Pianist to Perform a Benefit for an Important Arts Organization Caught up in the Madoff Securities Troubles

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Pianist Eliran Avni turns his Merkin Hall debut concert into a benefit for the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. March 15, 2009, 7:30 PM, Merkin Hall, The Kaufmann Center, New York, NY

ironclad technique and ample suppleness

Pianist Eliran Avni turns his Merkin Hall debut concert into a benefit for the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. March 15, 2009, 7:30 PM, Merkin Hall, The Kaufmann Center, New York, NY

"It is unthinkable to me that an organization that is so fundamental to the survival of the arts in Israel and that has supported me throughout my entire education, will be wiped off the map because of one man's despicable actions. I call all of those who care about the future of music and art to come and support the AICF," Eliran Avni

The America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) is experiencing a crisis due to investments believed to be with Bernard Madoff and Bernard Madoff Securities, LLC. An organization that has supported thousands of talented musicians, including Itzhak Perlman and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, is struggling to rebuild and continue its great work. Israeli born pianist Eliran Avni, a former scholarship recipient of AICF, is one of many AICF graduates trying to help save the organization. Having launched his career at age 17, performing with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Avni is a frequent soloist, a Naxos recording artist, and a music scholar and educator holding a Doctorate from The Juilliard School. Now, Mr. Avni, is using his acclaim to help those who supported him during his years of study.

The program includes works by Scriabin, Bartok, Stravinsky and Avner Dorman, another past AICF scholarship recipient, including a world premiere of Dorman's new piece "for Jenny." The concert will be narrated by Richard Lissemore.

Title: Eliran Avni New York Debut

Date: March 15th, 2009 at 7:30

Place: Merkin Hall, The Kaufman Center
129 W. 67th St. New York, NY 10023

Contact:KIM SMITH, Public Relations, (718) 858 2557

Avner Dorman            Sonata No. 3, "Dance Suite"
Scriabin                Three Mazurkas Op. 3
Bartok            Sonata for Solo Piano
Avner Dorman            For Jenny (World Premiere)
Stravinsky        Three Movements from Petrouchka

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"…He plays the hell out of the piano…He is also lyrical and intensely musical, and in an age of wonderful pianists I think he is very special." John Corigliano

Hailed as "the new hope of Israeli music" by Ma'ariv and described as possessing both "ironclad technique and ample suppleness" by The New York Times, Eliran Avni is an emerging force in the classical music scene. Having made his debut with The Israel Philharmonic under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age seventeen, Mr. Avni has appeared as a soloist and chamber music collaborator throughout Europe, North and South America, as well as in his native Israel.

An established interpreter of the music of renowned Israeli composer Avner Dorman, Mr. Avni has been privileged to record two CDs of Dorman's music. The first, The Piano Works of Avner Dorman, was recorded at Tanglewood's Ozawa's Hall in 2006, was produced by Grammy winner David Frost and was released on the Naxos label. The second CD, of Dorman's Chamber Concerti, will be released in 2009, also on Naxos.

This concert's program includes two works by Dorman, who will be celebrating his New York Philharmonic debut the same week: a world premiere titled For Jenny and his Sonata No. 3, "Dance Suite". Mr. Avni will also perform Bartok's Sonata for Solo Piano, Stravinsky's Three Movements from Petrouchka and Scriabin's Three Mazurkas Op. 3. The concert will be narrated by Richard Lissemore, who will engage the audience in the historical background, compositional techniques and emotional content of the works.

"Eliran Avni plays these works with an assurance and flexibility that make them sound as
if they had been in his repertory forever… He has the ironclad technique that Mr. Dorman's writing demands, but there is ample suppleness in his playing as well, a quality that makes the slow, quiet movements as arresting as the fiery ones."                             The New York Times

Avner Dorman has quickly risen to become one of Israel's most successful and renowned composers. Dorman's unique approach to rhythm and timbre has attracted some of the world's leading conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Marin Alsop, Asher Fisch, and Simone Young to bring his music to international audiences. Dorman's music achieves a rare combination of rigorous compositional construction while preserving the sense of excitement and spontaneity usually associated with Jazz, Rock, or Ethnic Music. Masterful in his innovative use of percussion, Dorman's two percussion concerti are quickly becoming staples of the repertoire. His fresh, spontaneous style also lends itself well to the screen and he has written for film, notably Nitzan Aviram's award-winning film Son.

Richard Lissemore is an internationally recognized voice teacher, coach and pedagogue who specializes in vocal technique and performance for musical theater and pop music. His myriad of students perform on Broadway, at New York's Radio City Music Hall, in both American and International touring productions and in theaters throughout the world. He has worked extensively with recording artists from many of the top record companies in the United States. In addition, he has taught on the faculties of CAP 21, the musical theater conservatory of New York University, the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC, at Rutgers University and at Music Theatre International. He is especially well known for his innovative and entertaining master classes in musical theater vocal technique and performance, which are presented frequently in Germany, for students throughout Europe, and in New York City. As a versatile performing artist, he has been equally at home performing opera, musical theatre and concert repertoire. The owner of Lissemore Music Studios in New York City, he is also a sought-after voiceover actor whose voice can be heard on radio and television commercials throughout the United States.

The America-Israel Cultural Foundation is dedicated to the mission of supporting and developing artistic life in Israel. Since 1939, the AICF has played a leading role in the development of many of Israel's finest artists. The AICF has supported thousands of talented musicians, including Itzhak Perlman, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and today's artists, Eliran Avni and Avner Dorman.

As Israel's largest private foundation of the arts, AICF is working towards being able to survive and to support the future dreams of thousands of young artists who contribute to Israel's stature as one of the most vibrant cultural environments in the world.


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