With a busy fall semester ahead I can now look back at a productive summer that included the completion of my Violin Concerto No. 1 and the premiere at the Grand Teton Music Festival of my String Quartet No. 1: Shades of Night. The GTMF musicians performed beautifully and I am eternally grateful to them… read more
I’ve finally decided that it is time to disconnect from all social media. No FB, no Twitter, or any other platform. My reasons for doing so are varied but they include the reasons that have been discussed in public (from Cambridge Analytica and earlier). I also believe that these social media companies are, in essence,… read more
The news of Oliver Knussen’s untimely passing came to me last night via e-mail. I was deeply saddened to hear this as Knussen was only 66. As far as I’m concerned, Knussen (or ‘Olly’ to those who knew him), was one of the greatest composers, conductors and musical minds of his generation. His music moved… read more
My first violin concerto is commissioned by the Pierre Boulez Saal, through the Daniel Barenboim Foundation, for violinist Michael Barenboim and the Pierre Boulez Ensemble. It will premiere on March 6th, 2019 in Berlin at the Pierre Boulez Saal. Details about the concert are here. I began working on this new commission, in earnest, in mid-May,… read more
It was such a great pleasure to work with the Deutsches Symphony Orchestre, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, conductor Manuel Nawari and engineer Florian Schmidt to bring my Clarinet Concerto: Adrift on the Wine-dark Sea to life. We recorded at the legendary Jesus Christe Kirche in Dahlem, Berlin. ‘Legendery’ because the great conductor Herbert Von Karajan used… read more
There are three concerts coming up this month in Dearborn, Michigan where the DSO, under the direction of Kypros Markou, will perform ‘Aleppo Songs’ for orchestra, in Berlin where mandolinist Avi Avital will perform my ‘Hanjale’ at the Pierre Boulez Hall, and in Kassel, Germany where composer/pianist Samuel Cho will perform ‘Aleppo Songs’ for piano… read more
This past week saw the completion of my first string quartet (String Quartet No. 1 Shades of Night), which was commissioned by the Grand Teton Music Festival and where it will be premiered in early August. I will also be the first ever composer-in-residence at GTMF this coming summer and I’m very much looking forward… read more
For the record, despite what this article implies, I am not Muslim. Read more here.
It was an absolute pleasure to be in Chicago for the regional premiere of my ‘Ramal’ for orchestra which was performed by the Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra under Fawzi Haimor. Despite the very stormy weather earlier in the day, the clouds cleared and approximately 4000 people attended the concert that also featured music by… read more
Late winter (if it can be called a winter) and spring are shaping up nicely with a number of concerts coming up. March begins with the world premiere of my ‘Aleppo Songs’ for solo piano by Thomas Stumpf. This concert will take place at the beautiful Distler Hall in Boston on the campus of Tufts… read more
Aleppo Songs for solo piano is a reflection on a number of urban folk songs from Aleppo, known as qudud, as well as original material. All profits from sheet music sales as well as royalties generated from 2016 – 2018 performances will be donated to Doctors Without Borders to support their work in the Middle… read more
I’m grateful to David Weininger for his preview of tomorrow’s Boston premiere of my Traces sextet with pianist Sally Pinkas, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and the Apple Hill String Quartet.