Aida Shirazi

Béla Bartók Fellow


“It was the last year of college in Tehran, that my piano teacher, Hooshyar Khayam, who is a composer himself, encouraged me to write what I improvise on the paper, and bring it to the class, so that we could talk about it together. It took me only a few piano miniatures and the feedback of my teacher to realize that composing music is what I want to do in my life, because it gives me the ultimate joy and confidence, and I cannot see myself doing anything else.”

— Aida Shirazi


Born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Aida Shirazi is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music.  Shirazi’s music is described as “well-made” and “affecting” by The New Yorker and “unusually creative” by San Francisco Classical Voice.  In her works for solo instruments, voice, ensemble, orchestra, and electronics she mainly focuses on timbre for organizing structures that are often inspired by Persian or English languages and literature, as well as Iranian classical music.

Shirazi is the winner of Diaphonia and XelmYa+, ACIMC and Bilgi New Music Festival calls for scores.  Her music has been featured at festivals including Direct Current, MATA, New Music Gathering, Tehran Contemporary Music Festival in venues such as the Kennedy Center, National Sawdust, The Roulette, and the DiMenna Center.  Shirazi’s works are performed by Jacob Greenberg (International Contemporary Ensemble), Miranda Cuckson, Ensemble Dal Niente, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Empyrean Ensemble, and Bilkent Symphony Orchestra among others.

Currently, Shirazi is a Ph.D. student of composition at the University of California, Davis and works with Kurt Rohde.  She has studied with Pablo Ortiz, Mika Pelo, Yiğit Aydın, Onur Türkmen, Tolga Yayalar, and Hooshyar Khayam.

She is a co-founder and board member of the Iranian Female Composers Association (IFCA).

For more information, please visit