Biography

Iranian composer, Ramin Akhavijou, graduated from the Art University of Tehran with a Master’s degree in Music Composition and later moved to the United States in 2017 to continue his studies at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where he received his second Master’s degree in Music Composition. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Music Composition and Theory at the University of Pittsburgh where his focus is Music Perception and its relation to his compositions. His principal teachers have been Reza Vali, Leonardo Balada, Eric Moe, Mathew Rosenblum, Jesse Stiles, and Amy Williams. The dialectic interrelation between sounds has always been one of his main concerns and motivators for his compositional work and research. He is scientifically investigating this interrelation through various interdisciplinary projects. His passion for science and technology has led him to take diverse compositional paths that are reflected in his wide range of compositions.

Akhavijou’s works have been performed in many countries by various ensembles, and orchestras such as Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, CMU Philharmonic Orchestra, JACK Quartet, Argus Quartet, Carpe Diem String Quartet, Phoenix String Quartet, TAK, Da Capo, Duo Cortona, NAT28, Kamraton, CMU New Music ensemble, and by soloists such as Thomas Piercy, David Danel, Yumi Suehiro, Aurélienne Brauner, Phoebe Robertson, Sarah Steranka, Mark Micchelli, Devon Tipp, and many more. He has received numerous honors, prizes, and commissions including the Iranian Music Association Prize (Tehran Iran, 2013), ACIMC Award (Paris France, 2014), IMHM prize (London England, 2014), Iranian Music Association Prize (Tehran Iran, 2015), ConTempora Award, Association of Macedonia (Skopje Macedonia, 2015), Orient/Occident Award (Lviv Ukraine, 2015), ABLAZE Records Award (Cincinnati USA, 2016), Bruno Maderna Award (Lviv Ukraine, 2016), NAT28 (Pittsburgh USA, 2017), CMU String Quartet Prize (Pittsburgh USA, 2018), Gindroz Prize (Pittsburgh USA, 2018), CMU Orchestra Composition Competition Prize (Pittsburgh USA, 2019), Co-Opera (Pittsburgh USA, 2019), artist-in-residence Physics & Astronomy (Pittsburgh USA, 2021), Alter Ego Chamber Opera (Philadelphia USA, 2022).

Akhavijou has received some fellowships and scholarships such as FEZANA, Art & Science, A&S, Andrew Carnegie, and Czechoslovak Nationality Room. His music has been published by Ablaze Records, Aldebaran Editions, and Sound Silence Thought. His first opera “languagemachine” was produced by the Pittsburgh Opera Company and performed by the CMU New Music Ensemble in April 2019. He is one of the directors of CFIM (Center for Iranian Music) at Carnegie Mellon University and currently writing his second opera.

 

Education:

– Ph.D. fellowship in Music Composition & Theory 
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh USA, Expected 2023

– MA in Music Composition
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh USA, May 2019

– MA in Music Composition
Art University of Tehran, Iran, 2015

– BA in Music
Art University of Shiraz, Iran, 2011

 

Awards, Honors, and Commissions:

Winner composer of Alter Ego Chamber Opera’s Call for Scores/Proposals (Philadelphia, USA, 2022)
Nasrin opera has been selected to be produced and premiered at the 2022 Fringe Festival.

Artist-in-residence Physics and Astronomy department, University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, USA, 2021)
Artist residents embed themselves in the research lab/group to envision and produce a response that connects to the scientific research.

Winner composer at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA, 2019)
Winner of CMU Philharmonic Orchestra Composition Competition at Carnegie Mellon University. The piece “VASNA II” is recorded by CMU Philharmonic Orchestra and performed in May 2019.

– Winner composer at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA, 2018)
Winner of String Quartet Composition Competition at Carnegie Mellon University. The piece is recorded by Carpe Diem String Quartet and premiered by Argus Quartet members (the resident ensemble at Juilliard, 2018).

Selected composer at Co-Opera Project of Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA, 2018)
Commissioned composer for writing a chamber opera. Produced by Pittsburgh Opera and performed by CMU New Music Ensemble under the baton of Daniel Curtis. World premiere at Pittsburgh Opera on April 13th & 14th, 2019.

– Winner musician of Gindroz Prize (Pittsburgh, USA, 2018)
Winner musician for traveling to Europe visiting 8 cities for doing research and project. Topic: Opera, Composition based on the sound from nature. This prize is granted to only one musician each year at Carnegie Mellon University based on the proposal and high-quality portfolio. Visited cities for research: Paris, Milan, Rome, Venice, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels.

– Commissioned composer, Kamraton (Pittsburgh, USA, 2018)
Commissioned by the Kamraton ensemble to write a piece as the main composer for “Miniature Project”. World premiere of “Be New Too” on Nov. 11th, 2018.

Winner composer, NAT28 (Pittsburgh, USA, 2017)
Winner at the annual Pittsburgh Composers Project features the work of established and emerging composers based in Pittsburgh. World premiere “Miniature Sounds No.1” on Jan. 21st, 2018.

– Commissioned composer, WZO (Toronto, Canada, 2017)
Commissioned by the World Zoroastrian Organization (WZO) to write 26 short pieces for Piano and Soprano.

– Finalist and Special Mention Award at Bruno Maderna Competition (Ukraine, July 2016)
International Composers Competition and Forum 1st Edition. “String Quartet No.1” is recorded and published by Aldebaran Edition.

– Winner composer, ABLAZE Records (Cincinnati OH, USA, 2016)
International Composition Competition for recording the Orchestral Masters vol.4 disc. The piece “Vasna” is recorded by Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and distributed worldwide by NAXOS of America, Amazon, iTunes in Spring 2017.

– Finalist at Orient/Occident Competition (Ukraine, 2015)
International Composers Competition and Forum 2015 – 3rd Edition.

Winner composer at ConTempora festival, Association of Macedonia – SOKOM (Skopje, Macedonia, 2015)
Two pieces “Ajhaman” and “Vasna for septet” were selected for this festival.

– Special prize at 2nd National Composition Competition (Tehran, Iran, 2015)
The competition was held by Iranian Music Association.

– Second prize at IMHM (London, England, 2014)
International Composition Competition. The IMHM Composition Competition organized by Brunel Institute, with the sponsorship of Renaissance Projects Worldwide, and support of Royal College of Music.

– Selected composer at ACIMC (Paris, France, 2014)
International Iranian Contemporary Composition Competition.

First prize at 1st National Composition Competition (Tehran, Iran, 2013)
The competition was held by Iranian Music Association.

 

Fellowships & Scholarships:

– Czechoslovak Committee Room scholarship, University of Pittsburgh (USA, 2022)

– A&S Summer fellowship, University of Pittsburgh (USA, 2021 & 2022)

– FEZANA scholarship (Canada, 2020)

– Art & Science Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh (USA, 2019)

– Andrew Carnegie (USA, 2018)

– FEZANA P&CAS (USA, 2018)
Performing and Creative Arts Scholarship (P&CAS)

 

Selected Performances:

a miniature opera: censorship, Argus Quartet, Rock Hall Temple University, Philadelphia. Nov. 10th 2021

– Be New Too, Kamraton, The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination Pittsburgh. Oct. 24th 2021

probable no.42, Devon Osamu Tipp, Bellefield Hall Pittsburgh. Oct. 23rd 2021

a miniature opera: censorship no.2 & 3, JACK Quartet, NMOP (New Music On the Point). June 2021

probable no.41, Aurelienne Brauner, Bordeaux France. 2021

probable, David Danel, Ostrava, Czech Republic. June 12th 2021

a miniature opera: censorship, JACK Quartet, NYC. April 21st 2021

probable, David Danel, Kroměříž, Czech Republic. June 25th 2020

Please—Based on the text by Gertrude Stein—Due Cortona, University of Pittsburgh. Feb 2020

Miniature Sounds No.4, TAK Ensemble, Bellefield Hall Pittsburgh. Jan. 25th 2020

Miniature Sounds No.3, NAT28, Tesselat International Composers’ Collective, Frick Fine Arts Building, Pittsburgh. Dec. 7th 2019

X4, Phoebe Robertson, Tesselat International Composers’ Collective, Kresge Theatre, Pittsburgh. Dec. 5th 2019

X4, Sarah Steranka, Irma Freeman Center, Pittsburgh. Nov. 24th 2019

X4, Sarah Steranka, Falbo Theatre WVU. Oct. 25th 2019

X4, Sarah Steranka, Ingall’s Recital Hall NJCU, New Jersey. Oct. 20th 2019

1x for solo clarinet, Thomas Piercy, Tenri NYC. May 17th 2019

1x for solo piano, Yumi Suehiro, Mise-en place Bushwick NY. May 3rd 2019

languagemachine opera, CMU New Music Ensemble and Pittsburgh Opera Company, Pittsburgh Opera. April 13th & 14th 2019

Vasna II for Symphony Orchestra, CMU Philharmonic Orchestra, Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh. March 5th 2019

String Quartet No.2, members of Argus Quartet, Metropolis NYC. Oct. 21st 2018

Electronic No.1, Art Exhibition CFA Carnegie Mellon University. Oct. 18th 2018

Be New Too, Kamraton, St. Paul’s Cathedral Pittsburgh. Nov. 11th 2018

Miniature Sounds No.1, NAT28, Kelly-Strayhorn Theater Pittsburgh. Jan 20th 2018

– Limestone Mine Concert, Region’s first literally underground festival of art and sound, Pittsburgh. Dec. 2nd 2017

Translucent Transmigration, Juno Lin, Alumni Concert Hall, Pittsburgh. Dec. 1st 2017

String Quartet No.1, Phoenix ensemble, Bruno Maderna Festival, Lviv Philharmonic Concert Hall, Lviv Ukraine. July 30th 2016

Vasna Trio, Volodymyr Lushcenko, Markiian Maksymiv, Nataliya Martynova, Lviv Philharmonic Concert Hall, Lviv Ukraine. Nov. 6th 2015

Asha, IMHM, London UK. 2014

Achim, acimc, Paris France. 2013

 

Educational Honors:

– First rank (Top student) at Master composition, Art University of Tehran. 2015

– Ranked 8th (among about 300 participants) in Iran’s National Universities Entrance Exam for Master’s Degree. 2013

– First rank (Top student) at BA level (majoring in Music), Art University of Shiraz. 2011

– Member of Iran’s National Elites Foundation, 2010- 2016