Israeli singer, songwriter and composer, Szvika Pick, has passed away at aged 72.
Szvika, best known to Eurovision fans as being the composer of Israel’s winning song from 1998 has passed away. His funeral was set to take place yesterday at Ramat Hasharon Cemetery in Tel Aviv. He leaves behind five children – three sons and two daughters.
Alongside composing “Diva”, (with lyricist Yoav Ginai) Szvika has also composed Israel’s entry in 2002, “Light A Candle” sung by Sarit Hadad, and Ukraine’s debut entry in 2003, “Hasta La Vista” by Oleksandr Ponomariov. He has also written songs for Harel Skaat (Israel 2010) and Sopho Nizharadze (Georgia 2010).
Szvika himself tried on numerous occassions to represent Israel at Eurovision, but to no avail. He took part in Israel’s national finals in 1979, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1993, 2005 and 2006, with his best result being second place in 1979.
Who was Szvika Pick?
Szvika Pick, born Henryk Pick, in Wrocław, Poland in October 1949, immigrated to Israel with his family in 1957. He started studying classical music at age five, and continued to study music as he got older. As a teenager, he would perform in local rock bands.
Szvika’s career got a kick start in the 1970’s. He released nine albums that decade, and was voted “Israeli male singer of the year”. He has also worked in theatre, playing the lead part in “Hairspray” in the early 1970’s.
Szvika worked closely with his then wife, Mirit Shem-Or. Together, they created many big hits, including “Kaleidescope”; “This Is My Way”; “What Now” and “Mary Lou”, which was written about Mirit. In 2002, the musical, “Mary Lou” was staged, which was based on Szvika’s hit songs.
In 2005, Szvika turned his hand to the world of television, becoming a judge on singing show Kokhav Nolad. He remained in this role until 2009. In 2005, he starred in the reality series HaMaestro with his family.
We send our condolences to all of Szvika’s friends and family during this difficult time.
It’s hard to explain how influential Pick was on Israeli music and culture. He revolutionized Israeli music with his groundbreaking musical arrangements, he had a great talent for writing beautiful melodies and unforgettable hits, and he helped launch the careers of many Israeli stars. Through his music he will live forever.
One correction to this article: Pick played the lead part in “Hair” in the early 1970’s – not “Hairspray”(The “Hairspray” movie was only made in the late 1980s and the musical based on that movie was first made in the early noughties).
Pick played the role of Claude in the 1970 Israeli production of “Hair”, he can be seen at 2:10 in this documentation of the rehearsal, wearing a white shirt with a brown waistband – https://youtu.be/x5icuLLqezc