Conflict and resolution theme of new work by Gettysburg conservatory prof

Avner Dorman's musical adaptation of popular Israeli children's story examines conflict and tolerance

The world premiere of Uzu and Muzu from Kakaruzu, a new piece by internationally-acclaimed composer Avner Dorman, was presented by the Stockton (CA) Symphony on March 8. Dorman is professor of theory and composition at Gettysburg College’s Sunderman Conservatory of Music.

The commissioned work is considered the cornerstone of Dorman’s year-long residency with the Stockton Symphony. Dorman based the piece on the popular Israeli children’s story of the same name, by Ephraim Sidon, which examines tolerance and conflict resolution through the tale of a rift between two brothers.

‘This story is about every family in the world. It's also about big politics and it's also about wars ... but you don't have to go far to find yourself in this story,” Dorman said in an interview for NPR’s All Things Considered.


Prior to the premiere, Peter Jaffe, music director and conductor for the Stockton Symphony, wrote in his blog, “I can hear the piece in my head and it’s fabulous—it may even become the Peter and the Wolf of the 21st Century.”

The project encouraged community involvement through children’s art and writing contests, visits to classrooms, and previews of parts of the composition as it developed. Both Dorman’s creative process and the Stockton Symphony premier attracted attention from national, regional, and music media:

Avner DormanNPR’s All Things Considered: “A Struggling City Finds Inspiration in Classical Music”

New Music USA: “Avner Dorman gives students a preview”

The Stockton Record: 

“Young music fans get a front-row seat to creativity in progress”

“Symphony to conduct series of outreach events”

“Complicated by design”

"Harmony onstage aims to inspire audience"

Dorman had eight premieres in 2011, including Astrolatry, commissioned and premiered by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra (ASO) as part of Dorman’s year-long residency with the ASO. They will present the work at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg on May 8, en route to Carnegie Hall. There, “Astrolatry” will be part of the ASO’s debut performance in the Spring for Music Festival.

Gettysburg College's Sunderman Conservatory of Music, which combines Gettysburg's superb music tradition and its strengths as one of the nation's leading liberal arts colleges. Established in 2005 through a $15.7 million gift from 1919 graduate Dr. F. William Sunderman Sr., the conservatory offers three degrees — bachelor of music in performance, bachelor of arts in music, and bachelor of science in music education — as well as a minor in music.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Sue Baldwin-Way, director of development communications

Related links:

Finding Inspiration in Gettysburg (Gettysburg magazine)

Avner Dorman

Posted: Mon, 12 Mar 2012




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