News | Engagements
“Took everyone’s breath away…immediately put the audience under a spell.”
Frank Kämpfer, Deutschlandfunk, Germany
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
“Shpilman used historic Baroque instruments, but his fantasy and unusual sound imagination led to non-traditional, amazing results.”
Peter Veber, Opera Plus, Czech Republic
“Shpilman succeeds at the same time in transforming destructiveness and beauty into sound.”
Matthias Roth, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, Germany
“Shock wave for new music.”
“Full of sensualism. An inventive collection of noise. Even cooking pots and bags are playing music here, but everything makes sense. The finale is like a soft exhalation.”
Mannheimer Morgen, Germany
Amir Shpilman began his musical journey at the age of 12 as a percussionist. At 17, he commenced composition studies with Professor Efim Yofe in Tel Aviv. After ten additional years of musical training in Paris and New York, Shpilman founded the Ensemble Moto Perpetuo, a New York-based chamber orchestra specializing in contemporary music. He served as its artistic director from 2011-2015.
Shpilman earned a Bachelor’s degree in music composition at the City University of New York, studying with with Jason Eckardt and Tania Leon. He received his Master’s degree in Composition with a focus on conducting, and Meister in Composition (Post Graduate) from the Academy of Music Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden under the tutelage of Mark Andre, Manos Tsangaris, and FranzMartin Olbrisch.
In November 2017, Shpilman’s full-evening new music theater work, TIFERET, premiered at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin. Hedef, a piece for large ensembles, premiered and won the Jury Prize at the Heidelberg Spring Festival in April 2013 under the baton of Matthias Pintscher. Ensemble Intercontemporain premiered his large work Iridescent Stasis at the Venice Biennial in October 2014, and Shpilman was selected to represent Germany at the recent European Capital of Culture, Wroclaw 2016, premiering Destruction for choir and large orchestra. The open-air concert took place on the banks of the Odra river, with a crowd of 140,000 spectators.
Shpilman has worked with a variety of performers, orchestras, and ensembles including the Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris), International Contemporary Ensemble (New York), MIVOS String Quartet, IKTUS Percussion Project, Ensemble Moto Perpetuo (New York), Ensemble Meitar and Nikel Ensemble (Tel Aviv), Interface (Frankfurt), AuditivVokal Dresden, El Perro Andaluz (Dresden), Johann Rosenmüller Ensemble (Leipzig), LUX:NM, and Ensemble Mosaik (Berlin), among others.
A trained conductor, Shpilman is interested in the physicality of music. He often works in the theatrical realm and collaborates with dancers, designers, visual artists, poets, authors, and scientists to deploy his musical ideas. He has a particular interest in chaotic forms as they are expressed through artistic means. Fascinated by shapes that reflect inherent musical forms, he aspires to translate the relationship between structure and volatility into authenticity in performance.
Shpilman lives and works in Berlin and New York. His music is published by Edition Gravis.
Matthias Pintscher at Ensemble Intercontemporain catalogue for 2014/15:
“[…] if I compare his work to the hundreds of sheet music I read every year – often so elegant and intelligent, yet so devoid of feeling –, I can see he doesn’t simply produce notes. On the contrary, writing down every note requires tremendous efforts from him, and yet he’s driven by a true urge to express himself. His music comes from deep inside him. When I conduct his work, it isn’t unusual to see people in the audience bursting into tears, not knowing really why, because his music is so powerful. He’s a unique voice on the contemporary scene. Furthermore, we already know Chaya Czernowin, yet I think we have the duty of showcasing Israeli composers. We have to open the door for composers coming from different countries.”