Kian Ravaei 🔊 composes music that delivers heartfelt directness, bold melodies, and visceral power. His growing body of work has often been praised for combining rigorous compositional technique with naturalness and penetrating emotion.
During the pandemic, Ravaei’s daily ritual was playing a chorale by J.S. Bach at the piano and composing an original chorale. Three hundred seventy-one chorales later, Ravaei has cultivated a deeply personal harmonic language and an obsession with the art of counterpoint. Like Bach’s chorales, many of Ravaei’s works appear to be simple on the surface, but underneath they are rich and filled with unexpected nuance.
Born in 1999 of Iranian immigrants, Ravaei spent his childhood playing jazz, producing electronic dance music, and singing in a rock band when he should have been practicing piano sonatas. His diverse output has included a book of piano preludes inspired by mythical creatures, a string quartet that synthesizes Western and Persian classical music, and an orchestration for dubstep DJ and producer Wooli.
Ravaei’s music has been performed by leading musicians such as interdisciplinary artist Anoush Moazzeni of the Iranian Female Composers Association, guitarist JIJI, and pianists Stefano Greco and Jihye Chang. He has been commissioned by notable organizations and ensembles such as the Canadian Music Centre and Salastina.
As of the 2021/22 season, Ravaei is a newly appointed Composer Teaching Artist Fellow with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He is an alum of the Curtis Institute of Music Young Artist Summer Program, and he counts prominent composers such as Tarik O’Regan, Derrick Skye, Kay Rhie, and Juan Pablo Contreras among his past mentors.
He makes his home in Los Angeles, where he studies music composition with Richard Danielpour — one of his favorite living composers — at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. When he is not composing, he likes to jog, read short stories, and collect CDs.