2014-6-10 Kareem 6SMALLComposer Kareem Roustom has had a busy summer & fall: To begin with this summer saw the theatrical release of  Cherien Dabis’s film May In The Summer (featuring Roustom’s score and starring Bill Pullman and Alia Shawkat). In concert music Roustom had three world premieres: Hanjale for solo mandolin, Dabke for string orchestra, and the recent world premiere of his new orchestral work Ramal, which was performed by Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Buenos Aires’s historic Teatro Colon, the Lucerne Festival, the BBC Proms, and the Salzburg Festival. Some reviews on Ramal for orchestra here:

James Oestreich of the New York Times wrote Ramal is “propulsive, colorful and [an] immediately appealing creation.”Full article here.


Kareem Roustom with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra after the performance of Ramal at the Salzburg Festival August 22nd, 2014. (Photo by Manuel Vaca)

Martin Kettle of The Guardian (U.K.) described it as “was arrestingly quirky and postmodern… This was music with lots of personality” Full article here.

Maestro Daniel Barenboim on Ramal: “Roustom… has written a very brilliant rhythmical piece, extremely well orchestrated.”Interview with Razia Iqbal on the BBC

The Telegraph (U.K.) ” Ramal was refreshingly decisive. The transitions… were so ingenious, and the whole thing shaped with such irresistible momentum” Full review here.

The Independent (U.K.) “Roustom’s Ramal was a natural companion piece to the colouristic, richly-textured Ravel – a sort of anti-Boléro, whose jagged rhythms and fretful unease spoke of conflict silenced elsewhere in the evening. Nervy strings bustled fractiously, punctuated by low brass mutterings and squalls of tuned percussion.” Full review here.

Other projects include the completion of a new film score for the compelling and well crafted ‘Love Sick.’ This was the first time Kareem collaborated with a co-composer on a film score calling on the uniquely talented Krishna Venkatesh.

The fall season also saw premieres of Kareem’s solo cello work ‘Hanjale’ in Boston by Bryan Hayslett and  in Japan by Hassan Moataz as well as the world premiere of the solo mandolin version of ‘Hanjale’ by Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital.

Kareem Roustom is an Emmy-nominated composer who has composed music for film, television, the concert hall and album projects. Steeped in the musical traditions of the Near East and trained in western concert music and jazz, Syrian-born Kareem Roustom is a musically bi-lingual composer who has collaborated with a wide variety of artists ranging from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Shakira, Kronos Quartet, to a recent commission for Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. An active composer of film music, Roustom’s scores have earned him an Emmy nomination, a fellowship to the Sundance Film Composers Lab and acclaim in reviews by the Hollywood Reporter and Variety, and other awards.

Read the full biography here.