Anahita Abbasi

Posted in Composers


has been in residency since 2022

Anahita Abbasi’s music has been described as “a dizzyingly sophisticated reverie, colorful and energetic. It embodies tremendous timbral exploration and multilayered performance gestures”… (Classical Voice America and A Cunning plan). 

According to Guardian …”She takes even a more radical line with creating dense and pulsing textures”… “Her music has the capacity to immerse the hall into a dark multichannel throat and hissing” … (Bachtrack) 

Volkskrant describes … “the Iranian Anahita Abbasi, shows herself to be a composer with guts in the two-year-old Intertwined Distances Alienating whistling noises and furious fistfights with the keyboard, alternated with delicate strings, lead to a theatrical listening experience” ...

Ernst. M Binder also writes: …“As it is also vivid from the titles of her works such as Dialogues, Situations, Distorted Attitudes, she investigates and gesticulate thoughts and emotions. It is manifestation/ observation of a scene or multiple scenes, which occur simultaneously. She has the tendency to take us with her music on a mystical, puzzling journey and leave us within our thoughts, to find out the “ending” ourselves”… 

About her piece for Mahan Esfahani Boulezian Blogspot writes: …” There was, without doubt, an extraordinarily inventive musical imagination at work, but it was never merely invention: it was a sonic and instrumental drama that seemed somehow to summarise, to extend, and quite properly to question many of the tendencies we had heard so far”…

Anahita Abbasi’s music has been commissioned and performed by distinguished soloists and ensembles such as Mahan Esfahani, Steven Schick, Vimbayi Kaziboni, Rebekah Heller, Sergej Tchirkov, Artyom kim, Ensemble Modern, International Contemporary Ensemble, UmeDuo, Klangforum Wien musicians, Wavefiled Ensemble, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Disonart Ensemble, Platypus Ensemble, Quatuor Diotima, Mivos Quartet, Argonaut Quartet, Tak Ensemble, Schallfeld Ensemble, Zafraan Ensemble, Contemporaneous, Blaue Reiter, Off Spring Ensemble, and has been showcased at festivals all around the world among which: Mostly Mozart Festival, The Kitchen, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Niefnorf, Soundnow Festival- Bent Frequency, Roulette, National Sawdust, Mise -En festival (USA), Darmstadt Ferienkurse (Germany), IRCAM – Manifeste Academy (France), Matrix –Experimental studio des SWR, Alte Oper (Germany), BIFEM (Australia), Klangspuren Schwaz (Austria), Sound State festival (Southbank Centre, London), Tectonics (Glasgow), Akademie der Künste (Berlin), United Berlin, Klang Festival (Copenhagen), Tage Neuer Musik, Open music (Austria), Omnibus Ensemble (Uzbekistan), Contempuls (Prague), Tangram Trio (Switzerland), Tongyeong International Music Festival (Korea), neuverBand Ensemble (Switzerland), Ensemble Kollektive (Germany), Acht Brücken Festival (Cologne), Impuls Festival (Austria), Time of Music (Finland), Atlas Festival (Netherlands), Grachten Festival (Netherlands), duo Verso and Bilitis and many others.

In 2014, she received the work-scholarship from Experimentalstudio des SWR in Freiburg. A recipient of a 2015 Morton Gold ASCAP young composers award, Ms. Abbasi was also nominated in 2017 at the Cairo Contemporary Festival as one of the “women composers of our time” alongside Kaija Saariaho and Isabel Mundry. In 2019 she was one of the winners of the composition competition of the Acht Brücken Festival.

Aside from teaching composition, giving lectures and curating workshops on fundamentals of creation, and serving as a juror at composition competitions, she is also a founding member of Schallfeld Ensemble in Graz, Austria as well as IFCA (Iranian Female Composers Association) in New York City; where she is curating concerts, workshops, conferences, creating platforms and advocating for young composers and acts as their ambassadors in presenting their music to others. 

Anahita Abbasi (world citizen-1985) was born and raised in Iran. In 2005 she moved to Austria and pursued her undergrad at the University of music and performing Arts Graz, where she studied music theory with Clemens Gadenstätter and Christian Utz & composition with Beat Furrer and Pierluigi Billone; while working closely with Georges Aperghis, Franck Bedrossian, and Philippe Leroux. Since 2014, Abbasi is residing in San Diego, USA, and currently finishing her Ph.D. in composition under the supervision of Rand Steiger at the University of California San Diego.