Born in Haifa, in 1955, Israel, Ofer Ben-Amots gave his first piano concert at age nine and at age sixteen was awarded first prize in the Chet Piano Competition. Later, following composition studies with Joseph Dorfman at Tel Aviv University, he was invited to study at the Conservatoire de Musique in Geneva, Switzerland. There he studied with Pierre Wismer and privately with Alberto Ginastera. Ben-Amots is an alumnus of the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, Germany, where he studied with Martin C. Redel and Dietrich Manicke and graduated with degrees in composition, music theory, and piano. Upon his arrival in the United States in 1987, Ben-Amots studied with George Crumb at the University of Pennsylvania where he received his Ph.D. in music composition. Currently on the faculty of Colorado College, Dr. Ben-Amots is a Professor of music composition and theory.
Ofer Ben-Amots’ compositions are performed regularly in concert halls and festivals Worldwide. His music has been performed by such orchestras as the Munich Philharmonic, ÖRF - Austrian Radio Orchestra, Bruckner Orchestra, Zürich Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Moscow Camerata, Heidelberg, Erfurt, Brandenburg, the Filarmonici di Sicili, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Milano Chamber Orchestra, Portland Chamber Orchestra, and the Colorado Springs Symphony among others. His compositions have been professionally recorded by the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Barcelona Symphony, the BBC Singers, and the renowned Czech choir Permonik. Ben-Amots has received commissions and grants from the MacArthur Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Maurice Amado Foundation, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, Fuji International Music Festival in Japan, Delta Ensemble from Amsterdam, Assisi Musiche Festival, and many others.
Ofer Ben-Amots is the winner of the 1994 Vienna International Competition for Composers. His chamber opera, Fool’s Paradise, was premiered in Vienna during the 1994 festival Wien modern and has become subsequently part of the 1994/95 season of Opernhaus Zürich. He is recipient of the 1988 Kavannagh Prize for his composition Fanfare for Orchestra and the Gold Award at South Africa’s 1993 Roodepoort International Competition for Choral Composition. His Avis Urbanus for amplified flute was awarded First Prize at the 1991 Kobe International Competition for Flute Composition in Japan, and a required composition at the 1993 Kobe Flute Performance Competition. In 1999, Ben-Amots was awarded the Aaron Copland Award and the Music Composition Artist Fellowship by the Colorado Council on the Arts. In 2004 he won the Festiladino, an international contest for Judeo-Spanish songs, a part of the Israel Festival in Jerusalem. Dr. Ben-Amots is a member of the Advisory Board and the Editorial Board of the Milken Foundation American-Jewish Music Archive. In addition, he is a Jerusalem Fellow of the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity and its Artistic Director for North America since 1997.
Ofer Ben-Amots’ works have been repeatedly recognized for their emotional and highly personal expression. The interweaving of folk elements with contemporary textures, along with his unique imaginative orchestration, creates the haunting dynamic tension that permeates and defines Mr. Ben-Amots’ musical language. His music has been published by Baerenreiter, Kallisti Music Press, Muramatsu Inc., Dorn, and Tara Publications. It can be heard on Naxos, Vantage, Plæne, Stylton, and Music Sources recording labels.
For more information on Ben-Amots, visit www.oferbenamots.com.
Rubin Academy of Music at Tel-Aviv University, Israel, 1978-79
Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve, Geneva, 1979-80
Nordrhein-Westfalen Hochschule fur Musik, Detmold, 1986
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1993