Yoni Fogelman: Nurturing a Passion for Composition

2 min read
Yoni Fogelman. (Photo credit: Moses Sparks)

by Jessica Wolf

Yoni Fogelman, graduating with a degree in Music Composition from The Herb Alpert School of Music, grew up in a family with broad musical tastes which served as early fuel for a joyful determination to learn, grow and thrive as an artist.

Leading up to his time at UCLA he’d already built a compelling body of work, writing music for choirs but also for classical instruments and film scores, showcasing his versatility and expanding his musical horizons. His early talent and dedication was nurtured through several prestigious fellowships, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Composer Fellowship program and a similar program with the Pasadena Chorale.

“I learned pretty young about the expectations from performers and the entertainment industry,” he said. This early exposure prepared him well for the challenges he would face as a composer.

Yoni Fogelman (Photo credit: Isabelle Fromme)

Fogelman was recently recognized with honorable mention in the second-annual Class Artist competition sponsored by the UCLA Chancellor’s Council on the Arts, honored for a piece titled, “The Everlasting Flame,” a musical setting of the prayers recited during a Chanukah candle lighting ceremony, performed by the UCLA Chamber Singers.

He’s made the most out of his experience at UCLA, even though his path to graduation here took a few twists and turns. Fogelman originally planned to attend USC, but once the pandemic hit, decided instead to go to community college for a couple of years. When he was ready to transfer, UCLA became his top destination. He’s also not leaving anytime soon, planning to do a two-year graduate program.

 “The Herb Alpert School of Music is like this hidden gem with amazing faculty, recording studios, and music libraries,” he said. “The supportive environment and exceptional resources at UCLA have significantly contributed to my growth as a composer.”

At UCLA, Fogelman credits a specific instructor and course with helping him expand his creative practice, Ian Krouse, who teaches composers about an important concept called “counterpoint.”

“The assignments were so broad and creative, and the lack of pressure allowed me to write pieces that I really liked,” he said. “I ended up writing a lot of short pieces that have now evolved into serious pieces of music that have been performed or hopefully will be performed soon.”

Looking ahead, Fogelman is excited to continue his studies and expand his portfolio. His aspirations include composing larger works and further establishing his career in music. Inspired by composers like John Williams, Claude Debussy, and Maurice Ravel, he aims to create music that resonates deeply with audiences.

In a reflective moment, Fogelman emphasized the importance of art in enriching our lives. “Art is the ultimate enrichment; it’s what I live for,” he said. His commitment to his craft and his belief in the transformative power of music are evident in his work and his journey.

Yoni Fogelman (Photo credit: Isabelle Fromme)