Loretta Kay-Feld was contacted by a person ‘close to the Queen’ to come up with the pieces
The British-Israeli composer commissioned to create two pieces of music for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee has told the JC that there were tears shed in the Royal Family when they heard the final result.
Hackney-born Loretta Kay-Feld said she was “thrilled” to be contacted by a person “close to the Queen” to come up with the pieces.
She said she composed 70 Years a Queen and The Queen’s Soliloquy “in my head” while out walking by the sea near her home in Ra’anana, Israel.
“I read a book about the Queen and I took a walk along the clifftops near where I live. The lyrics came at the same time as I heard the music. And when I get home, I sat down and write it all out. A composition has to come from your heart and your mind,” she said.
The royal compositions are published today, exactly 70 years since the Queen acceded to the throne.
Mrs Kay-Feld said the member of the Royal Family who commissioned the works – whom she said she had agreed not to identify – spoke to her over Zoom to express their delight with the result.
She said: “It’s been a very moving experience for me. I did write it with my heart and soul. It’s a very reflective time for Her Majesty and I hope she hears the song today because it’s a very reflective song.”
Mrs Kay-Feld, an accomplished composer, author and lyricist, has received praise for her music from the likes of Donald Trump, Golda Meir and Uri Geller for her work – and was asked by Barack Obama to write a piece for Joe Biden’s inauguration.
She was born in Hackney into a creative family. Her mother wrote stories and her father loved music. As a schoolgirl she studied violin and led the school orchestra but when she left school she became a social worker with Norwood.
She studied at the Royal College of Music but realised she was never going to be a professional pianist, and instead set about studying composition.
She met her American husband at 24 and they went together to live in Long Island where she raised her four children and wrote many songs to entertain them. “When they were naughty, I would write songs,” she told the JC in 2019. “I would write songs all the time and they would sing them.”
Mrs Kay-Feld got her big break after a gig at New York’s Public Library, when she was approached by the makers of the children’s show called Sesame Street. After sending them six songs, she was hired and ended up writing more than 300 songs for Sesame Street.
She wrote several Jewish-themed songs including a hymn to Israel which won her praise from Moshe Dayan and Golda Meir.
Eventually she and her husband made aliyah where her creativity has flourished into her 70s.