translator of poetry. His translations have been published in “Nifl’ata, an Anthology of LGBT Poetry,” and in the poetry journal “Ho!, Literary Magazine”. These publications include translations of the works of Michelangelo Buonarroti, Corrado Govoni, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Giulio Cesare Cortese, Kadia Molodowsky, and Leib Naidus