From: Tehran, Iran.
Born in post-revolutionary wartime in Iran, Sahba Aminikia was raised during a newly configured democracy that evolved from mass-executions, war, and violence into a society that—through the use of internet and technology—challenges the current political and social infrastructure. Highly influenced by the poetry of Hafiz, Rumi, and Saadi, as well as traditional, classical and jazz music and the albums of Pink Floyd, Beatles, and Queen, Aminikia cites music to be an immersive, transcendent, yet visceral human experience. He is curious about the duality in existence, and musically explores subjects that confront the pursuit of enlightenment amid the darkness. A conscientious soul, due to his upbringing, he attempts at finding a common understanding of communication and dialogue through music. And, as a result, throughout his career, he has composed pieces that express the inevitability and triumph of hope.
Today, Aminikia collaborates with other artists to create and compose meaningful work. He has been trained in musical composition under Iranian pianists Nikan Milani, Safa Shahidi, and perhaps most influenced by work with his first classical teacher, Mehran Rouhani, a post-graduate of Royal Academy of Music and a former student of Sir Michael Tippett. He later relocated to Russia where he studied at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory under Boris Ivanovich Tishchenko—a post-graduate student of Dimitri Shostakovich. He received his Bachelor of Music and his Master of Music with honors from San Francisco Conservatory of Music under David Garner and David Conte where he was the proud recipient of Phyllis Wattis Foundation scholarship. He has also received individual life and music lessons from David Harrington, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Conrad Susa, Luciano Chessa , John Corigliano, and Oswaldo Golijov as well.
Recently, the San Francisco Chronicle's has referred to Aminikia as “an artist singularly equipped to provide a soundtrack to these unsettling times.” His musical pieces have been widely performed in United States, Canada, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Italy, Poland, China, Greece, Turkey and Israel and at venues such Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Le Poisson Rouge, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF Exploratorium, SFJazz and Saint Anne's Warehouse. Aminikia’s compositions have been commissioned by theatre troops, contemporary classical ensembles, film scores, Persian traditional music groups as well as jazz bands including Kronos Quartet, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Symphony Parnassus, San Francisco Conservatory of Music New Music Ensemble, Mobius Trio, Delphi Trio, and Living Earth Show. His third string quartet
A Threnody for Those Who Remain (2010), commissioned by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Kronos Performing Arts Association, was described by Financial Times as “an experience not to be easily forgotten”. And similarly, his widely known Tar o Pood [Warp and Weft]—commissioned by Nasrin Marzban for Kronos Quartet—was the second place recipient of the American Prize 2015 in composition, a professional chamber music category. Aminikia has recently been the artist-in-residence at Kronos Festival 2017, an annual festival held by legendary Kronos Quartet at San Francisco SFJAZZ throughout which ten of his works including four new pieces were performed. His most recent piece for the same festival was a collaboration between Kronos Quartet, San Francisco Girls Chorus and Afghanistan National Institute of Music which resulted in a 20-minute choral piece named Music of Spheres. Aminikia recently wrote the music for Sea Prayer, a VR experience by Guardian based on a story by acclaimed author, Khalid Hosseini which was performed by Kronos Quartet and British multi-instrumentalist, David Coulter.
Sahba is the founder and the artistic director of Flying Carpet Children Music Festival which occurs yearly in the city of Mardin, Turkey, near the border of Syria serving more than 5000 children suffered from the trauma of war of Syrian, Iraqi, Kurdish and Turkish origin.
Learn more at SahbaKia.com.