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 Chair of the Music Department at Colorado College, Dr. Ben-Amots teaches composition, music theory, and and a wide variety of liberal arts subjects.
Ofer Ben-Amots’ compositions are performed regularly in concert halls and festivals Worldwide. His music has been performed by such orchestras as the Zürich Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, the Austrian Radio Orchestra, Bruckner Orchestra, Moscow Camerata, Heidelberg, Erfurt, Brandenburg, the Filarmonici di Sicili, Milano Chamber Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, North/South Consonance in NY, 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, Odessa Philharmonic, the BBC Singers, and the renowned Czech choirs Permonik and Jitro. Ben-Amots has received commissions and grants from the MacArthur Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Amado Foundation, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, Fuji International Music Festival in Japan, Delta Ensemble from Amsterdam, Assisi Musiche Festival, Geneva Chamber Orchestra 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. In 2015, Ben-Amots won the First Prize at the 4th Smareglia International Composers Competition in Udine, Italy.
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 Ben-Amots’ musical language. His music has been published by Baerenreiter, Kallisti Music Press, Muramatsu Inc., Dorn, and The Composer’s Own Press. It can be heard on Naxos, Vantage, Plæne, Stylton, and Music Sources recording labels.
To download this biography as a PDF please click here.