Israeli-American composer 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. In 2001, Dorman received the ACUM prize from the Israeli performing rights society for his “Ellef Symphony.” Ma’ariv, the second largest newspaper in Israel, named Dorman “Composer of the Year” for 2002, and the performance of his song cycle Boaz received the Israeli Cultural Ministry Prize for best performance of Israeli music the same year. Dorman’s “Variations Without a Theme” premiered by Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic in November 2003, won the 2004 Best Composition of the Year award from ACUM. This breakthrough piece elevated Mr. Dorman to international status and a subsequent commission from Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for “Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!,” a percussion concerto for the PercaDu Ensemble.
Dorman’s broad-minded interests find expression in his music. With exceptional technical skill, he combines traditional and contemporary classical music influences with more mainstream forms such as rock, most clearly stated in his works “Concerto for Violin and a Rock Band” and “9 Eighths.” His exploration into electronic music and the native sounds of his culture position him as a composer in both time and place. In “Falafel,” one finds a synthesis of the sounds and rhythms of Mr. Dorman’s Israel as well as the mercurial sensibilities of his generation. His music is easily distinguished by its unique, passionate, and inventive sound. Dorman’s music has been praised as “outstanding for its freshness and spontaneity” (Jerusalem Post), with “craftsmanship [and] musical power” (Berliner Zeitung).
Mr. Dorman’s frequent collaborations with artists of wide-ranging genres has lead to artistic successes in the form of concerti, chamber music, a film score, and dance pieces. Most notably, Dorman has worked with fellow Israeli musicians while creating his “Mandolin Concerto” with Avi Avital, the “Violin Concerto” with Ittai Shapira, the “Piccolo Concerto” with Lior Eitan, and many solo piano works with Eliran Avni. Naxos released Mr. Dorman first commercial album to much critical acclaim with Mr. Avni performing the “Sonatas Nos. 1 through 3,” “Moments Musicaux,” and “Azerbaijani Dance.” Further collaborations have lead to commissions from the Bat-Dor Dance Company for Accord/Discord and Sudden Void as well as a film score for Nitzan Aviram’s award winning film, Son.”
Born in 1975, 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. Since his arrival in the United States, Dorman was thrice awarded the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award, and he has been a composition fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. Dorman served as composer in residence for The Israel Camerata from 2001 through 2003.
Avner Dorman’s music is exclusively published by G. Schirmer.
“The first time a symphony orchestra commissioned a piece from me, I was nineteen and serving in the army. I didn’t have the time or money to copy the parts, and I remember the huge relief when AICF stepped in and covered the copying costs. Years later, and many pieces and scholarships later, I still remember AICF’s generosity when it really mattered.”