This piece, a single variation on the theme of “America the Beautiful,” is virtuosic and perhaps even over-the-top in its energy and scale. Had I written an entire set of variations on this classic tune, each could reflect a certain aspect of American society -- its difficult history, its unmatched innovation, its constant, buzzing work ethic. I envision this short variation as the closer -- the final outpouring of technique and flourish that remind me of the extravagance, vivacity, and the sheer power of will that characterize America.
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 music utilizes an exciting and complex rhythmic vocabulary, as well as unique timbres and colors in orchestral, chamber, and solo settings; many of his compositions have become contemporary staples in the repertoire. Dorman's music is championed by conductors including Zubin Mehta, Christoph Eschenbach, Ricardo Chailly, and Andris Nelsons, and by soloists such as Pinchas Zukerman, Gil Shaham, Martin Grubinger, and Hilary Hahn.
During the 19-20 season the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra will present country premieres of Dorman’s music, and his new large-scale opera will premiere at Theater Dortmund.
Dorman's music has garnered numerous awards and prizes. Most recently, 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 studied composition with John Corigliano and Josef Bardanashvili, and he holds a doctorate in composition from the Juilliard School. Dorman currently serves as Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College.
As the artistic director of Center for Musical Excellence, I am always on the look out for new and undiscovered talents. They come to me, sometimes, by my colleagues’ recommendations and other times through young artists’ own research about our organization. Tyson Davis and Andrew Bambridge are currently on our roster of CME Young Artists, whom we mentor. Patricio Molina is a CME alumnus. Theo Chandler, Ji-Young Ko, and Daniel Newman-Lessler applied for our Grant program, and I got to know their work through that process. I decide on young artists when I notice a deep passion and drive within them, plus a certain kind of sparkle in the personality and lots of humility. In addition to musical talents, I believe these are the qualities that will take the young artists far. CME’s motto is "Moving Musicians Forward". I’ve chosen our Discovery Composers based on these qualities, whom we felt we could easily move forward.
- Min Kwon