This last few months since June have been quite busy; Violin Concerto No. 1 has been completed and I’ve just completed a new work for women’s chorus and string orchestra. This work is based on text from a new translation by Emily Wilson of Homer’s The Odyssey. With the help of a friend I chose… read more
“Ramal” for orchestra at the Minnesota Orchestra: reviews
It was such a pleasure to visit Minneapolis for the first time. The warmth of the people I met as well as the absolutely fabulous Minnesota Orchestra has left me yearning for another visit soon. “Ramal” opened a program that featured John Adams’ Gnarly Buttons and Holst’s The Planets. About Ramal, Rob Hubbard of the St. Paul Pioneer Press… read more
Current Projects Update 9/5/2018
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
Please don’t “like” and don’t “follow” us on Facebook, Twitter etc.
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
In memoriam Oliver Knussen
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
Violin Concerto No. 1 – Update No. 1
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
DSO recording session in Berlin: Photos and recap.
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
May concerts, clarinet concerto recording session, and sneak peek at a string quartet
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
String quartet completed! Up ahead, GTMF residency, Carnegie Hall, Minnesota Orchestra, clarinet concerto recording
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 some Muslim classical artists, music can speak louder than politics (The Chicago Tribune)
For the record, despite what this article implies, I am not Muslim. Read more here.
Chicago Tribune review of the Grant Park Music Festival premiere of ‘Ramal’ for orchestra
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
World and regional premieres coming up in Boston, Hamburg, Brussels, London, Chicago, Berlin and New Hampshire
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