Born: October 7, 1965 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Itamar Erez is an Israeli born Canadian composer, pianist and guitarist with a breadth of expression from European classical to jazz, world music and beyond.
Growing up in Tel-Aviv, Israel, Erez received several annual grants from the America-Israel Cultural Fund to support his early studies of guitar, piano and composition. Itamar has studied classical guitar with Mr. J. Urshalmi, known as a world expert in the classical guitar field. Under his guidance Itamar has performed at the 2nd International Guitar Festival In Tel- Aviv (1988) with great success. Along his guitar studies, Itamar continued with his piano and composition studies with renowned teachers such as M. Wiesneberg (piano, theory) and Prof. Abel Ehrlich (composition).
Initial pursuing a classical career, Erez studied composition at the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule, in Dusseldorf, Germany with Manfred Trojahn and with Simon Bainbridge at the Guildhall School of Music, in London, England. He also attended Film-Musik courses at the Darmstadt Institute for New Music and Music Education; and attended the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's Course for Young Composers on the Island of Hoy, Orkney, Scotland, with Sir Peter Maxwell Davis and Ms. Sally Beamish. He returned to Israel to continue his studies with Mark Kopytman at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. He continued his composition studies at UBC in Vancouver with Keith Hamel.
In 1994, Erez was short-listed for the English National Opera’s Stephen Arlen Award. In 1997 he was the recipient of the 1997 Israeli Prime Minister Creation Prize for Composers, and in 2000 Erez was a finalist in the 18th ALEA III International Composition Competition in Boston.
Erez's music has been commissioned and performed by various soloists, ensembles and orchestras throughout Europe, the Middle East, United States and Canada including The BBC Singers (UK), The Israeli Chamber Orchestra, The Ra'anana Symphonette Orchestra (Israel), Partita Radicale (Germany) ALEA III (Boston) and the Standing Wave Ensemble (Canada).
His works are published in Australia (http://www.redhouse.com.au), Israel and Canada, and Erez is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre (http:// www.musiccentre.ca)
Itamar Erez also composes music for theatre, modern dance, and film. In 2002-2004 he has collaborated with director Rafi Spivak in the short films “The Man In Pajamas” and “Fragments of Proximity”. The film “The Man in Pajamas” was featured in several film festivals in Canada and Europe. While in Germany, Itamar has participated as pianist in Steven Berkoff’s film ‘Decadence’, with famous film actress Joan Collins.
He has just completed working on music soundtrack for the documentary ‘Raised To Be Heroes’ for the 'National Film Board of Canada'. The film has been accepted to the prestigious ‘Hot Docs’ festival in Toronto and the first screening will be Apr 30th 2006.
Aside from his classical pursuits Erez has been active in both the jazz and World Music idioms. At 22 he made his debut performance at the Red Sea International Jazz Festival with his Itamar Erez Trio performing his original compositions.
In 2003, Erez formed ADAMA with bassist Danny Parker and percussionist Stefan Cihelka on tabla, to explore the commonality of Middle Eastern, World Music and Jazz. In 2004 ADAMA performed at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver’s ‘Cityfest’ and at the Vancouver Community College with much success.
The recent formation of ADAMA Ensemble includes oboe player Tony Nickels, bassist Laurence Mollerup, and Stefan Cihelka on tabla. Performances included such venues as the ‘Capilano College Theatre’, The ‘Norman Rothstein Theatre’, ‘Vancouver Community College Theatre’ and more. ADAMA has released its debut CD ‘Desert Song’ in February 2006.
In Summer 2005 Itamar studied shortly with the great Brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti and the Spanish flamenco maestro Gerardo Nunez.