Indiana University

Project Jumpstart

Ezra Donner

Featured JSoM Entrepreneur
Visit Ezra's website

Steel Sky

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Featured JSoM Entrepreneur

Ezra Donner (b. 1986) is a composer, pianist, conductor, and educator currently pursuing a DM in composition at the Jacobs School of Music. His music draws on an eclectic range of influences and has been performed throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Turkey.

Ezra is a frequent performer of his own music, and his solo piano album, Steel Sky, was recently released on CD and mp3. Steel Sky is a collection of exciting, witty, and heartfelt contemporary music for solo piano, composed 2009-2011. Described as "impres­sive," "jazzy," and "often intensely ener­getic" (The Big City), the music blends elements of the modernist, classical, jazz, and pop traditions.

Ezra decided to record and produce his own album after attending the Project Jumpstart workshop "Student Success Stories in Recording: Funding, Recording & Promoting" in October 2011. On learning about the experiences of fellow students Joseph Legaspi and Benjamin Geier, Ezra says:

"Hearing them each talk about their own successful recording projects, I thought, 'Why not me?' I soon decided my first self-produced recording project would just feature me alone, performing all my own music—here I am in black and white, take it or leave it."

Ezra has the following advice for fellow students thinking of embarking on their own projects:

"Produce your own recordings, and do it while you're still in school! Depending on how you decide to go, it's not that expensive, and you never know where it might lead. A high-quality professional recording lends credibility to your work and strengthens your brand, and in this age of Internet and social media, you don’t have to wait for a contract from a major recording company. This is an exciting time to be a musician—take advantage of all the resources available to us today!"