Works by Iranian contemporary composer Amin Sharifi (b. 1993) have been performed in the United States, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Canada, Poland, the Czech Republic, and his home, Iran. His music was called “creative, individualistic, artistic” by Kathleen Supove, one of America’s most acclaimed and versatile contemporary music pianist, and the “product of an unbridled imagination” by the Memphis Daily News.
Sharifi's pieces have been performed by newmusic ensembles and orchestras including JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Ostravska Banda, Hypercube, A&C String Quartet, Luna Nova, DissonArt, Duo Sequenza, Pierrot-Tehran, Breakout, the Indiana University Symphonic Band, and the Indiana Philharmonic. His music has been heard at ReMusik (2019), Ostrava Days (2019), Synthetis (2019), eviMus (2017), Tehran Contemporary Music Festival (2016, 2018, 2019), Druskomanija Festival (2018), WSU Contemporary Art Music Festival (2019), and RISUONANZE (2017, 2019). Soloists who have performed his music include Christopher Otto, Austin Wulliman, Alex Sopp, Verena Rojc, Oliver Dizdarevic, Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska, Wojtek Psiuk, and Futaba Niekawa.
Sharifi studied Composition at the Tehran University of Art (BM), Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music (MM) and Duke University (MA) under the direction of Sven-David Sandström, Nader Mashayekhi, David Dzubay, and Don Freund. He also has had lessons with such renowned composers as Chaya Czernowin, Toshio Hosokawa, Krzysztof Penderecki, Georg Friedrich Haas, Raphaël Cendo, and Oscar Bianchi.
In summer 2017, his triple concerto TrombionOphone or Riders in the Field of Hope for soprano saxophone, trombone and accordion was the first-prize winner of the XXIII Edition of International Composition Competition Concorso 2 Agosto and was performed by the Tuscanini Philharmonic Orchestra in Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, Italy.
He has worked as assistant conductor to Nader Mashayekhi with the Tehran Cultural Philharmonic Orchestra and has conducted the Pierrot-Tehran New Music Ensemble, both in The First Tehran Contemporary Music Festival and several recording seasons. Sharifi has also worked as the Assistant Director of the IU New Music Ensemble at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
A PORTRAIT OF THE COMPOSER AS A YOUNG
“A Portrait of the Composer as a Young Man” (after the title of James Joyce’s first novel), an album of Amin Sharifi’s select chamber music composed from 2013 to 2016, was released by Petrichor Records in the U.S. and Arqnoon Records in Iran. The music was performed and recorded by members of the Pierrot-Tehran New Music Ensemble, Breakout Ensemble, and solo artists in Germany, the U.S., and Iran. This album could be considered the musical equivalent of a Künstlerroman, German for “artist’s novel”: a narrative about a young artist’s serious explorations and growth toward artistic maturity.
SHIFTING COLORS ON THE SLANT
“Shifting Colors on the Slant", a collection of Sharifi's solo piano music, was released worldwide in 2018. This album features a collection of painted pieces of music, a combination of Middle Eastern musical elements and Persian architectural ideas, an impressionistic atmosphere, the effect of shifting colors, and improvisatory and aleatoric forms. “Shifting Colors on the Slant", is based on Persian music improvisation and is brilliantly performed by Japanese-American pianist Futaba Niekawa.
Both of his albums are available physically and digitally worldwide.
Promoting Today's Musicians
Sharifi has contributed to various music projects as the Artistic Director of Petrichor Records, an independent record label specializing in contemporary classical music by living musicians. As Artistic Director, he has been committed to giving release and performance opportunities to new works by living composers worldwide and supporting young musicians with educational and performance opportunities. This is evidenced by the 16 albums released by Petrichor Records in the past few years and the long list of artists with whom he has collaborated. At Petrichor Records, he attempts to locate new voices in the field of contemporary music, with a special focus on musicians from developing countries, starting with the Middle East and Iran, and dedicate the required time and effort to assist emerging artists in realizing their artistic projects.
I started composing music when I was 11.
I had been playing Tar, a traditional Iranian instrument, since earlier. I studied mathematics and computer programming in high school and then changed my major to music composition in college. During my undergraduate time, I had composition lessons with some of the most renowned Iranian composers, such as Nader Mashayekhi, Mehdi Hosseini, and Alireza Mashayekhi. Among all these excellent composers, Nader Mashayekhi, who studied composition with Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Luigi Nono, and John Cage in Vienna, had the most influential impact on my thoughts. He opened my eyes to the music horizons of the 20th and 21st centuries. Some of the moments that crystallized my career goals and artistic experience as a composer were in his composition classes; he would take us to Iran’s mountains and deserts. We did sound installations and conceptual performances in the middle of the desert. He would ask us to close our eyes and observe our surroundings with our ears. Then I began to learn about today’s music and living contemporary composers. I discovered that there is no limit to my imagination and no boundaries for new explorations.