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"Necessity is the mother of invention." - Frank Zappa

Yael Acher

Yael Acher AKA “KAT” Modiano began classical flute training at age nine and studied with Dr. Uri Teplitz, Rami Tal, Moshe Epstein, Raanan Eilon in Israel, and with Dr. Toke Lund Christiansen in Copenhagen, Denmark. Modiano received a Bachelor of Music degree with excellence in Classical Flute Performing Arts from Rubin Academy in Jerusalem in 1992, where she also studied electronic music composition with Dr. Tzvi Avni and attended jazz courses. 

Modiano resided in Copenhagen for over a decade, where she performed, composed, and taught flute. She won an American-Danish Fulbright Scholarship and moved to New York City in 2005 to study composition at New York University with Dr. Dinu Ghezzo. She received her Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Empire State College, in New York City in 2018, specializing in Music for Social Change.

With performances and commissions spanning Europe, Israel, Japan, USA and Canada, Modiano’s work includes acoustic and electroacoustic music in the following idioms: contemporary, classical, contemporary-improvisation, progressive-jazz, tango, electronic-acoustic live soundtracks to silent films, and music for choreography. She also performs therapeutic concerts at nursing homes, hospices, shelters, detention centers, and charity concerts for social causes. As an educator, Modiano teaches flute locally and globally, including teaching interactive music appreciation groups.

Modiano’s classical and contemporary solo concerts and releases have been described as “bold, daring” by INFORMATION in Denmark. New Music Connoisseur in New York City wrote of her work: “the idea of light emerging, dying, emerging again is a sensual one and it is done here with great beauty and avocation.” Phil’s Review in Atlanta Audio Club wrote “Yael Acher a.k.a ’KAT’ Modiano is a unique phenomenon on a number of accounts…realizing [Bach] in terms of what the flute does best…greater flexibility and fluency of Kat’s flute… Kat’s solo flute pieces…track the poet’s thoughts as perfect correlative, in beautiful sine curves of sound that enrapture and illuminate our minds.”

With concerts at churches, urban architectural constructions with special acoustics, and contemporary festivals, Modiano has performed at such venues as: The High Line, Roulette, The Crypt at Church of the Intercession, Rubin Museum, and NY Botanical Garden (New York City, USA), Sound Symposium (St. John, Canada), Immanuel Church (Tel Aviv/Jaffa, Israel), Lund Dom Church (Lund, Sweden), Marmor Kirke, Glypoteket (Copenhagen), Roskilde DomKirke (Denmark), Braila New Music Festival (Romania), Lille2004 (France).

Ha’aretz recounted Modiano’s soundtrack performance to a silent film screening as a “hypnotic visual and audio event… purely modernistic in character… the intensity of her composition and live performance destabilized the silence… [and] completed the film’s unsettling perception of reality and confronted it.” She has performed her soundtracks at venues such as: Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, The High Line, Jewish Heritage Museum, United Palace of Cultural Arts (New York City), Chicago International Movies and Film Festival (Chicago), Queersicht, (Bern, Switzerland), Danish Film Institute, Grand Theater (Copenhagen), TLV Cinematheque (Tel Aviv), Galerie Kuchling (Berlin), Vineta Pavilion (Venice, Italy).

Modiano’s jazz/rhythmic flute and electro-acoustic compositions present distinctly different aesthetics from her classical-contemporary discipline. Her ”KAT” Modiano group (previously: Junk “KAT” & Modiano) has performed at: Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, BAMcafé, (New York City), NJPAC, Newark Museum (NJ), Copenhagen Jazz Festival (Denmark), Malmo Jazz Festival (Sweden), etc. Reviewing her album releases, Cadence Magazine (USA) wrote, “Acher… ignites the collective voices,” while Jazz Magazine (Paris) commented that her “inheritance of post-hard-bop is especially original and convincing.” And “spellbinding, action packed and deeply original” by Berlingske Tidende (Denmark).

Her electro-acoustic works for contemporary dance “created a space that really felt like the inner life of consciousness,” as described by Goddard College (USA). And Gay City (NYC) wrote that her dance pieces were “sparked by wonderfully evocative music.” Modiano has collaborated as a composer/performer with choreographer/dancers: Tim Rushton (Danish Dance Theater), Thomas Eisenhardt (Aaben Dans) in Denmark, Kim Itoh (Tokyo), Mink Colbert Dance (Europe and USA), Ellis Wood Dance (NYC), Ollom Dance (NYC), Corvino Ballet (NYC,). Including shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Copenhagen Summer Dance Festival, National Arts Gallery (SMK) in Copenhagen, Roskilde Dom Kirke, (Denmark), Tribeca Performing Arts Center (NYC), Las Vegas University (USA), and many others. 

Modiano has been reviewed and featured in articles and radio broadcasts in the United States, France, Israel, Denmark, Spain, Rumania, Canada, Mexico. 

She has received awards, grants and scholarships from the Fulbright Commission Scholarship, NY Foundation for Contemporary Art, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Lower Manhattan Culture Council, American Scandinavian Society, Danish Art Council, Danish Artists Union, Danish Jazz Foundation, Goethe Institute Tel Aviv, and many others.

Modiano’s previous album releases that feature her as a recording artist, interpreter and composer, include the titles: RedcarMODIANOLa Belle Ombre, “KAT” & “MOON” in Manna-hata, Humanity is an ocean- Flute Soundscapes. And coming up a new album release in 2022.

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Johann Sebastian Bach, Yael Acher-Modiano, Claude Debussy
Humanity is an ocean
Yael Acher