Karim Al-Zand

The music of Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand (b.1970) has been called “strong and startlingly lovely” (Boston Globe). His compositions are wide-ranging in influence and inspiration, and encompass solo, chamber, vocal and orchestral works. From scores for dance, to compositions for young people, to multi-disciplinary and collaborative works, Al-Zand’s music is diverse in both its subject matter and its audience. His works explore connections between music and other arts, and draw inspiration from varied sources such as graphic art, myths and fables, folk music of the world, film, spoken word, jazz, and his own Middle Eastern heritage. Al-Zand’s music has enjoyed success in the US, Canada and abroad and he is the recipient of several national awards, including the Sackler Composition Prize, the ArtSong Prize, the Louisville Orchestra Competition Prize and the “Arts and Letters Award in Music” from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He holds degrees from Harvard and McGill Universities and is currently on the faculty of the Shepherd School of Music (Rice University) in Houston. Al-Zand is also a founding member of Musiqa, Houston’s premier contemporary music group, which presents concerts featuring new and classic repertoire of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Karim Al-Zand is currently on sabbatical leave from Rice University and living in Rome, Italy for the 2015-2016 academic year. Al-Zand continues to give life to new works forming his “Italian period.” Click here for a review in Italian. On November 7, the Texas New Music Ensemble presented Al-Zand’sPattern Preludes (book 1) with pianist Makiko Hirata at the Fort Bend Music Center. There will be a repeat performance on November 13th at Lone Star College. In addition, The Rogue Ensemble just made a nice film featuring Al-Zand’s arrangement of Stevie Wonder’s “They Wont Go When I Go.”