CELIA (Collaborative Education, Leadership, and Innovation in the Arts)

Malek Jandali, Composer & Pianist | Founder, Pianos for Peace

German born, Syrian-American composer Malek Jandali has been hailed by BBC WorldNews as “an acclaimed pianist.” His music has been described as “moving and thought provoking” by Bob Stevenson of NPR. His most recent commission was premiered by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. “The world premiere of ‘The Silent Ocean’ by Malek Jandali was an evocative and emotional journey for musicians and audience members. In this piece Malek captures the struggle, trauma, and triumph of our displaced brothers and sisters, through the voice of a child. It is a beautiful and important message.” (Maestra Marin Alsop)

Malek’s compositions not only integrate Middle Eastern modes into Western classical forms and harmony, they echo UNESCO’s call to preserve and protect the rich cultural heritage of Syria and the Silk Road at a time when it is being eradicated. They range from chamber music to large-scale orchestral works including three symphonies and concertos for violin and piano. His works have been performed by numerous leading orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, The Cairo Symphony Orchestra, The Stockholm Solister, and the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. David Firman of the RPO describes Jandali’s music as “gorgeous, haunting, yearning, and full of hope, with a pain more personal than that of Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff.”

His albums Syrian Symphony, SoHo, Hiraeth, and The Jasmine Tree were released at Carnegie Hall in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively. Jandali’s compositions have been described by Fanfare magazine as “a major new addition to the 21st century’s symphonic literature.” American Record Guide hailed the Syrian Symphony album as having “heart-rending melodies, lush orchestration, clever transitions, and creative textures.” The Syrian children were the inspiration for his second symphony, Luminosity, which was premiered by the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and recorded at the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

A prolific composer, his repertoire includes four symphonies and concertos for piano, violin, and cello in addition to numerous chamber works. Recent commissions include a Piano Quintet for the Apollo Chamber Players, a Saxophone Quartet for Wright State University, a String Quartet for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and a Symphonic Poem, “The Silent Ocean” for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestra Marin Alsop, received a standing ovation and “found a rapt audience at its world premiere” (The Washington Post).

Jandali is the recipient of the 2014 Global Music Humanitarian Award and in 2015, The Carnegie Corporation of New York honored him as a Great Immigrant. Jandali is a strong advocate for peace and human rights and was selected as a Visiting Scholar for the 2017/2018 academic year in the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University. His causes go beyond those of humanitarian activism, as he is regularly recognized by and invited to speak to key academic audiences at Harvard University, the Skoll World Form, Duke University, Aspen Ideas Festival, Fordham University, the United Nations headquarters in New York City, and the Doha Debates at Georgetown University in Qatar.

He is the founder and CEO of Pianos for Peace, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building peace through music and education. He embraces young talent through the Malek Jandali International Youth Piano Competition. Jandali makes his home in both New York City and Atlanta. His music is published by Soul b Music and can be found on iTunes, Amazon and at Virgin Megastores worldwide.

This biography © 2018 by Malek Jandali. Any edited or altered use of their content without the express permission of Malek Jandali is prohibited.


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