Biography

Udi Perlman (b. 1990) is an Israeli-born composer based in Berlin and New Haven, Conn.

 

Described as "surprising, rich, and colorful" (Ha’aretz), Udi Perlman’s award-winning music weaves multiple stylistic strands into a “unique voice” (Prime Minister's Composer Award Committee). Combining a deep love of Western classical music, avant-garde sensibilities, and the imprint of the musical traditions he absorbed growing up in Israel, Udi Perlman creates vital, personal works that seize the listener’s imagination and heart with dramatic musical narratives.

 

Perlman’s orchestral works have been performed by the Yale Philharmonia, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Festival Orchestra of the European Capital of Culture, Philharmonie der Nationen and Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva. He has also received performances by the International Ensemble Modern Academy, Yale Glee Club, Meitar Ensemble, Neon Ensemble, MultiPiano Ensemble, Tremolo Ensemble, Arab-Jewish Youth Orchestra, Syntagma Piano Duo, and members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and the Jerusalem Street Orchestra, among others. Perlman’s works have been performed in Austria, Britain, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.

 

Recent highlights include Vehigianu, a work for soprano and orchestra commissioned by the Adele and John Gray Endowment Fund for the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra; Psalm 86, a work for a-cappella choir commissioned by the Yale Glee Club Chamber Singers; Squeeze Box an orchestral work for the Yale Philharmonia; Minori, a piano solo work for Simon Karakulidi; Big Fish Eat Little Fish, a solo organ work for Carolyn Craig; and As of Me and of Mine, a work for baritone, trumpet, trombone and bass clarinet for loadbang.

 

Udi Perlman has been awarded the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Israeli Prime Minister's Composer Award, François Schapira Prize for Composition from the Aviv Competitions, Rena Greenwald Memorial Prize from the Yale School of Music, Honorable Mention from loadbang’s Commission Competition, Klon Award for Young Composers from the Israeli Composers League, 1st Prize at the Israel Conservatory’s National Composition Competition, and 3rd prize from the Hamburger Camerata's International Composer Competition. Perlman’s doctoral thesis, entitled “Composing with Limitations: Representing and Transcending Disability in Hans Abrahamsen’s Left, alone,” won the Friedmann Thesis Prize from the Yale School of Music for “distinguished research, original perspective, in-depth engagement with its subject, and well-crafted presentation.” He received scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, the Siday Fellowship for Musical Creativity, and the Baden-Württemberg-Stipendium. Haaretz newspaper named him in 2021 as one of nine “most promising Israeli contemporary composers”. From 2014 to 2016 he was a composition fellow in Meitar Ensemble's Tedarim Project for Contemporary Music and in 2018 was Composer-in-Residence at Herrenhaus Edenkoben, Germany.

 

Upcoming projects and activities include new ensemble work for Bang on a Can Summer Music Institute commissioned by Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting, a new work for the Lysander Piano Trio commissioned by the Adele and John Gray Endowment Fund, a solo cello work for Sam DeCaprio, incidental music for an original theater production by Yoav Rinon, and a residency at the I-Park Foundation international artists-in-residence program.

 

Currently a doctoral candidate in composition at Yale, Udi Perlman holds degrees from the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin (Artist Diploma) and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (B.Mus & M.Mus), and has studied with Christopher Theofanidis, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Martin Bresnick, Jörg Widmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Yinam Leef and Menachem Wissenberg. Seasonally dividing his time between homes in Berlin and New Haven, Udi lives with his wife, literary scholar and translator Shira Miron.

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Photo: Matthew Fried