Alan Duff Berman, Guitarist

Alan Berman, guitarist.
Photo of Alan Duff Berman by Brightwork/Will F. Smart

Alan Berman has championed new music since he began studying guitar in high school. After receiving his MFA in guitar performance at UCLA as a student of Theodore Norman, he performed on European concert tours with Peter Yates and Matthew Elgart, and throughout California with his Signs of Life and Joy of Sextet ensembles, which commissioned new works by Los Angeles composers and performed rarely heard 20th-century chamber works. His publishing company, California Guitar Archives (, has presented guitar transcriptions and original music by Krenek, Stravinsky, Sibelius, Satie, Buzz Gravelle, Reynaldo Hahn, and Peter Yates; the world's first manual on prepared guitar; and recordings of the Elgart/Yates Duo, the Modern Arts Guitar Quartet, and Peter Yates.

Berman was the guitar soloist in the world premiere performances of Henri Lazarof's ballet Mirror, Mirror. He has also premiered solo and chamber works by Paul Witt, Jim Gable, Theodore Norman, Peter Yates, Ken DeVito, Stephen David Beck, Ross Whitney, and others. His BA in Music is from California State University, Dominguez Hills, where he received the Advanced Music Theory Award as a student of Richard Bunger-Evans. He has written reviews of concerts, contemporary dance, and guitar music and recordings for The Times Quotidian, Soundboard, and Guitar Review. Berman also taught guitar at Los Angeles City College.

Berman appears as soloist and chamber musician on the DVD of selections from the Theodore Norman Legacy Concerts, which he produced in recognition the 100th anniversary of the birth of his late mentor.

Berman lives in Los Angeles and continues to concertize, compose, transcribe, and curate concerts of unique guitar music. He has also studied improvisational movement with Anna Halprin, Fred Sugerman, Simone Forti, and Pilobolus; he was one of eighteen performers chosen for a ten-week run of Forti's Dance Constructions during MoCA's comprehensive exhibition of her work.