David Amram - composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist
A pioneer player of jazz French horn, DavidAmram is also a virtuoso on piano, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and dozens of folkloric instruments from 25 countries, as well as an inventive, funny improvisational lyricist. He has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, who chose him as The New York Philharmonic's first composer-in-residence in 1966, Langston Hughes, Dizzy Gillespie, Dustin Hoffman, Willie Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, E. G. Marshall, and Tito Puente. Amram's most recent work Giants of the Night is a flute concerto dedicated to the memory Charlie Parker, Jack Kerouac and Dizzy Gillespie, three American artists Amram knew and worked with. It was commissioned and premiered by Sir James Galway.
David Amram has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works, written many scores for Broadway theater and film, including the classic scores for the films Splendor in The Grass and The Manchurian Candidate; two operas, including the ground-breaking Holocaust opera The Final Ingredient; and the score for the landmark 1959 documentary Pull My Daisy, narrated by novelist Jack Kerouac. He is also the author of three books, Vibrations, an autobiography, Offbeat: Collaborating With Kerouac, a memoir, and Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat published last year by Paradigm Publishers. Today, as he has for over fifty years, Amram continues to compose music while traveling the world as a conductor, soloist, bandleader, visiting scholar, and narrator in five languages. He is also currently working with author Frank McCourt on a new setting of the Mass, Missa Manhattan, as well as a new orchestral work commissioned by the Guthrie Foundation, Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie. premiered Sept. 29 2007 in San Jose California by the Symphony Silicon Valley, who have also comissioned him to compose a new piano concerto.