Avner Dorman, Composer

Reviews:

Letters from Gettysburg is an extraordinarily haunting five-movement work that elevates the experience of one man into a memorial to all victims of war.I have listened to this ingeniously crafted piece a half dozen times and each time I have been moved anew, mesmerized by Dorman’s brilliant treatment of Lt. Cady’s words...exquisite performances by soloists Amanda Heim and Lee Poulis, the Gettysburg College Choir, and the Tremolo Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Robert Natter. This impressive CD also includes After Brahms: Three Intermezzos for Piano, which Dorman wrote for pianist Orli Shaham...a very gifted pianist. Her performance here is exquisite. "Nigunim: Violin Sonata No. 3” by Dorman ... is a wildly demanding piece, an ambitious multicultural grab bag. The Shahams’ performances are exhilarating, as one expects from these daring artists.

Arts Fuse
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Heads up, Civil War buffs. Gettysburg College professor and CityMusic Cleveland director Avner Dorman here presents an unusual and poignant commemoration of the war's bloodiest battle with "Letters From Gettysburg," a choral work based on the writings of one victim. In what often sounds like a memorial service, complete with tolling bells, Dorman offers everything from ritualistic chanting and winding, gently dissonant melodies to a frenzied depiction of the fighting aided by the Tremolo Percussion Ensemble. The only thing more powerful would be a visit to the battleground itself. Rounding out the disc are two other works by Dorman, in collaboration with Orli and Gil Shaham: a set of three temperamental Intermezzos for piano, and "Nigunim," a virtuoso violin sonata founded on aspects of Jewish religious melody.

Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer
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Avner Dorman writes music of intricate craftsmanship and rigorous technique, expressed with a soulful and singular voice. A native of Israel now living in the United States, Dorman draws on a variety of cultural and historical influences in composing, resulting in music that affects an emotional impact while exploring new territories. His works utilize an exciting and complex rhythmic vocabulary, as well as unique timbres and colors in orchestral, chamber, and solo settings. The world's finest orchestras, conductors, and soloists regularly perform Dorman's music, and many of his compositions have become contemporary staples in the repertoire. Dorman's music is championed by conductors including Zubin Mehta, Ricardo Chailly, and Andris Nelsons, and by soloists Gil Shaham, Martin Grubinger, and Hilary Hahn.

Dorman's music has garnered numerous awards and prizes. He won the 2018 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music, and his debut opera, Wahnfried, was named a finalist in the category of World Premiere at the International Opera Awards. At the age of 25, Dorman became the youngest composer to win Israel's prestigious Prime Minister's Award for his Ellef Symphony. He has earned several international awards from ASCAP, ACUM, and the Asian Composers League.

Dorman is an active conductor, and he is the current music director of CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra. He holds a doctorate in composition from the Juilliard School and serves as Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College.