The Kennedy Center

David Amram


An American composer, musician and instrumentalist, born in Philadelphia, David Amram is well known for his use of diverse jazz, folk and ethnic music.

At age seven, he started piano lessons, tried trumpet and tuba before settling for French Horn. He attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music for a year. In 1952, earned his Bachelor's Degree in European History from George Washington University, Washington DC and attended the Manhattan School of Music in 1955.

He has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works. Splendor in the Grass and The Manchurian Candidate were among the theater and film works he wrote early in his career. Amram plays various musical instruments from about 25 countries. He conducted the National Symphony Orchestra when it premiered, A Little Rebellion: Thomas Jefferson , at Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 1966-67, he was a composer-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and in past 26 years, Music Director of Brooklyn Philharmonic's Young Peoples & Parks Concerts.

Boys of Winter, for which he wrote the score won the Best Documentary Film award at New York Film Festival in 2001. Similarly, his work, Amram-Jam , was an award-winning documentary. He is acclaimed as one of the Twenty Most Performed Composers of Concert Music in United States. Amram's Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra earned excellent reviews after its Washington performance.

He worked with outstanding performers as Jack Kerouac, Charles Mingus, Leonard Bernstein and many others. He conducted and performed as a soloist with orchestras around the world, notably Brazil, Egypt, Paris, incorporating his experiences into his compositions.

David Amram


  • Bassoon Concerto