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Kareem Roustom

Kareem Roustom

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Steeped in the musical traditions of the Near East and trained in western concert music and jazz, Syrian-American Kareem Roustom is a musically bilingual composer who has collaborated with a wide variety of artists receiving numerous commissions to compose works for Daniel Barenboim, the Kronos Quartet, the Landmarks Orchestra (Boston), the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Educational Department, the Michigan Philharmonic, the Crossing Choir, Coro Allegro (Boston), the Boston Children’s Chorus, the Gammage Center at Arizona State University, the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, the Aplle Hill String Quartet, and others. His music has been performed by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, under Daniel Barenboim at the Lucerne Festival, the Salzburg Festival and the BBC Proms. Performances of Roustom’s works include the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra under Donald Runnicles, the Malmo Opera Orchestra (Sweden), the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Music Series, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, the Michigan Philharmonic, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Choir of the 21st Century (London), The Peninsula Women’s Chorus in collaboration with the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, St. Catherine’s College Choir (Cambridge U.K.), Chamber Project St. Louis, BOHO Players (Belgium), Gateway Chamber Players (Tennessee), Alba Ensemble (France), Notes Inegales (U.K.), LSO St. Luke’s (U.K.), the Verbier Festival, the Braunschweig Music Festival, and the Rheingau Musik Festival. Forthcoming performances are at the Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), Pierre Boulez Saal (Berlin), Klara Festival (Brussels), Staats Theatre Kassel Orchestra in Kassel (Germany), the Hamburg International Music Festival, and the Royal Academy of Music (London). Additionally, Roustom’s music has been performed in Argentina, China, Japan, Armenia, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

Of Roustom’s recent orchestral work Ramal, the New York Times wrote that it is “propulsive, colorful and [an] immediately appealing creation” and the The Guardian described it as “arrestingly quirky and postmodern… This was music with lots of personality.” In a review of Roustom’s oratorio “The Son of Man” The Boston Globe wrote “The music… is pitched toward the impassioned, adapting Arabic-derived scales into a rich, heavily perfumed chromaticism, affording both eerie atmosphere and high-impact drama. Moment to moment, [Roustom's] invention is prolific.” In 2012 Coro Allegro, under the direction of David Hodgkins, won the prestigious ASCAP/Alice Parker Award for the 2011 premiere of “The Son of Man.”

Roustom’s work in film has been recognized by an Emmy-nomination and includes a number of award-winning narrative and documentary films that have competed at festivals that include Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca and many others. His work in popular music also includes arrangements for Shakira and Beyonce. Roustom is the recipient of the Pete Carpenter Fellowship from BMI and is a Sundance Film Composers Lab Fellow.

Roustom’s concert music is published by ECS Publishing and distributed by Canticle Distributing.


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