Premiere of a New Commission with Play on Philly

Play on Philly will premiere a newly commissioned work by Iman Habibi. The four-movement suite alternates in instrumentation between strings, and winds/brass/percussion, and is written for intermediate-advanced students at Play on Philly.

The piece will receive its virtual premiere on December 18th, 2020 at 5pm ET.

Premiere of Relics for Viola and Cello in Gill, MA

Violist Melissa Reardon and cellist Raman Ramakrishnan will premiere Relics, a piece for Viola and Cello dedicated to them, and written under the aegis of Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. Michi Wiancko will also be performing on violin. There will also be premieres by composers Samuel WinnieSamantha BoshnackDustin CarlsonKai Ono, and Tanner Porter.

2:00 pm: Grounds open

2:30 pm: Doors open

3:00 pm: INDOOR CONCERT + reception

Music in Color: Orchestra of St. Luke’s Premieres a Commissioned Work – Manhattan

At a concert presented by Carnegie Hall, Orchestra of St. Luke‘s premieres Uproot, a new work by Iman Habibi. The piece is commissioned in conjunction with Gabriela Lena Frank Academy of Music. Curated by Gabriela Lena Frank, the concert features music by composers of color. In 2018, the Music in Color series presented the life and music of Florence Price, the first African-American female composer to have her work performed by a major American orchestra.

Other works on the program include:
GABRIELA LENA FRANK Selections from String Quartets Leyendas, Quijotadas, and Milagros
CHOU WEN-CHUNG Leggierezza from String Quartet No. 1, “Clouds”

There will be 5 related concerts presented in the 5 boroughs of New York City, each featuring a similarly commissioned work:

Flushing Town Hall, Gallery
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Queens, NY 11354
Saturday, March 23, 2019 | 2 PM

RestorationART at the Billie Holiday Theatre
1368 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11216
Sunday, March 24, 2019 | 2 PM

Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, Black Box Theatre
450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
Thursday, March 28, 2019 | 7 PM

Snug Harbor
1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301
Sunday, March 31, 2019 | 2 PM

Harlem School of the Arts, Gallery
645 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY 10030
Thursday, April 4, 2019 | 6 PM

NYFOS Michael Barrett, Matthew Tommasini, Bright Sheng, Brandon Rumsey, Annie Rosen, Amy Owens, Leann Osterkamp, Mingjie Lei, Shea Owens

Reviews of Premieres at The New York Festival of Song

On February 17, 2014, Baritone Shea Owens joined pianist and co-artistic director of NYFOS (New York Festival of Song), Michael Barrett, in the premiere performance of two of my most recent compositions, False Morning, and The River-Lip. Originally written for Baritone and Guitar, the songs were recorded by Michael Strutt, and Will George in Vancouver, BC, and are set to Edward Fitzgerald’s English translations of poems by Omar Khayyam. The sold-out performance was nothing short of exquisite, and the concert received a few reviews in the media.Allan Kozinn - NYFOS Review

Most notably, the famed music critic, Allan Kozinn, who formerly worked for The New York Times, wrote a favorable review of all three performances at NYFOS in the Wall Street Journal, entitled The Newest of New. While Mr. Kozinn did not directly mention my pieces in his review, he did still give them a thumbs up on his facebook page.

A few days later, [Q]onStage published another wonderful review of the performance by the award-winning activist, Sherri Rase:

“Our first new friend of the evening was Sheng’s student Iman Habibi, whose songs “False Morning” and “The River Lip” are settings of Edward FitzGerald’s translations of Omar Khayyám’s poetry. Habibi told us that this poetry is at the very heart of Persian mysticism. FitzGerald’s translations were so well-received, he said, that Khayyám’s countrymen went back to his poetry, inspiring a renaissance for the work of this philosopher, mathematician, and poet. Every heart in the room was yearning for spring and warmth by the time it was through and found a new friend in Habibi.”

It was an honor to be a part of this glorious evening. I would like to thank NYFOS, and the concert’s curator, Bright Sheng, for programming my music and believing in it.

NYFOS Michael Barrett, Matthew Tommasini, Bright Sheng, Brandon Rumsey, Annie Rosen, Amy Owens, Leann Osterkamp, Mingjie Lei, Shea Owens

From Left to Right – Standing: Shea Owens, Michael Barrett, Leann Osterkamp, Matthew Tommasini, Iman Habibi, Mingjie Lei, Bright Sheng, Brandon Rumsey – Sitting: Annie Rosen, Amy Owens