in the news:

October 9, 2019

Sahba Aminikia’s Flying Carpet Children Festival

Two years ago, 38-year old Iranian-born composer Sahba Aminikia ’13 decided to leave a secure teaching job in San Francisco and, by kismet or intention, join the circus. He has not looked back on his decision to become artistic director of the Flying Carpet Children Festival in war-torn Mardin, Turkey, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey that is currently home to some 5,000 chil...

July 2, 2019

Sahba Aminikia's Flying Carpet Festival Brings Music to Refugee Children in Turkey

Sahba Aminikia hadn’t planned on dancing when he stopped by Club Deluxe in the Haight to unwind and hear a little jazz three years ago. But the band was swinging, and before long, he found himself boogieing with a young Italian woman. The Iranian-born composer was in a very good place in his career, teaching at the Academy of Art University while writing music performed by top-flig...

May 15, 2019

Review: ZOFOMOMA, Melbourne Recital Centre

The Iranian artist Nicky Nodjumi’s 2012 painting, Inspector’s Scrutiny, complemented by Sahba Aminikia’s composition is a manic, captivating highlight; the image, juxtaposing Western-suited men with a distressed horse, evokes cultural misunderstanding and historical schism. Zimmermann’s bold dramatisation utilises her breath as a second instrument, gasping and yaw...

May 9, 2019

San Francisco’s Amaranth Quartet offers world premieres in its D.C. debut

Four women formed the Amaranth Quartet at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2014, and the group made its Washington debut Wednesday night, closing out the season of free concerts at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The results were mixed, with two intriguing world premieres bookended by less assured performances of older music.

Sahba Aminikia, an Iranian-born composer,...

May 8, 2019

ZOFO (MUSICA VIVA AUSTRALIA)

Surely everyone who has listened to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition has wondered about the original visual inspiration for this famous suite. Most of the art by Viktor Hartmann that stirred the composer has been lost, but six extant works can, with some certainty, be linked to various movements. While on the one hand there is a natural curiosity about the initial inspiration...

Feb 20th, 2018

Beyond the Dead White Europeans

​Add Details herePresent Music concerts are themselves unique creations. The contemporary chamber concert series to be performed this week at four venues – Thursday through Saturday – began with only a title: “Give Chance a Piece.” It was PM ensemble member Eric Segnitz who came up with the title, “and I thought the phrase, and its various meanings, had meri...

September 1, 2017

GNM press office

The Guardian launches Sea Prayer, a new virtual reality experience written by acclaimed author Khaled Hosseini

The Guardian is pleased to announce the launch of Sea Prayer, the publication’s latest virtual reality (VR) project, written by Khaled Hosseini and narrated by BAFTA Award winning actor Adeel Akhtar.

To commemorate the second anniversary of the tragic death of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned whilst attempting to reach Greece in 2015, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador...

March 7, 2017

Omid Zofounoun - KQED Arts

Iranian-Born Composer Sahba Aminikia Bridges Worlds in Extreme Times

As a western-trained classical musician who grew up in a musical household filled with traditional Persian music, I have a special place in my heart for any artist who draws upon their own heritage while creating a relevant voice in our increasingly complex and plural world. Iranian-born composer Sahba Aminikia is just that kind of artist.

Sahba Aminikia was called by the San Francisco Chronicle “an artist singularly equipped to provide a soundtrack to these unsettling times". Aminikia lives in the United States, but his family is from Iran. Early this month, his work was part of a festival by the world-famous Kronos Quartet, for whom Aminikia is writer-in-residence. His mother, a U.S. green card holder who is in Tehran, w...

Contemporary classical composer Sahba Aminikia came to San Francisco as a refugee. Born and raised in Iran in the 80s, he left as a young man to study music in Russia, and then got his bachelors and masters of music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

The music he composes is deeply tied to his Iranian roots - he’s written pieces inspired by traditional work songs of Persian...

Originally assembled to perform George Crumb’s caustic antiwar opus “Black Angels” in 1973, Kronos Quartet has spent some four decades on the cutting edge of new music, forging a vast international network of collaborators. But the San Francisco string quartet’s global vision has rarely seemed as timely and urgent as the Kronos Festival 2017: Here and Now, which runs at the SFJazz Center...

The fifth annual Prototype: Opera/Theater/Now festival, a font of innovative new operas, next January will feature the New York premiere of David Lang’s “anatomy theater.”

The work, a somewhat gruesome piece about the public dissection of a murderer, had its world premiere last month at Los Angeles Opera. It will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Prototype, which has become an...

The chorus remained for the Tehran-born Sahba Aminikia’s “Sound, Only Sound Remains,” an ingenious and arresting concoction of live and recorded music that makes impressive political as well as aesthetic points. The Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist’s “All Those Strings!” required just one guest artist, the Finnish kantele virtuoso Ritva Koistinen, and she enchanted, plucking her zither-l...

San Francisco composer Sahba Aminikia never heard a woman sing in public, on radio or television while growing up in Tehran in the 1980s. They were banned from doing so by Iran’s ruling mullahs after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The clerics think the solo female voice can trigger lust, says Aminikia. But he wanted to hear and share the singing of Iranian women, who can only perform in pr...

Sound, Only Sound Remains to Blend Old, New Iranian Music at Kronos Festival

If there’s one word that best describes the Kronos Festival 2016: Explorer Series running Feb 4-7 at SFJAZZ Center it’s “reach.” Or perhaps “reaching,” because there’s nothing static about this seven-concert showcase. 

The Grammy-winning string quartet is known for gallivanting across boundaries — bridging not only geographical divides, musical genres, and historical periods but building...

In a program entitled speakOUT, Hotel Elefant, a new-composer collective, performed musical narratives ranging from horseback riding in Northern Iran to the public suicide of a Pennsylvanian State Treasurer. Combining seasoned chamber musicians, new works, and a cabaret-style venue, Hotel Elefant delivered an evening of captivating music as a form of storytelling.

Beginning with featured...

April 15, 2014

Mohammad Reza Kazemi - BBC Persian Service

BBC Persian Coverage of "Tar o Pood (Warp and Weft) World-Premiere by Kronos Quartet at Switchboard Music Festival 2014 (In Farsi)

Entitled Tar o Pood (Farsi for “Warp and Weft”), the approximately 15-minute piece for quartet and pre-recorded media is inspired by traditional work songs sung by pairs of weavers in the creation of Persian rugs. In preparation for the composition, Aminikia spent four months in villages and cities across Iran, gathering field recordings of this painstaking carpet-manufacturing process d...

Tar o Pood (Persian for warp and weft) is a collaboration between Kronos Quartet and Iranian-Canadian Sabha Aminikia. We interview violinist and Kronos Quartet founder David Harrington, ahead of the performance at San Francisco’s Switchboard Festival, on how their work is centred on a politics heavily informed by the group’s feelings about their own country’s foreign policy (Australia) a...

Last night at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), Sahba Aminikia gave his Graduate Recital. He is currently studying composition with both Dan Becker and David Garner, having previously attended the St. Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia to study composition with Boris Ivanovich Tishchenko. The two major works on the program, which was given the programmatic title Echoes...

Sahba Aminikia’s Deltangi-Ha was premiered by the Delphi Trio Sunday afternoon at Old First Church. The new work is a series of what the composer calls “postcards” evoking memories from his life in Iran. It began with a strong hook — intense gestures uttered over a vehement ostinato in the piano, representing the bustling metropolis of Tehran...

July 2012

Radio Tehran

Radio Tehran Interview (in Farsi)

Here's an interview with Iranian composer, Sahba Aminikia with Radio Tehran in July 2012 following the release of the album "Miniatures" in Tehran, by Hermes Records.

Millennium Stage is a series of free concerts offered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, which take place every day at 6 PM (local time). Not only is admission free but also the performances are offered through live webcasts. The captured video is then archived for viewing at the convenience of any would-be audience. The San Francisco Conservatory has been participating in this series...

Almost four decades ago, violinist David Harrington heard a performance of George Crumb’s Black Angels, decided that the Kronos Quartet would no longer devote itself to playing the work of 19th-century Viennese men and altered his generation’s expectations of chamber music. Since the 1980s, the Kronos has devoted itself to the music of its own era and the recent past, embraced electronic...

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