Shahab Paranj, tombak

Acclaimed by the San Francisco Examiner as “impressive”, and by composer John Adams as “unique”, Shahab Paranj (b.1983) is an Iranian-­born composer and percussionist based in Los Angeles.

As a composer, Paranj blends Persian rhythmic and melodic influences with Western texture and form. Recent commissions include works for ensembles such as the Aleron Trio, San Francisco New Music Ensemble, One Great City Duo and the International Low Brass Trio. Other accomplishments include film scores for independent film companies and a collaboration with artist Taraneh Hemami.

As a tombak virtuoso, he has played, recorded and collaborated with many highly-respected artists and has performed in many festivals and venues around the world. Paranj has played on more than 40 CDs with musicians around the world, appeared at more than 100 well known festivals and venues, such as Lincoln Center in New York, Theater de la Ville in Paris, and Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. He has collaborated with highly respected ensembles such as Shams Ensemble and renowned soloists as Persian master Mohammad Reza Shajarian. In 2012, Paranj founded Sarkesh Percussion, a hybrid percussion ensemble.

He received bachelor of music degrees in cello performance from the University of Tehran and in classical composition from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and a master degree in composition from the Manhatan School of Music. His composition teachers include David Garner and Richard Danielpour. He is currently studying with Ian Krouse and David Lefkowitz at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is completing his Ph.D. degree in composition.