For many years, AICF has been providing artists with the support they need to fulfill their dream of inspiring others through their medium. Were it not for these scholarships, an artist like Itamar Zorman would not be where he is today, playing and teaching in Israel. Itamar has been known as a “virtuoso of emotions,” who has been the winner of such competitions as the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia, the 2010 Freiburg International Violin Competition in Germany, and the Juilliard Berg Concerto Competition. He has also played with such orchestras as the American Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony and the Salina Symphony. While performing as a soloist, as well as with the Israeli Chamber Project, Itamar gave a little insight about what it takes to be a constant student of music.
1) What or who inspired you to want to be an artist?
My parents are both musicians (and AICF Alumni) so, I’ve heard music playing at home ever since I was born. It was clear from the start that I would like to try to play a musical instrument, and I always liked the sound of the violin so, this was the obvious choice. Also, I wanted to play an instrument that neither of my parents play, that way I was a bit more independent.
2) What was your creative journey that has brought you to where you are in your career today?
I think many artists would say, the journey is full of ups and downs, overcoming difficulties, learning new things, and always trying to improve. All the the teachers I had made me a different musician and person, and the schools I went to (Israeli Conservatory, Jerusalem Academy, Manhattan School of Music, and Julliard) were very influential in shaping who I am as an artists. I would also say that the Jerusalem Music Center, with its chamber music programs and workshops, had a great influence as well.
3) What do you need as an artist today?
Artists always need audiences. For me, exposing the young generation to music and teaching them the basic principles of listening is very important. Beyond that, the music would do the work by itself – great performers can engage any audience anywhere , as long that they are really listening, know how to listen and what to listen for. Of course, it wouldn’t do good just to us, artists, but I believe our children and society would benefit enormously.
4) What creative project are you working on now?
Now I’m mostly learning a lot of repertoire for my upcoming concerts this summer where I will be playing at the Verbier, Marlboro, and Great Lakes festivals. I’m also very much excited about the upcoming tour through Israel with my chamber music group, the Israeli Chamber Project, starting the last week of May. Next season I will perform quite a few Concerti that I haven’t played yet with orchestras so, that will take a lot of work as well.
5) Where do you see yourself and your career in 10 years?
I very much hope I could keep doing what I do now; managing to combine a solo career with a lot of chamber music, travel around the world and meet new people.
6) What does it mean to you to be an Israeli artist?
For me, being an Israeli artists means to perform Israeli music, to give back to the society, by teaching and playing, and also, to try to continue the legacy of great Jewish musicians. The tradition of Jewish musicians draws from many sources and their different countries of origin (as does the musical life in Israel), which just makes it that more interesting.
7) What does it mean to you to have an organization like AICF available in the art world?
For young artists, the kind of guidance and support that the AICF provides is very important because it gives them something to aspire to, as well as reassurance that they are on the right track. I remember very well how when I was little winning an AICF scholarship meant everything. It was not only the crucial financial support, but also the recognition that the hard work that we put in as young artists is appreciated. Moreover, knowing that other people share the belief that our art is still crucial, means a lot to me.