Karim Al-Zand: BIOGRAPHY

The music of Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand (b.1970) has been called “strong and startlingly lovely” (Boston Globe). In a wide-ranging catalogue of solo, chamber, vocal and orchestral compositions, his music embraces a variety of interests, issues and influences. It explores connections between music and other media, and draws inspiration from graphic art, myths and fables, folk music of the world, film, spoken word, jazz, and his own Middle Eastern heritage. 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 compositions have enjoyed success in the US, Canada and abroad, and he is the recipient of several national awards, including the “Arts and Letters Award in Music” from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Al-Zand is a founding and artistic board member of Musiqa, Houston’s premier contemporary music group, which presents concerts featuring new and classic repertoire of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In his scholarly work, he has pursued several diverse areas of music theory, including topics in jazz, counterpoint, and improvisation (both jazz and 18th century extemporization). Al-Zand was born in Tunis, Tunisia, raised in Ottawa, Canada and educated in Montreal (McGill University, BMus 1993) and Cambridge (Harvard University, PhD 2000). Since 2000 he has taught composition and music theory in Houston at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University.

[UPDATED 08/2023]

this guided playlist gives a musical introduction to my work


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