Aviya Kopelman is a Moscow-born Israeli composer, raised in Jerusalem and living in Tel-Aviv.
Since 2014 she serves as the Composer-in-Residence of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
Right upon finishing her Bachelor Degree at the Jerusalem Music & Dance Academy, she
presented a very distinct, radical and ultra-emotional style of her own at a solo recital of her
works, grabbing attention of all the major newspapers of Israel, a style which is clearly
recognizable until this time.
One of the youngest ever recipients of the Israel Prime Minister Prize for Composition (2007),
Kopelman is a winner of “Kronos: Under30 Project”, where she was the only one chosen for
writing a commissioned work (co-commissioned with Carnegie Hall, NY) out of more than 300
competitors across the world. The work has been performed in major venues around the
world and recorded for a CD.
Kopelman returned then twice to Carnegie Hall. First time to perform piano in her another
commissioned work for singers and ensemble, and the other as part of the Professional
Training Workshop with the Kronos Quartet.
Kopelman was commissioned to write for the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano
Competition, Conjunto Iberico Cello Octet (Holland/Spain), Israel Festival, The Jerusalem
Symphony Orchestra, The Israeli Camerata Orchestra, The Israel Chamber Orchestra, The
Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra, The Jerusalem Trio, Orchestre Pour la Paix (Paris), “Les Solistes
de Waterloo” (Belgium), Keshet Eilon International Masterclasses, Israeli Chamber Project,
Musica Nova Ensemble of Contemporary Music, and many more.
From the very beginning of her musical journey, Kopelman – who was raised in a traditional
Jewish family – was dealing in her work not only with esthetic subjects but with wider identity
issues. Among her pieces can be found works for a memory of the Holocaust, such as
“Landscape in Fume”, dedicated to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and to the memory of her
grandfather and his family; “Everything is Foreseen and Free Will is Given” for piano is dealing
with the Jewish theo-philosophical saying about free will and God’s presence in our lives,
transformed into performers’ choice of form upon given musical text; “Did Not Speak Up” for
soprano and chamber orchestra is based upon the famous text by M. Niemoller (“First they
came for the Communists…”), dealing with the silence of the world during the WWII Jewish
Holocaust and the human nationalism mixed with general lack of empathy . One of her works
is dedicated to the victims of terror of the 2nd Intifada, when another one is building a
Feminist-Jewish parallel to the common Magnificat, using Latin, German and Hebrew texts
and chants. Kopelman wrote a concerto for oud and violin, pointing at the special musical
culture that has been created in Israel and in the Middle East nowadays, having a lot of
common with the Baroque Concerto Grosso. She’d set music for many Jewish texts, from the
Biblical verses on various subjects relevant to our time to modern Jewish and Israeli poetry.
In her commissioned work for the Kronos Quartet, “Widows and Lovers”, Kopelman
explored combination of live and pre-recorded electronics with acoustic instruments. This,
after experimenting with it in cello solo work commissioned by the award-winning cellist
Gavriel Lipkind. The piece was later performed by Kronos Quartet violist Hank Dutt, and will
be recorded by Lipkind in the beginning of 2017.
After a long journey, where Kopelman was searching for the most truthful, accurate and upto-
date musical path for her, she finally found a balanced way to combine her diverse
musical passion. She is working with a Jazz-Fusion ensemble, writing pieces based of Classical monuments, she is currently working on an album of her songs, combining string writing with more popular rhythm-section setting, and continuing her career as a classical concert composer.
Holding an MA Summa Cum Laude in composition, Kopelman is a Presidential Scholarship PhD student at Bar-Ilan University, Israel.
Apart from composing, Kopelman sees a great importance in educating a new generation of composers in Israel. She was senior lecturer in Rimon School of Music for eight years, and in Hed College of Music prior to that; she is lecturing in all the main music institutions in Israel, as well as teaching at her home.