Kian Ravaei (b. 1999) composes music that evokes the fantastic and the quotidian, engages with dreams and politics, and leverages music's power over the emotions. Kian's works have been inspired by advertisements in early American periodicals, books of etiquette in polite society, Persian poetry, lunar cycles, and a thirteenth century cosmographical treatise. His identity as a second-generation Iranian-American is reflected in his music, often embodying the spirit of both cultures.
Advertisements, a song cycle for baritone and guitar, sets early American print advertisements with the intention of brining out the sense of irony and pathos inherent in them, and was recently premiered by Patrick Graham and Aleia Gonzales Gulino at a KC VITAs concert in Kansas City. Inspired by the story of his parents' flight from the Iranian Revolution, Kian depicted a tortuous migratory journey in Migration Variations for two pianos and two percussionists, which was performed at a reading session by the new music ensemble Yarn/Wire during their UCLA residency. Additional performances include the premiere of Prelude and Fugue in C-Sharp, performed by pianist and Bach expert Stefano Greco at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, and A Little Consort Music, performed by Ensemble Mikrokosmos at Festival Osmose in Belgium.
Recent commissions include a work for speaking pianist and electronics for Anoush Moazzeni of the Iranian Female Composers Association and the Canadian Music Centre, an electric guitar piece for Jiji Kim of Wild Up, an “endangered birdsong partita” for Sleight Ensemble, an elegy dedicated to a late friend for Hypotenuse Trio, and a new work for Willinger Duo. Kian is one of Salastina’s 2020-21 Sounds Promising composers, and is composing a new work for string quartet to be premiered by the ensemble.
Kian has participated in the Curtis Institute of Music Young Artist Summer Program, Montecito Music Festival, N.E.O. Voice Festival, and Sunset Chamberfest Young Composers' Workshop. Past composition instructors include Tarik O'Regan, Derrick Spiva Jr., Kay Rhie, David S. Lefkowitz, Noah Meites, and Juan Pablo Contreras. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, where he studies with Richard Danielpour.