Full Biography

Full Biography

Click for PDF of Full Biography



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 won the 2018 Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music, a $50,000 CAD award given biennially through a competitive process to a composer who has written the best new major work of Jewish Music. Dorman's first opera, Wahnfried, which garnered intense media interest and was hailed as a "masterpiece" by Opernwelt, returned to Karlsruhe in the 2017-2018 season for a second run as part of the Badisches Staatsoper staging of Wagner's complete ring cycle. The work was named a finalist in the category of World Premiere at the 2018 International Opera Awards.

The 18-19 season features several exciting premieres, including Nigunim for violin and orchestra, premiering with Lara St. John and the McGill Chamber Orchestra at the Azrieli Prize gala; a new double concerto for Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth, premiering with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (co-commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra); and Eternal Rhythm, a new percussion concerto written for Simone Rubino and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester (co-commissioned by the Enescu Festival.

Premieres from the 17-18 season included: Boundless, an innovative opera project for Houston Grand Opera; a new suite, for Solo Violin, commissioned by the ARD competition in Munich; Four Marimbas, commissioned by Jianli Percussion; and Dancing with the Torah at Mount Meron, performed by Zofo piano duo.  Other highlights of the 17-18 season include multiple performances of his Violin Sonata No. 3by Gil Shaham, Mandolin Concerto featuring Avi Avital and Kremarata Baltica, Jerusalem Mix, featuring Ensemble 4.1, and Variations on a Simple Theme, featuring the Myriad Trio. Dorman's popular percussion concertos, Frozen in Time and Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!, continue to be played by a variety of soloists and orchestras around the world.  

In the fall of 2018, Dorman begins his sixth year as music director of CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, with five performances of Brahms’ Double Concerto, featuring violinist Tessa Lark and cellist Edward Arron. The program also includes Brahms Second Symphony. Later in the season Dorman will lead CityMusic Cleveland in the premiere of his new violin concerto, featuring Sayaka Shoji, along with Takemitsu’s Waltz from The Face of Another, and the Poulenc Sinfonietta. 

Dorman's music has garnered numerous awards and prizes. At the age of 25, he 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. His music is available on Naxos, Deutsche Grammophone, Canary Classics, and other labels. 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.  

Avner Dorman's music is published exclusively by G. Schirmer, Inc. 

— July 2018