Canada’s Festival Montréal Presents Avner Dorman World Premiere

Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s sextet arrangement of “Nigunim” will debut at the festival on June 19, 2022

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Held between June 12 and 19 at Salle Bourgie, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the 2022 Montréal Chamber Music Festival (MCMF) is featuring the world premiere of Avner Dorman’s “Nigunim,” for violin, piano, and string quartet. 

This premiere is an adaptation of the same work Dorman received the Azrieli Prize for Jewish Music for in 2018, along with a cash prize of $50,000. The Azrieli Music Prizes honors laureates every other year and features them and their compositions in a Prizes Gala. This year, the 2022 laureates — Iman Habibi, Aharon Harlap, and Rita Ueda — will be showcased at the 2022 Azrieli Music Prizes Gala on October 20, 2022, at 7:30 pm ET.

“When writing ‘Nigunim,’ I was most interested in exploring the music of various Jewish traditions from around the world…I tried to embody both the unique features and deep commonalities of these traditions in my composition,” Dorman told The Violin Channel in 2018.

Dorman first wrote the work as a violin sonata for Gil and Orli Shaham, who also premiered that edition. He began orchestrating the piece in 2014 before revising it for the Azrieli competition. As explained by Dorman, “the Nigun is a fundamental musical concept of traditional Jewish music and is supposed to serve as a universal language.”

The upcoming world premiere of the sextet arrangement of “Nigunim” will involve violinist Itamar Zorman, pianist Alon Goldstein, and the Barbican Quartet

“I feel that it is an incredible privilege to be asked to create this work and hear it premiered by a group of incredible chamber musicians,” Avner told us recently. “This piece that started out as a violin sonata more than a decade ago has enjoyed a remarkable number of performances first as a sonata, then as a concerto and now as a sextet thanks to the support of the Azrieli Music Prizes. It’s very special and heartwarming for me as a composer.”

To attend the world premiere performance, click here.

Dorman is a doctoral graduate of The Juilliard School and studied composition with John Corigliano and Josef Bardanashvili. Based in the U.S., he currently serves as Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College