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The Fine Art of Marvellous Music or Judging a CD by its Cover

June 14, 2010

The well-known saying ‘A picture paints a thousand words’ is apt for this Naxos recording of Avner Dorman’s music. Taylor Vick caught up with the artist whose studio floor illustrates the album cover.

DORMAN Mandolin Concerto, Piccolo Concerto, Concerto Grosso, Piano Concerto
Avi Avital, mandolin • Mindy Kaufman, piccolo
Eliran Avni, piano • Arnaud Sussmann, violin
Lily Francis, violin • Eric Nowlin, viola
Michal Korman, cello • Aya Hamada, harpsichord
Eliran Avni, piano • Metropolis Ensemble
Andrew Cyr, conductor


A graduate of the Juilliard School, where he earned a Doctorate in Composition, and a protégé of John Corigliano and Zubin Mehta, award-winning Avner Dorman is emerging as one of the leading composers of his generation. His music has been championed by many of the world’s finest conductors. The diverse concertos presented here combine the excitement and spontaneity associated with jazz, rock or ethnic music within an engaging neo-baroque idiom. Dorman writes: ‘I have always loved baroque music…the clear rhythms, the strong reliance on the bass, and the extreme contrasts.’ Avner Dorman’s piano music is available on Naxos 8.579001.

‘The music of Israeli composer Avner Dorman is so vivacious and so technically proficient that it’s hard to resist’
San Francisco Chronicle

‘Avner Dorman is a major compositional talent.’

Avner Dorman (photo courtesy of
Avner Dorman Biography & Discography


Inside the Painter’s Studio with Joe Fig

‘I have the pleasure of digging into the album art each month and finding my favorite. Out of all the Naxos releases last week, my favorite album art was on the Avner Dorman cover. I mean, come on, check it out! I love all the bright colors and paint splatters. I had to find out more about who did the album art,’ wrote Taylor Vick for PMS 286 Appreciation Society on 5 February 2010. ‘Then I Googled the artist (Joe Fig) and found his website: He does amazing work with sculptures, paintings and photography. He was kind enough to indulge me in an interview.’

1. Who are you?

I was born and raised on Long Island by an Italian American family with 3 older sisters and have an identical twin. I received my BFA and MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NYC. I’ve lived n many places, NYC being the longest and currently live in Connecticut with my wife and 2 boys (4 and 6). I’ve been an artist for 20 years working in painting, sculpture, photography and printmaking. My book Inside the Painter’s Studio was published this fall and is in its second printing. My work can be found in numerous private and public collections.

2. How did this piece of art come about?

After 10 years of creating miniature sculptures of artists in their studios which explored the creative process and spaces where art is made, I was given the opportunity to be artist in residence at the Lower East side Printshop in NY. For my second print I choose an image that I had previously used (Inka’s Floor) in both a sculpture and then in a photograph. After creating the screenprint I felt as if I needed to create the image in a real one-to-one scale (as if I went to Inka Essenhigh’s studio and actually cut out a section of her studio floor). It was a breakthrough piece in that it allowed me to break free from the miniature sculptures I had become known for and work in a larger scale, which eventually led back to large size paintings.

3. What inspires you and your work?

I am inspired by the creative process and the spaces where art is made. I am inspired by people and how they create, their struggles, hard ships and especially their perseverance.

4. What are your artistic “guilty pleasures”?

Currently it is enjoying the freedom to completely abandon the work that I had received notoriety and recognition for and to begin anew with an entirely different body of work. I am excited about what I am doing and feel fortunate that I don’t have another job.

5. What did you want to be when you grew up?

I had no idea what to do but I knew I had artistic talent so I went to art school to narrow the possibilities. After my second year I focused exclusively on Fine Arts though in a way I had no idea what that meant. I had always had a feeling and the confidence that I was destined for something great.

6. What question have you always wanted to answer in an interview? What is the answer to that question?

Question: We would love to give you a mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum, can you do it?

Answer: I’d be honored.



Find out more about PMS 286 Appreciation Society


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