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Malek Jandali

MALEK JANDALI Composer and Pianist | Founder of Pianos for Peace

“… deeply enigmatic.. , speaks with voices and in tongues emerging from the composer’s Syrian heritage that generously repay more reflective listening.” – Gramophone

“Heart-rending melodies, lush orchestration, clever transitions and creative textures.” – American Record Guide

“The piano writing is rhythmically spiky and highly virtuosic, while the orchestral scoring is brightly colored, vivid, and actively engaged with the solo part. A major new addition to the 21st century’s symphonic literature.” – Fanfare Magazine

“Eclectic… stormy music evokes the image of a boat swamped by waves.” – The Baltimore Sun

"Commissioned by the BSO, Jandali’s ‘The Silent Ocean’ found a rapt audience at its world premiere.” – The Washington Post

His work described by Gramophone as “deeply enigmatic” and by American Record Guide as“heart-rending melodies, lush orchestration, clever transitions and creative textures,” composer Malek Jandali is widely regarded as “a major new addition to the 21st century’s symphonic literature” as noted by Fanfare Magazine. Recent commissions and premieres include a Viola Concerto for Roberto Diaz, a String Quartet for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and a world premiere by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marin Alsop who described The Silent Ocean as “an evocative and emotional journey for musicians and audience members. In this piece Jandali 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.”

Mr. Jandali’s compositions not only integrate Middle-Eastern modes into Western classical forms and harmony, but also echo UNESCO’s call to preserve and protect the rich cultural heritage of his homeland Syria at a time when it is being eradicated. His repertoire ranges from chamber music to large-scale orchestral works including four symphonies, five symphonic dances, and six concertos for piano, violin, viola and cello. Jandali’s works have been performed by numerous orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Stockholm Solister, Norrlandsoperan Symphony orchestra, Cairo Symphony Orchestra, and the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Jandali has also self-produced seven albums representing excellent performances of 40 of his compositions. His albums Syrian Symphony, SoHo, Hiraeth, and The Jasmine Tree were released at Carnegie Hall’s Weil Recital Hall in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively. The Huffington Post described his work as “inspiring” and Bob Stevenson of NPR stated that his music is both “moving and thought provoking.”

Mr. Jandali recently recorded his Elegy in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of David Firman who described the music as “gorgeous, haunting, yearning and full of hope, with a pain more personal than that of Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff.” Jandali also recorded his Piano Concerto in Moscow with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Sergey Kondrsahev. Both are scheduled for release in 2019/20.

The Syrian children were the inspiration for Jandali’s second symphony, Luminosity, which was commissioned and premiered by the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. In 2016, the ZPO recorded Luminosity at The American Academy of Arts & Letters in New York City and performed the world premiere of Jandali’s third symphony, Hiraeth, at Lisinski Hall under the baton of Pavle Dešpalj. Recent chamber music commissions include String Quartet and Piano Quintet by the Apollo Chamber Players, Saxophone Quartet by Wright State University, String Quartet by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and a Symphonic Poem by Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra which received a standing ovation and “found a rapt audience at its world premiere.” (The Washington Post)

Also an “acclaimed pianist” noted for his combination of passion, imagination and authenticity (BBC WorldNews), Mr. Jandali enjoys a remarkable career that has taken him around the globe throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Norway, Qatar and Australia among others. He continues to captivate audiences in performances at such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center, Wiener Konzerthaus, National Auditorium in Madrid with the Queen of Spain in attendance, Cadogon Hall, Stockholm Konserthuset, Cairo Opera House, Nidarus Cathedral, Sydney Opera House, the United Nations Headquarters and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, among others.

His causes go beyond those of humanitarian activism, as he is regularly recognized by and invited to speak to key academic institutions such as Harvard University, the Skoll World Form at Oxford, Duke University, Aspen Ideas Festival, Fordham University, the United Nations headquarters in New York City and the Doha Debates at Georgetown University in Qatar, TEDx Talk at Georgia Tech and Sydney Ideas talk at the University of Sydney.

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. He is a strong advocate for peace 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. Mr. Jandali is very passionate about making the arts accessible to all and is the founder and CEO of Pianos for Peace, a non-profit organization dedicated to building peace through music and education. He embraces young talent from all over the world through the annual Malek Jandali International Youth Piano Competition. Mr. Jandali makes his home in both Manhattan and Atlanta. His music is published exclusively by Soul b Music and his discography is available 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. If you would like to make any edits to this biography or include it in a concert program or other materials, please contact