“I have stumbled onto improvisation by accident. when I had once been asked to compose a piece for a live radio recording and an open public concert in Israel.
I was truly lazy and did not manage to write the piece on time. Time passed by and it was two days before the concert. I still did not have a note written. It was at that point that I decided to go on stage and start composing “on line”.
Yes, it was shocking at first and even frightening, (mostly to the people who knew of the plan…) but it turned into such a success that since then, I have never missed an opportunity to repeat the experience.
I never quite know what to expect and how it will sound, but this is what makes the music so edgy, unique and alive.
Playing and composing have brought me to discover the beauty in this world, but improvising has given me the courage to create it myself. It’s about creating and being in the now. It’s about taking risks and being exposed, as if you were naked. It is also about regarding mistakes as opportunities rather than errors.”
Orit Wolf’s background reflects a unique combination of interests. She is an acclaimed international concert pianist and a senior lecturer and consultant in the area of innovative thinking and leadership. At the age of sixteen, Wolf was offered a full scholarship to Boston University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in piano and composition. She then accepted an invitation to continue her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she was awarded the DipRAM, the Academy’s highest award for performance, and a year later, in 1998, a Masters degree with distinction. In June 2007 she earned her Doctoral degree on Beethoven and Improvisation at Bar Ilan University.
Her major teachers were Christopher Elton, Maria Curcio, Benjamin Pasternack, Hanna Shalgi and Arie Vardi. She also studied with Lukas Foss and Eugene Lehrner.
Wolf is a recipient of international prizes and awards including The Richmond Competition (Boston), BBC Radio 3 Young Artist Forum, East & West Artists International (NY), Royal Academy Concerto Competition, the Kahn Award for the Arts, Lilian Davies Beethoven Prize, Kobler Award, Leverhulme and Craxton Trusts, American-Israel Cultural Foundation Awards, and the Israeli Council for Culture and Arts Award for best contemporary music solo performance. In 2008 she received the prestigious ARAM award from the Royal Academy of Music.
DURING 1999-2007 she taught at Tel Aviv University’s School for the Arts. Her classes were known to be highly engaging with students coming from all faculties. Since then Wolf has devoted part of her musical work to concert lectures. She founded over eight concert lecture series, in Bar Ilan University, Horace Richter Gallery, the Cathedra in Ramat Hasharon, the Arts Center of Herzliyya, Rali Museum, Tikotin Museum and currently at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art- hosting renowned guest artists from Israel and abroad. Her series are known for the interactive communication she creates with the audience, which fulfills her vision of bringing varied groups of people into the world of classical music.
Wolf has given numerous solo, chamber and concerto performances in Israel, Europe and the United States. She has performed extensively with The English Chamber Orchestra and played with the Royal Academy and Amadeus Orchestras, as well as with the major orchestras in Israel (Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonet Ra’anana and Rishon Le’zion Symphony Orchestra).
Actively engaged in chamber music, Wolf established “Trio International” with Natalia Khoma and Bing Jing-Yu, with whom she played for six years BEGINNING IN 1993 and worked frequently with the Julliard String Quartet at Tanglewood, Massachusetts. Among her collaborators are violist Nobuko Imai, violinists Erez Ofer, Hagai Shaham, Sergei Krylov, and Sergey Ostrovsky, flautist William Bennett and soprano Christine Brewer. In addition, Wolf records regularly from the standard repertoire, as well as her own compositions, for radio stations WGBH, BBC, CBS, CBC, IBO, GLR, NRK and many more.
In recent years Wolf has also been involved in Improvisation and Creative Thinking. She is considered one of the top lecturers on this subject both in the music world and the business arena. She is also frequently invited as a guest artist to acclaimed universities around the world to give lectures, concerts and Master Classes. She was chosen to be among “The Hundred Influential People of the Year” by THE MARKER Magazine in 2010.
Orit Wolf is married to journalist Roger Hercz and is a mother of two. She lives in Caesarea, Israel.