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Ekstasis Duo to Premiere New Avner Dorman Composition in Spring 2022

Made possible by a generous donation from Chris Granger and the Fredonia Foundation.

Ekstasis Duo to Premiere New Avner Dorman Composition in Spring 2022

A one-of-a-kind new work by award-winning composer Avner Dorman written for the Ekstasis Duo (cellist Natasha Farny and pianist Eliran Avni) will receive its premiere in the 2021-22 season. Made possible by a generous donation from Chris Granger and the Fredonia Foundation, and consortium members Sewanee Symphony Orchestra and Gettysburg College Orchestra, the double concerto for cello and piano and flexible ensemble (formal title to be announced) is one of the few double concertos specifically written for cello and piano.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to write a concerto for the Ekstasis Duo," stated Avner Dorman. "It's rare to hear such a high level of musicianship paired with technical prowess from two performers, and to write for both of them is a dream come true. I look forward to how this piece comes together, and I have no doubt that we will create exciting, expressive, and heartfelt music together. It's particularly exciting to collaborate again with my dear friend Eliran Avni, for whom I've written many pieces and who has recorded many of my piano and chamber works."

Reflecting the current times, the new work is being written to accommodate performances with a small ensemble (twelve players - strings, winds, percussion), who can be socially distanced on stage, or with a full orchestra, for when COVID-19 precautions no longer preclude a regular full orchestra performance in a hall.

Already programmed for performances, the world premiere will be given by the Fredonia College Symphony with conductor David Rudge in spring 2022, then performed by the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra in summer 2020, followed by a performance and recording with the Gettysburg College Orchestra and conductor Cesar Leal. Additional performances will be announced in the future.

Renowned for writing music of intricate craftsmanship and rigorous technique, expressed with a soulful and singular voice, composer Avner Dorman is an award-winning composer, educator and conductor born in Israel who now resides in the United States. Drawing upon a variety of cultural and historical influences in composing, the result is music that creates an emotional impact while exploring new territories. Dorman's works utilize an exciting and complex rhythmic vocabulary, as well as unique timbres and colors in orchestral, chamber, and solo settings. His works have been performed and have received premieres by distinguished orchestras and ensembles worldwide, including, in the recent 2019-20 season, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. His recent large-scale opera Wahnfried was premiered at Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe.

Presenting compelling programming celebrating masterpieces alongside the secret jewels of lesser-known works is at the heart of pianist Eliran Avni's and cellist Natasha Farny's performances as the Ekstasis Duo. With a focus on storytelling that pinpoints an aspect of the human condition or creates an atmosphere through sound, their concerts offer compellingly juxtaposed solo and chamber music works, and occasionally incorporates multimedia, readings, video, and visual art.

A talented artist of significant versatility, sensitivity, and experience, cellist Natasha Farny is an accomplished soloist and chamber musician who has performed throughout the United States, Germany, Italy, The Czech Republic and Brazil. Her recordings can be heard on the Centaur label.

Praised as possessing both "ironclad technique" and "ample suppleness" by The New York Times, pianist Eliran Avni is a respected force in the contemporary classical music scene. Having made his debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age 17, he has since appeared as a soloist and chamber music collaborator throughout Europe, North and South America, and in his native Israel. His recordings can be heard on the Naxos, Tzadik and SHUFFLE Concert labels.

Since their debut in 2018, Ekstasis Duo has appeared on reputable series including New York City's Merkin Hall, Saugerties ProMusica, and Rochester's Live from Hochstein. Postponed engagements due to COVID-19 include California's L'Ermitage Foundation in Los Angeles and Tateuchi Hall at the Finn Center at Mountainview, New York's Community School of Music and Arts, Bard College, Maryland's Resonance Concert Series, The Eastman School of Music, and GetClassical Revelation Gallery. Upcoming this spring 2021 is a planned CD release "Women's Voices" featuring music by Ethel Smyth and Lera Auerbach, among others.


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