Cynthia Zaven is a composer, pianist and artist based in Beirut.
She performs classical, experimental and improvised music in solo shows as well as in collaboration with other artists.
Her projects combine a variety of media including video, photography, performance and the use of archive material to explore the relationship between sound, memory and identity through interwoven narratives.
Her works include Untuned Piano Concerto With Delhi Traffic Orchestra (performance, 2006), Morse Code Composition (Soundworks, ICA, 2012), Bunker Fairy Tale (12 channel sound installation with video, 2013), and more recently, Perpetuum Mobile, a 12 channel sound installation that was exhibited within the epic temple of Bacchus, in the World Heritage site of Baalbeck, and nominated for the Prix Ars Electronica Award 2017.
Since 1993, Zaven has also composed original scores and created sound designs for film, theater, live performance, dance, visual art, and conceptual art projects.
She recently supervised the music and composed the soundtrack for Tramontane (Rabih in Arabic), the feature length movie directed by Vatche Boulghourjian that premiered in Cannes' 2016 Critic's Week and was awarded the audience prize, the Grand Rail d'Or.
Other award-winning works have been exhibited at venues worldwide including the international film festivals at Locarno, Toronto, Edinburgh, Dubai, as well as IDFA, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, Sao Paolo, the Bern Kunstmuseum, the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and Oxford's Museum of Modern Art.
In July 2015, Eurasians Unity, the ensemble she took part of was awarded the Ruth prize for world music at the Rudolstadt World Music Festival in Germany.
Her music has been published by the Berlin based label, Staalplaat.
She is currently professor of classical piano at the Higher National Conservatory of Music in Beirut.
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homepage photo by Raisa Galofre