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Praised as a "fresh, young voice, worth following" (Gramophone Magazine), Avner Dorman has quickly risen to become one of Israel’s most successful and renowned composers. At the age of 25, he became the youngest composer to win Israel’s prestigious Prime Minister’s Award for his Ellef, and that same year he was awarded the Golden Feather Award from ACUM (the Israeli Society of Composers and Publishers). Since coming to the United States, Dorman received several international awards from ASCAP, ACUM, and the Asian Composers League.
Dorman’s unique approach to rhythm and timbre has attracted some of the world’s leading conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Marin Alsop, Asher Fisch, and Simone Young to bring his music to audiences of the Israel Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony, and the Hamburg Philharmonic, among others.
Dorman’s music achieves a rare combination of rigorous compositional construction while preserving the sense of excitement and spontaneity usually associated with Jazz, Rock, or Ethnic Music. In Variations Without a Theme, "Dorman dispenses with a traditional theme and instead bases his entire 20-minute work on just a few musical odds and ends — a repeated note, an ornament, a few Arab-flavored scales and a half-step interval. It’s all amazingly simple, but the end result is sophisticated music that cleverly explores both Eastern and Western sonic worlds" (John Pitcher, Nashville Scene).
Masterful in his innovative use of percussion, Dorman’s two percussion concerti are quickly becoming staples of the repertoire. Zubin Mehta led the premiere of his double percussion concerto, Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!, with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and subsequently performed it with the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra. Mr. Mehta will present the much anticipated US premiere of this piece with the New York Philharmonic and PercaDu in March 2009. His percussion concerto, Frozen in Time, tore audiences from their seats in an overwhelming standing ovation at Hamburg Philharmonic’s world premiere, with Martin Grubinger as percussion soloist. Dorman has made significant contributions to the repertoire of other unique instruments and ensembles in his Mandolin Concerto, Piccolo Concerto, Saxophone Concerto, Concerto for Violin and a Rock Band, and Boaz for soprano, harp, and two pianos.
A pianist himself and an avid devotee of chamber music, Dorman has composed two String Quartets, two Violin Sonatas, a piano and woodwind quintet titled Jerusalem Mix (commissioned by the Jerusalem International Music Festival and the Chicago Chamber Musicians), two Piano Trios, and numerous works for piano solo. In 2005, Naxos released a recording of Eliran Avni performing Dorman’s piano works to wide acclaim.
Born in 1975, Avner Dorman completed his Doctoral degree as a C.V. Starr fellow at the Juilliard School where he studied with John Corigliano and his Master’s degree at Tel Aviv University where he majored in music, musicology, and physics and studied with former Soviet composer Josef Bardanashvili. Dorman was a composition fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and served as composer in residence for The Israel Camerata from 2001 through 2003.