Composer Bios


Karim Haddad was born in 1962, in Beirut (Lebanon), where he studied at the National Conservatory of Beirut from 1971 until 1975, when the conservatory closed due to the civil war. He then studied philosophy and literature in the American University of Beirut. In 1982, he settled in Paris. He received a B.A in musicology at the Sorbonne University, followed by studies in harmony, counterpoint, fugue, orchestration, analysis and composition at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris, where he was the recipient of six awards, and the Diplome Superieur in Composition.

While studying at the Conservatoire, Haddad worked in particular with Alain Bancquart, Paul Mefano, Klaus Huber, and Emmanuel Nunes. This period of training was marked by his lively interest for non-tempered spaces and their strong relationships with temporal poetics.

In 1992 and 1994 Haddad took part in the Ferienkursen für Musik at Darmstadt where he was awarded a grant. In 1995 he enrolled in the computer music courses at IRCAM, and since that time he has had exclusive use of the IRCAM’s computer tools for the development of his works. He is presently employed at IRCAM as a musical advisor and researcher in the Representations Musicales IRCAM Research Team.

The Radio France commission of Noch eins ist aber zu sagen for two sopranos, instrumental ensemble and electronics, based on a poem of Hölderlin, was premiered by the Philharmonic orchestra of Radio-France for the inauguration of the cycle, Das Werden im Vergehen, also devoted to the German poet.


Saad Haddad (b. 1992) focuses on creating works that incorporate Arabic musical tradition in a Western context, both in acoustic and electroacoustic mediums. As a first-generation Arab-American living in the twenty-first century, Haddad is influenced by the dichotomy inherent between Arab and American cultures. His music hopes to delve into that relationship through the melding of traditional instruments and current advances in technology. His music has been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, the USC Thornton Symphony, the Sonus and Argus Quartets, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and the Hollywood Master Chorale, among others. His most recent accolades include the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2015), the BMI Student Composer Award (2014) and the Copland House Residency Award (2014).

Current commissions include works for orchestra and live electronics [American Composers Orchestra], sinfonietta [New Juilliard Ensemble], and piano trio [Gena Raps Chamber Prize], all to be premiered during the 2015-16 season in New York, NY.

Haddad holds a Bachelor of Music—Composition from the University of Southern California, where his teachers included Donald Crockett, Stephen Hartke, Frank Ticheli, Brian Shepard, and Bruce Broughton. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music—Composition at the Juilliard School with John Corigliano.

As an expert in the field of computer music, with a particular interest in Computer Assisted Composition (CAC), Haddad was hired by IRCAM in 2000 to oversee the Center’s Customer Support Forum. He has developed several tools for the OpenMusic environment  (synthesis control for Csound) as well as interfaces between this environment and for score editors such as Finale and Lilypond.

Haddad’s works have been performed by the soloists of the Itinéraire units and 2e2m, the Quartet Diotima, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio-France, Staatsoper of Berlin, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Future-Musics, and in varied musical events, such as the Festival Presence of Radio-France and the Festival Lucero. Also at seminars at the Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon.


Emre Sihan Kaleli is a Turkish composer. He obtained a BA in composition at the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan (2010) and a MA at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (2012). His teachers and mentors include Richard Ayres, Willem Jeths, Joël Bons, Peter Adriaansz, and Wim Henderickx. Emre had the opportunity of working closely with the Omnibus Ensemble (Uzbekistan), the Convergence Ensemble (Georgia) and Nieuw Ensemble (The Netherlands) which had a great impact on his artistic development.

From 2012 to 2014, he was the Assistant Artistic Director for the Nieuw Ensemble. He received an Honorable Mention at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in 2013, was selected for the Gargonza Artist in Residence Program, and was awarded with the MIAM Composition Award 2015.

Currently, he is engaged in a two-year collaboration project with Ensemble Modelo62 while pursuing a post-master’s course in composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz (Austria) under the guidance of Beat Furrer. Contact:



MESUT ÖZGEN has performed and taught master classes throughout the United States, Spain, and Turkey and has been the director of guitar studies and the FIU Miami Guitar Orchestra at Florida International University School of Music since August 2013. He previously taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz from 1998-2013. Prizewinner of several international guitar competitions, Özgen has performed as featured soloist in many festivals, including the International Paco Peña Guitar Festival in Cordoba, Spain, Yale Guitar Extravaganza, Sierra Nevada Guitar Festival, Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, Healdsburg Guitar Festival, Istanbul CRR concert series, April in Santa Cruz: Contemporary Music Festival, Cabrillo College Distinguished Artists Series, Ankara METU Art Festival, Kars Art Festival, Konya Mevlana (Rumi) Cultural Center, and UCSC Arts & Lectures Series among others.

Özgen’s compositions are mainly based on or influenced by traditional Turkish music. Among his other influences are Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo’s use of flamenco music and Turkish scholar/composer Yalçın Tura’s harmonization techniques. His unique style is comprised of dissonant harmonies – evoking microtones of traditional Turkish music, tonal folk-like melodies, and irregular rhythms. Özgen has also long been a strong advocate of new music for guitar and frequently collaborates with other composers. He composed, arranged, commissioned, and premiered many works for solo guitar and guitar orchestra. Among them are Strum by Philip Collins, Pick and Roll by Benjamin Verdery, Quaditorio by Jack Vees, and Snapshots by the Bay by Christopher Pratorius.

Özgen’s “Anatolian Fantasy” CD features entirely his own compositions for solo and duo guitar, as well as chamber music with kemençe, voice, flute, and cello, including Blue Journey and Rumeli Türküsü among others. Özgen’s solo CD “Troubadour” feature classical guitar works inspired by Turkish, Spanish, Argentinean, and American folk traditions and was reviewed by the Acoustic Guitar magazine as “stunningly versatile and expressive throughout.” His award-winning multimedia concert DVD “New Dimensions in Classical Guitar” includes premiere performances of new guitar works with visual accompaniments comprising video, interactive computer images, and particularized lighting design. It was reviewed by the Classical Guitar magazine of England as “the finest music DVD ever to have come my way, remarkable achievement.”

Özgen received Master of Music and Artist Diploma from Yale School of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from Arizona State University, as well as an MD from Hacettepe University Medical School, Turkey.


Composer Eitan Steinberg studied composition at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy (BA), the Chigiana Academy in Italy (Diploma) and the University of California at Berkeley (Ph.D.). He is a full professor at the Music Department of the University of Haifa, Israel, where he draws inspiration and hope from teaching Jewish and Arab students. During 2005-10 he was the department’s Chair.

Among his awards: ACUM Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2014); ACUM prize “Achievement of the Year” (2012); Landau Prize (2010) and Israel’s Prime Minister’s Composition Award (2007). Performers of his music include all of Israel’s major orchestras and ensembles, as well as orchestras, ensembles & soloists in Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Portugal and the US. His collaboration with his wife Etty BenZaken has yielded thirty works written for her voice, with wide lingual and cultural references and original uses of pronouncing, murmuring and singing.

Steinberg’s music includes orchestral, chamber and Music-Theater works performed in Israel, Europe and the US. His folk songs‘ settings are widely performed in chamber and orchestral versions. In 2014 he has founded, together with BenZaken, the multi-stylistic, inter-cultural  ensemble Modalius.


Maayan Tsadka was born and raised in the territory of the state of Israel. She recently completed a DMA program in Music Composition at the University of California in Santa Cruz and has relocated in her homeland, Israel. Maayan is in a continuous search for new territories in life and music; landscape, and nature.