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ABOUT

"Truly, [he] is without exception, an outstanding musician, composer, and sound artist."

 - Denise Nuttall      

 

 "Zaq is a well-rounded musician with a

strong technique and an understanding of music theory and craftsmanship that enables [him] 

to write engaging music, formally coherent and exciting at the same time."                       - Evis Sammoutis

Zaq is an artist of many mediums, originally from Philadelphia, who is making waves in the New York City music and theater scenes. Zaq’s music has been read and performed in the United States, Australia, and Europe by notable artists such as JACK Quartet, the Arditti Quartet, the Atlantic Music Festival Resident Artists and celebrated pianist, Andrey Telkov. Their work has been described as “engaging, formally coherent, and exciting at the same time”—they are perhaps best known for their theatrical/linguistic collaborations, most notably with poet/lyricist Caroline Fresh (Green) and Ramya Ramana, author and former Youth Poet Laureate of New York City (bodies). Most recently, Zaq was named a Semi-Finalist for The American Prize in Orchestral Composition for hidden lakes

 

In addition to their work as composer, Zaq has thirteen years of experience in different aspects of theater and performance having written a musical with a friend at age 12. They appeared as an understudy in the Walnut Street Theater's production of Holiday Inn and premiered a scene from their electronic-opera, blakCat, in May of 2018. They are currently the Music Production Specialist and Theater Arts Director at the Harlem Children's Zone, Cornerstone Programs and they are the founder of validBodies arts project, a performance-production company dedicated to the mobilization of underrepresented voices. 

 

They hold a Bachelor of Music degree from Ithaca College in Composition and Voice and a Master of Arts degree from Colorado State University. 

 

*Zaq uses both they/them/their and he/him/his pronouns. 

 

Competitions, Festivals & Workshops

- The American Prize in Orchestral Composition (professional division) - Semifinalist (2021) for hidden lakes

- Divertimento Ensemble, I International Workshop Online for Young Composers - Solo Instrument (2021), upcoming premiere of fitting-in for solo flute May 5, 2021; Milan, Italy

- Sydney Contemporary Orchestra Call for Scores (2020) Australian premiere performance of graspinginFINity for solo piano; Sydney, Australia

- My World Festival (2018) St. Petersburg Conservatory premiere performance of Haiku Sonata (revised version) for violin and piano; St. Petersburg, Russia

- Singapore International Band Festival Composition Competition (2017) Top 10 of 1000+ Applicants for onceBLUE, for wind ensemble; Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Concert Hall, Singapore 

- Symphony No. 1 Call for Scores, Final 25 of 500+ Applicants for onceBLUE, for wind ensemble; Baltimore, MD, USA

- Atlantic Music Festival (2016) Composition Student, premiere of insatiably swirling sweet surprise for wind quintet; Waterville, ME, USA

- Bowdoin International Music Festival (2015) Guest Composition Student; Brunswick, ME, USA

Teachers 
Composition   Frank James Staneck     Jorge Villavincenio Grossmann     Evis Sammoutis     Ketty Nez
Voice                Dana Aversa          Abby Hase          Caitlin Mathes          Erik Angerhofer 
Ethnomusicology     Denise Nuttall     Marié  Abe     Orchestration     Joshua Fineberg
Choral Arranging     Sally Lamb McCune         Counterpoint     Marti Epstein