Ophir Ilzetzki – Biography
Ophir’s music explores the intersection between through-composed and improvised pieces. His ongoing attempt is to strip forms to their bare essentials whilst still maintaining their identity. In recent years Ophir has been researching the application of games to musical structures, a fascination leading more often than not to another field of interest - the combination of music with dramaturgy.
Born Aug. 1978 in Washington D.C.
Immigrated to Haifa, Israel with his parents and older brother at the age of 3.
Ophir started his musical training at 13 with piano under Noga Dagan.
At 16 Ophir was accepted to the WIZO-Canada High-School for the arts, from which he ultimately matriculated cum-laude in piano and music-theory.
Ophir then went on studying music informally. His private training included weekly tuition with Erwin Junger (Palestrina style counterpoint), Dalit Reich (ear training and theory), Er'ela Bach (trumpet) and the noted composer, Prof. Arie Shapira (theory and composition).
During this time Ophir was also a full-time student of history and philosophy at the Tel-Aviv University and later, of music at the Haifa University, but had left both programs pending completion.
In 2003 Ophir left Israel in favor of a bachelor's degree at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where he studied composition under Gilius van Bergijk, Clarence Barlow, Martijn Padding and attended the famous Sonology course.
In 2006, supported by the Guildhall School Trust, Ophir was invited to attend The Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, where he completed with merit the MMus composition course under Malcolm Singer.
In late 2008 Ophir was offered to produce slots for the newly founded Internet radio station, Halas. Subsequently, in 2009 Ophir approached the Anechoic Pictures production-house leading to the creation of his radio offshoot, Anechoic Transmissions. The latter encompasses all of Ophir's radio productions including his self-hosted flagship, An Hour – a regular broadcast dedicated to the promotion and analysis of contemporary music by living experimental composers.
In 2009, supported by the Southampton University, Ophir enrolled as a PhD candidate in composition under the supervision of British composer Michael Finnissy.
A long-time proponent of erratic musical scenarios and a free-improviser, it was Ophir's intention to explore through his thesis numerous avenues allowing the creation of haphazard, erratic, impromptu moments within strict, through-composed forms.
In 2011 the German label suRRism-Phonoethics released Ophir's debut album, Still Life with Riots.
Ophir served as a lecturer in music at the University of Southampton between 2010-2013, and between 2013-2015 at the University of East Anglia. Since 2015 Ophir is an Israel State Lottery (Mifal Hapais) scholar in collaboration with The Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon. His research, Experimental Israel, is an archive-based survey of experimental voices on the Israeli music scene. Its attempt is to trace the boundaries of the experimental practice and ask whether there truly is a unique Israeli experimental attitude.
Recent projects included a Forma Arts commission in collaboration with Crowe & Rawlinson, and a collaboration with artists Uri Katzenstein RIP and Daniel Meir in the electronica trio, UKOIDM. Future Projects include an upcoming release of Ophir's first concept album on False IND., as well as a collaboration with saxophone player, Jonathan Chazan, on a new musical-theatre piece to be premiered in 2019.
Ophir is a lecturer in music at the Sapir Academic College, as well as a composition tutor at the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium. He resides in Tel Aviv, where he heads a teaching studio in theory and composition based on the research of the late Israeli composer, Prof. Arie Shapira.