Award-winning composer Kareem Roustom to hold residence at NIU School of Music

Kareem Roustom
Kareem Roustom

Syrian-born Kareem Roustom, an award-winning composer, is coming to the NIU School of Music for a two-day residency program Thursday, Sept. 9, and Friday, Sept. 10.

Steeped in the musical traditions of the Arab Near East and trained in Western music, Roustom is a musically bilingual composer who has collaborated with a wide variety of artists ranging from the Philadelphia Orchestra to Shakira. His recent concert music works include “Resonances” for Arabic violin, cello, hand percussion and string quartet (commissioned by Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Ohad Bar-David) and “The Son of Man” a large-scale choral work, spanning almost 70 minutes, set to text by Khalil Gibran.

As an active composer of film music, Roustom has scored a number of short and feature-length films including the award-winning “Amreeka” (Sundance & Cannes Festivals). Of his score for “Amreeka,” the Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Kareem Roustom’s Middle Eastern-flavored score contributes greatly,” and of his recent score to the documentary “Budrus” (2010), Variety Magazine wrote, “A strong string, wind and percussion score by Kareem Roustom adds to the momentum and underlines key moments.”

His film music honors include BMI’s Pete Carpenter Film Music Fellowship, The Sundance Film Composers Lab Fellowship, and the Best Musical Score Award from the 2006 Bend International Film Festival for his score to “Encounter Point” (2005). Most recently his score for Brittany Huckabee’s PBS documentary “The Mosque in Morgantown” was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Music & Sound.

Roustom’s residency include lectures, workshops, seminars, demonstrations and a concert performance on Arabic music in both traditional and modern global contexts with the primary focus on his skillful intermingling of traditional musical elements of his native culture, western musical idioms, and contemporary movie scores. Selected films to his credits as composer will be shown.

His residency will conclude with a concert at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, in the Recital Hall in the Music Building, located at 300 Lucinda Ave. on the NIU campus. The concert is free and open to the public, and the building is accessible to all.

For more information, contact Jui-Ching Wang at jcwang@niu.edu.

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