Lucy and Jacob Frank Fellow
“As an Iranian-Canadian living in a time of extreme political sensitivity, I see it upon myself to foster better dialogue and raise cultural awareness among various ethnic groups with which I am associated. I consider myself an activist, and am interested in writing and studying music that engages with the human rights and environmental issues of our time… I’d like to view myself as a cultural ambassador, able to show that the East and the West, however much different, can meet in a great work of art.”
— Iman Habibi
Iman Habibi, D.M.A. (Michigan), is an Iranian-Canadian composer and pianist, and a founding member of the piano duo ensemble, Piano Pinnacle. Hailed as “a giant in talent” (the Penticton Herald) Iman has collaborated with noted ensembles and performers such as The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, The Prince George Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, Ann Arbor Camerata, musica intima, The Standing Wave Ensemble, The Aventa Ensemble, The Calidore String Quartet, JACK Quartet, conductors Bramwell Tovey, Jerry Blackstone, Marta McCarthy, Leslie Dala, pianist Jane Coop, and vocalists Simone Osborne, Carla Huhtanen, and Peter McGillivray among many others.
Iman’s music has been programmed by The Marilyn Horne Foundation (New York), The Canadian Opera Company (Toronto), Tapestry New Opera (Toronto), New York Festival of Song, Vox Novus (New York), Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), the BCScene Festival (Ottawa), and the Powell Street Festival (Vancouver), among others. He has received numerous awards including First Prize at the SOCAN Foundation’s Awards for Young Audio Visual Composers for two consecutive years (2011-2012), The International Composers' Award at the Esoterics' POLYPHONOS (2012), The Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards for Emerging Artist in Music (2011), Brehm Prize in Choral Music (2016), as well as numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and BC Arts Council. He also received second prize at the 2008 Vancouver Bach Choir’s national Competition for Large Choir Works for his work “Erroneous Kudos,” and first prize for his work “Black Riders” at the 2009 Guelph Chamber Choir’s national competition. His music and interviews are broadcast regularly and have been heard on CBC radio one, CBC radio two (Canada), NPR, South Carolina Public Radio, and WQXR (United States). His portfolio includes dozens of commissions for orchestra, choir, chambers ensembles, soloists, and film.
Iman earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) at the University of Michigan under the mentorship of professors Evan Chambers, Michael Daugherty, and Bright Sheng, and his Bachelors and Masters degrees at the University of British Columbia under the instruction of Dorothy Chang, Jeffrey Ryan, Stephen Chatman, and Sara Davis Buechner. He has also pursued private studies with the piano duos of Kenneth Broadway and Ralph Markham in Vancouver, and Tal and Groethuysen in Munich.
As a pianist, Iman's recent appearances included a performance of Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as well as the premiere of Iman's concerto for two pianos and orchestra, Amesha Spenta, with Ann Arbor Camerata. Iman is well-known for his collaborations with pianist Deborah Grimmett. The two pianists formed a duo in 2010, which won first prize at the United States International Duo Piano Competition, and second prize at the North West International Piano Ensemble Competition, and has twice attained the audience choice award at the latter.