When Ezra Donner was three years old, his father introduced him to a classic recording of the last movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Toscanini and the NBC Symphony. Ezra was fascinated by what he heard, including the famous “Turkish march” variation, and this early occurrence made a lasting impression on Ezra that would shape his life and career.
In elementary school, Ezra sang in children’s choirs, took piano lessons at the local YWCA, and played clarinet in the school band in his hometown of North Tonawanda, New York. But the pivotal moment in Ezra’s musical life came at the age of thirteen, when Ezra began studying with a new piano teacher named Frieda Manes. The three years Ezra would spend studying with Mrs. Manes would set him on the path to one day being a professional musician.
At age sixteen, Ezra auditioned and was accepted to Interlochen Center for the Arts, where he spent two years immersed in dedicated study. At eighteen, he enrolled in the Bachelor of Music program at the University of Michigan, and went on to receive his Master of Music in composition from Indiana University.
Today as a composer, pianist, conductor, and educator, Ezra’s work has a global appeal that attracts a diverse group of listeners from around the world. His music has been performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall and in 9 countries, and awards and honors have come from the American Prize Competition, the Respighi Prize Competition, and the Music Teachers’ National Association. “I want to reach as many people as possible with my music,” says Ezra, adding, “I like to try to get a feeling of intimacy however large or small the audience may be.” Ezra is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Music Degree program at Indiana University and hopes to have all requirements for his degree completed by next year. www.ezradonner.com