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Michael Dorf        

Entrepreneur; Founder of The Knitting Factory & City Winery

Michael Dorf is an entrepreneur first recognized as a pioneer in the music production industry with his multifaceted company Knitting Factory, and later expanded his empire into a widely successful winery, City Winery.

As Knitting Factory Chairman and CEO, Dorf helped bring the concert house to global prominence by expanding into Europe and Asia via tours, branded festivals, and record production and sales. Dorf produced over 200 recordings, a television series, and built a new venue in Los Angeles. In 2002, he left his operating responsibilities and sold his equity position to pursue other endeavors, including a Carnegie Hall concert fundraiser series, founding a Hebrew school, and winemaking.

By 2008, Dorf had conceptualized a venue that brought his love for both the making and enjoyment of wine under one roof and created City Winery –Manhattan’s first fully-functional winery, restaurant, music venue and private event space. He later expanded his company in 2012 with the opening of City Winery Chicago, and set up shop in multiple locations, including Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, and Washington DC, Hudson Valley and Philadelphia in 2019.

Dorf has become one of the most prolific independent promoters in New York, an important music impresario, and according the The New Yorker, he has “perfected the art of the tribute concert.” Over 13 years, the fundraiser series has honored legends like Aretha Franklin, Leonard Cohen, and Prince while raising over $1.5 million for such music education programs as the American Symphony Orchestra's Music Notes, Church Street School for Music and Art, Young Audiences New York, Fixing Instruments for Kids in Schools, Little Kids Rock and the Center for Arts Education.

Dorf also has very strong ties to the Jewish Community. He created Tribeca Hebrew, an after-school program in Lower Manhattan and developed the school to 150 children before it merged with JCP in 2009.

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