Kinan Azmeh: Clarinet, Composer

Described as “Engagingly flamboyant” by the L.A Times and “a virtuosic, unique sound” by the Daily Star, Kinan Azmeh is gaining the reputation of being one of Syria’s new rising stars.
Combining solid classical training from the Juilliard school with deep understanding and appreciation of his roots and other cultures he has been exposed to makes Kinan feel at home maneuvering between the different genres from Classical, Jazz, Electronica and Arabic music, it is also what gives his compositions and live performances a unique quality and taste.
Born in Damascus, Syria in 1976 Kinan Azmeh is the first Arab to win the first prize at the Nicolay Rubinstein international youth competition in Moscow, Russia, 1997. Kinan began his music education at the age of six at the Arab conservatory of music in Damascus and later at Damascus’ high institute of music having studied with Shukry Shawkey, Nicolay Viovanof and Anatoly Moratof while pursuing his BS at the faculty of electrical engineering at the University of Damascus. He is at present living in New York, having completed his Masters degree and graduate diploma at the Juilliard School, studying with Charles Neidich, and currently completing a doctoral music degree at the Graduate Center, the City University of New York studying also with Charles Neidich.

He has appeared as a soloist and composer in performances around the world, including Tchaikovsky Grand Hall in Moscow, Bastille Opera in Paris, Carnegie hall in New York, as well as solo performances with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra during its first American tour (UCLA's Royce hall, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Los-Angeles) with Solhi Al-Wadi conducting, as soloist with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim at the BBC Proms festival in London, Berlin’s Philharmonie and the UN general Assembly in New York, the premiere of two clarinet concertos written for him by Dutch composer Guus Janssen at Lincoln Center in New York, and by Zaid Jabri at the opening of the Syrian opera house in 2004.

Kinan started the ensemble “Hewar" in 2003, a ground breaking music group that features Clarinet, Oud, Vocals among other instruments and aims to bridge the gap between the Classical, Arabic and jazz genres and performs original compositions. He led the group in two American tours in 2004 and 2005, including performances at the reputed Kennedy Center as well as several European and Middle-Eastern tours as well as releasing two albums in 2005 and 2007.

He has shared the stage with Sylvain Kassab, Marcel Khalife, Elliott Sharp, Kani Karaca and Mari Kimura among others, as well as being member of Neolexcia new music group.
Kinan’s compositions include Orchestral, Chamber and solo works as well as electro-acoustic collaborative works with visual artist Kevork Mourad.
Film and Theater works include the original sound track for the film "Rigodon" by Keith Sicat and Sari Dalena, and "Not for sale" and "The day I died" by Maryam Keshavarz and original music for the Dance Show “Consequences” by Ingo Schwiger.
This biography was most recently edited by...
maestro - 29 Mar 2009