Amir Zaheri Composer. Conductor. Performer.


Amir Zaheri
AMIR ZAHERI completed the Master of Music degree in Composition at Georgia State University in Atlanta, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music at Western Kentucky University, in Bowling Green.  At Georgia State, Zaheri studied music composition with Nickitas J. Demos. At Western Kentucky University, Zaheri studied music composition with Michael Kallstrom, choral methods, choral materials and conducting with Ronnie Oliver Jr., organ performance with Andrew Risinger, and voice performance with Scott Root, Michael Sokol, and Nancy Cron.  In addition to his formal education, Zaheri has participated in significant master class studies and lectures with Robert Spano, Alvin Singleton, Paul Moravec, Don Freund, Paul Elwood, Jennifer Higdon, the Bang-on-a-Can New Music Ensemble, and the Eighth Blackbird New Music Ensemble.

An active composer, Zaheri's music has been performed at public and private schools, universities, churches, and in civic ensembles throughout the U.S., and in Europe. Zaheri has recently received noteworthy commissions from:  The Kentucky Music Educators Association, for the Kentucky Junior High Mixed Choir's performance during the 2012 Kentucky All State Music Festival; The University of Alabama's Opera Theatre, for the creation of a new opera for their 2011 spring performance; Westminster Choir College, for their Spring 2008 and Spring 2009 Chapel Choir concert events; the Atlanta lnterfaith AIDS Network, for their 2005 City-Wide World AIDS Day Requiem service; The Wisconsin Chamber Chorus, for their 2005-2006 concert season; Manhattan Concert Productions, for their 2005 Carnegie Hall National Festival Choir performance series; the Young Women's Chorus of Kentucky, for their 2004 Kentucky Music Educators' Association Convention performance, as well as their 2003 performance at the Shenandoah Conservatory Music Educators National Conference (SCMENC), in Savannah, Georgia; Georgia State University's Symphonic Wind Ensemble, for their 2002-2003 concert season; and The University of Georgia, for their 2002-2003 choral/orchestral concert season.  Zaheri has been selected as a featured or guest composer by: the Society of Composers, Incorporated, the NewNowNorse New Music Festival of Northern Kentucky University, the Fresno New Music Festival (California State University, Fresno), the Conundrum Chamber Music Ensemble, the neoPhonia New Music Ensemble, Emory University's Composer to Composer new music reading series, the lmpromptu Chamber Choir of Atlanta, the Georgia Music Educators Association, the Kentucky Music Educators Association, and was first prize winner of the 2000-2001 Kentucky Music Educators Association Annual Collegiate Composition Competition.  Zaheri has served as composer-in-residence for: Peachtree Road United Methodist Church of Atlanta, the Atlanta Music in Education Seminar Consortium, in conjunction with the New England Conservatory and in association with Centennial Place Elementary School of Atlanta; the Young Women's Chorus of Kentucky; and the KYSings! touring chorus.

An accomplished organist and pianist, Zaheri has been heard in performances throughout the United States, England, and Scotland. In addition, Zaheri is very active and has extensive experience serving as a professional accompanist for numerous vocal and instrumental studios, festival choral and orchestral ensembles, clinics and conventions, as well as in college and university settings.  A long time chorister himself, Zaheri is a member of the tenor section in the Grammy Award winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. 

With numerous years of eclectic music ministry experience, Zaheri most recently served as Organist and Director of Music and Worship Arts at Embry Hills United Methodist Church, in Atlanta.  Under Zaheri’s leadership, the Music and Worship Arts program sought to mirror the greater church’s goals and missions and did so through excellence in eclectic musical traditions, spoken word, visual art, and movement. Immediately prior to this post, Zaheri served as the Assistant Organist and Director of Chapel Music, Staff Composer/Arranger, and Department/Concert Series Administrator for the distinguished Peachtree Road United Methodist Church of Atlanta, which was hailed by USA Today as one of the “10 great places to be enthralled by heavenly music.”

Currently, Zaheri is pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Composition at the University of Alabama, under the tutelage of C.P. First.  In March of 2011, Zaheri was named the recipient of the prestigious Narramore Fellowship by the faculty of the School of Music.  

“...I have been fortunate to work with Amir for the past five years.  His music has always been well-received by the 
performers and audiences alike.  His compositions portray a beautiful marriage of text and music - incredibly gratifying!  The Men of the Westminster Chapel Choir absolutely loved working on his ‘The King of Love My Shepherd Is.’  The Carnegie Hall premiere of his ‘Behold, How Good and Pleasant’ received an enthusiastic ovation.  Other works by Mr. Zaheri have received similar responses; I have never been disappointed, nor have our audiences.  This composer has a stunning future ahead of him!”

- Dr. Ronnie Oliver, Jr., Executive Director - Manhattan Concert Productions