Kinan Azmeh

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Kinan Azmeh 2020

Kinan Azmeh ( Arabic كنان العظمة, DMG Kinān Azme ; * June 10, 1976 in Damascus ) is a Syrian clarinetist and contemporary composer . With orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic , the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra , the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin and the Syrian Symphony Orchestra, he has appeared as a soloist in both classical and contemporary compositions.

life and work

His music career began when he was six when he took music lessons at the Damascus Arab Academy of Music. As a bread-and-butter job in the event that the artist's career should not work out, he studied electrical engineering at the University of Damascus and successfully completed his engineering studies after five years. In addition, he devoted himself to music training at the Academy for Music. In 1997 Azmeh was the first Arab musician to receive the Nikolai Rubinstein Prize . He has lived and worked in New York since 1998 . There the musician studied at the Juilliard School , a world-famous music conservatory and drama school, and at the City University of New York .

Kinan Azmeh played with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under the direction of Daniel Barenboim as a soloist at the Opéra Bastille in Paris, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Royal Albert Hall in London and in a historic concert in Ramallah , Palestine .

In addition to appearances as a band leader with his own groups such as the New York City Band, Azmeh is also a member of the Silk Road Ensemble of the American cello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma . This ensemble received the prestigious Grammy Award in 2017 for its album Sing Me Home . Azmeh also appears regularly as a soloist or lecturer in Germany in concerts and workshops as part of the Morgenland Festival Osnabrück .

On his double album Uneven Sky , released in 2019, he recorded his own and contemporary works by other Syrian composers with the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin as well as with Yo-Yo Ma. For this album he was awarded the Opus Klassik Musikpreis 2019 in the category "Concert Recording of the Year" .

In his home country Syria he performed as a soloist until the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. B. with the Syrian Philharmonic Orchestra. Together with the oud virtuoso Issam Rafea , the soprano Dima Orsho and other Syrian musicians, Azmeh founded the world music ensemble Hewar (in German: Dialog ) in Damascus in 2003 . The band claims to include compositions and improvised music in their pieces, such as B. in jazz, to combine with Arabic musical elements.


  • Kinan Azmeh at Discogs
    • Uneven Sky (2019), with Yo-Yo Ma and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Opus Klassik Award in Germany
    • Levant (2018), with Eric Vloeimans and Jeroen van Vliet
    • Orient & Occident (2012), with the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra
    • Elastic City (2012), with the Kinan Azmeh Quartet
    • Complex Stories, Simple Sounds (2009), with the Azmeh-Wijeratne Duo
    • Syrian Contemporary Chamber Music (2008), with the Damascus Festival Chamber Players
    • Rigodon (2007), original sound track
    • Musaique (2004), with Kulna Sawa (Syrian pop music band)
    • Kulna Sawa (2001), with Kulna Sawa

As a member of Hewar (Syrian World Music Band)

Individual evidence

  1. Kinan Azmeh :: Official website - THE BIOGRAPHY. Retrieved April 29, 2020 (American English).
  2. ^ Knowledge Is The Beginning & The Ramallah Concert. Retrieved April 29, 2020 .
  3. Theater and Philharmonie Essen: Kinan Azmeh City Band - May 22, 2020, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. | Theater and Philharmonic Essen (TUP). Retrieved April 29, 2020 .
  4. The Silk Road Ensemble: Searching for the perfect harmony - Retrieved April 29, 2020 .
  5. ^ Morgenland Festival Osnabrück 2016: Harmonies from the Balkans to the Levant - Retrieved April 29, 2020 .
  6. Kinan Azmeh - JAZZ THEETIC. Accessed April 29, 2020 (German).
  7. OPUS KLASSIK. Retrieved April 29, 2020 .
  8. Interview with Kinan Azmeh and Dima Orsho: Music in Times of Terror - Retrieved April 29, 2020 .
  9. Wera Reusch on April 22, 2004 on Jazz aus Syrien ( Memento from June 17, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on June 20, 2010.

Web links